Re-positioning after the Fall of the German Wall: World Trade Centers Development in Cities of the former German Democratic Republic: Rostock, Dresden and Frankfurt (Oder)

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The fall of the German Wall in 1989 symbolizes a fundamental system change for the entire global world order. As a physical boundary, the „Iron Curtain“ had symbolized the separation of Europe into an Eastern and Western block. After this divide, following the German Reunification, cities and regions in the former East took various efforts to re-position themselves within the new world order and its encompassing cultural, economic and political codes, with architecture serving as an agent to represent the new global system. During the early 1990s, for example, World Trade Centers have been established in cities like Rostock, Dresden and Frankfurt (Oder), utilizing the trademark licensed by the World Trade Centers Association, a global organisation that aims to foster a global trade infrastructure by referencing the iconic World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York. This paper asks: What were the intentions behind the establishments of World Trade Centers in cities of the former German Democratic Republic shortly after the fall of the wall, what were the effects? The aim of this investigation is to give an example of how architecture has been instrumentalized as representation of the global system within this transition period.
German Reunification, Globalisation, Global Trade, Representation, World Trade Center