High up in the Sky

Simply driving along Karl-Marx-Allee and Strausberger Platz offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the unique character of this part of Berlin. Viewing the 2.4km long architectural monument from above is a truly breath-taking experience. As a long-time resident of one of the Strausberger Platz tower, I am used to guests to my apartment paying less attention to me than to the view from my window, which takes in the TV Tower, seemingly close enough to touch, and the prefab buildings with the last two billboards advertising cars built in the Balkans. If it wasn’t for the contemporary cars rushing along the boulevard, you might be forgiven for thinking that time had stopped and the Fall of the Wall had never happened.

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Image courtesy of kriskbx – photocase.de

Unfortunately, my capacities to invite people in and offer them a chance to take in the spectacular view from my apartment are limited. Fortunately, plenty of other options to enjoy Strausberger Platz from above are available:

The 13th floor at Strausberger Platz 1 is taken up by the “TanzSuite” dance studio. Clearly visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows, couples glide across the dance floor against a backdrop of disco lights and cha-cha beats. Although this may not be everybody’s idea of fun, lots of people love it.

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View from the “Tanzsuite”. Image courtesy of Daphne Daamians

The venue hosts private parties and readings as well as dance lessons. There is also a public bar, although visitors should be aware that only one of the two lifts goes to the 13th floor. However, getting lost and having to ask a friendly resident to point the way to the right lift is a small price to pay for the delights that await visitors high up in the sky.  The view from here takes in the full length of the boulevard in all its glory and extends far beyond Alexanderplatz and the TV Tower. Even people who have been living in Berlin for many years linger by those windows, falling in love with their city all over again.

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Image courtesy of Koosinger – photocase.de

Another location at the end of the boulevard offers equally fascinating views. The two high-rise buildings at Frankfurter Tor are crowned by two glass tops. One of them is the home of Christoph Tophinke, who owns Chelsea Farmers Club, one of Berlin’s top retailers of British fashion. His apartment takes up three floors, offering panoramic views of the city. “Ever since I moved in here, I’ve been experiencing the weather up close and personal,” says Tophinke. The same goes for the seasons – after all, finding curtains to fit his windows is quite simply impossible. .

Directly opposite, the tower at Frankfurter Tor 9 houses the capital’s highest lounge bar. The dome on what would be the 15th floor of the building offers space for 40 guests for a sit-down meal or up to 80 for a reception. Immediately below, on the 14th floor, there is a full bar complemented by a smokers’ lounge on the entrance level on the 13th floor. The lounge serves as a semi-public counterpart to the dance studio at Strausberger Platz and is available for private hire. You could even hold a party at both locations on the same night, although your guests would need binoculars to see each other. And they’d probably end up paying more attention to the view anyway.