Built in 1881 as part of an innovative municipal drainage system, Radialsystem was one of the first pumping stations in Berlin. The city’s rapid growth required that it be expanded to twice its previous size as early as 1905, making it the largest of Berlin’s twelve radial water systems. The 1905 construction is exemplary of the more sophisticated industrial and style architecture of the 1900s, as are the Charlottenburg Power Station (1900) and the Oberbaum Bridge (1896).
Applying ornamental and design elements of the redbrick Gothic style that developed in the Mark Brandenburg, architect Richard Tettenborn (1857-1923) used the project of the pumping station to devise and put up an important municipal building in an appealing way. Large windows gave way to a view of clean, bright spaces that held powerful and gleaming machinery. James Hobrecht (1825-1902), the engineer responsible for the conceptualisation and expansion of Berlin's sewer system, emphasised the need for the construction and mechanics of "his" sewer system to be clean and elegant.
The older, western part of the machine hall, which made up nearly one third of the entire building, was almost completely destroyed during World War II. After the war, the eastern, newer part was secured and used as a sewage pumping station until 1999. This part is now a protected historical monument.
© Reinhard Görner