IAPWS Banquet

Welcome Reception
IAPWS Banquet
Acc. Persons Program



IAPWS Banquet:

The traditional IAPWS Banquet will be held Wednesday, September 10, 2008 from 17:30 to approx. 23:00 at the "House of World Cultures" (formerly known "Berlin Congress Hall"). The banquet is included in the registration fee for conference attendants of the categories "Academic" and "Corporate". For attendants of the category "Student / Retired" and accompanying persons the banquet can be booked separately through the online registration at time of registration.

© Holger Doelle, original image

"The House of World Cultures works in a building of great architectural and historical interest. It was the USA’s contribution to the INTERBAU 1957 building exhibition in Berlin. For the exhibition, the designs of many renowned architects were constructed in the nearby Hansaviertel.

In 1955, Hugh Stubbins started work on a design for a building that would soon become a remarkable landmark in the cityscape of post-war Berlin. Stubbins, who had been Gropius’s assistant at Harvard before the Second World War, was familiar with Germany. Wanting to make a statement on that conflict between the systems commonly referred to the Cold War, Stubbins planned a building with a hall to hold cultural events and congresses. It was intended to serve as a symbol and beacon of freedom with its message reaching the East too. The former Zeltenplatz square was chosen as the site. To ensure its contours would be clearly seen from Communist-ruled East Berlin, the Congress Hall was erected on an artificial mound.

Stubbins described the symbolic value of his architectural design as ‘completely free’. The form of the curved roof bore a striking resemblance to that of wings. In Stubbins’s view, the roof upheld the promise that there would be no restrictions on the freedom of intellectual work - a political vision shared by the Benjamin Franklin Foundation, which commissioned the building.

Construction took only one year. On 19 September 1957, after the building had been completed, the US government gave the Congress Hall to the City of Berlin as a present. The artistic programme of the opening ceremony reflected the Congress Hall’s future programme: combining theatre, symposia and concerts, it brought together prominent artists, scientists and politicians engaged in an international dialogue between the New and Old Worlds."

(source http://www.hkw.de/en/hkw/gebauede/gebaeude.php)

© Manfred Brückels, original image

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updated: 23.09.08