2 September 2021 – The Mayor of Potsdam had already appointed me as a member of the city’s so-called Gestaltungsrat (Design Panel). Last Friday, 31 August, the official press presentation took place. The local newspaper Neueste Potsdamer Nachrichten rightly writes that I don’t take the Gestaltungsrat as a ‘Beauty Police that enforces good taste’.

That is correct. The panel’s task is to assess the projects submitted to the council in terms of their urban, architectural and design qualities and to advise the parties involved. If necessary, it makes recommendations and sets criteria for achieving a high architectural standard and integration into the characteristic qualities of Potsdam’s urban landscape. De Gestaltungsrat includes (left to right on the photo): Petra Kahlfeldt, HvdH, Sophie Wolfrum (chair), Dieter Eckert, Angela Mensing – de Jong and Stephan Lenzen.

A funny detail is that a Holländisches Viertel (Dutch Quarter) was built in Potsdam in the 18th century. It stands out because of its bright orange brickwork and baroque facades, which frankly strike me as Prussian rather than Dutch.