Plenary Complex of the German Bundestag
Plenarbereich des Deutschen Bundestages, Bonn
The former parliament buildings housed the most important governing body in the federal Republic of Germany.
Our approach - with the wholehearted approval of the deputies - was based on the premise that every deputy takes part in Parliament as an individual, where he or she is responsible to represent the interests, rights and obligations of a constituency.
We understand, of course, that reality and the ideal do not always coincide. However, we believe that architecture should not only be concerned with reality but also with our ideals, desires and hopes.
We worked on this building complex for a long time. The competition was won in 1973 and it was 20 years before the design and construction were finished. The brief was frequently modified and details of the design criteria were amended repeatedly. To create a formally complete building under these circumstances of time and change is not possible - and anyway, it was not the kind of architecture we desired to produce. Yet through these changes we discovered a surprisingly active catalyst for our vision of a democratic architecture.