The House for Hitler
This project is based on two separate spaces that Adolf Hitler was familiar with. One of the spaces is the main room at the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat. Hitler actually designed this magnificent room himself. The other space is the collection of rooms in the Fuhrerbunker and Vorbunker, these were the bunkers beneath the Chancellery in Berlin. These were the last spaces that Hitler experienced and where he ultimately committed suicide with his new bride, Eva Braun. Thus this project contains what were possibly his favorite space, (Berghof) and his least favorite space, (Fuhrerbunker).
The Berghof was located in the mountains near Obersalzberg. It was at this mountain retreat where Hitler enjoyed his most relaxing days, spent on the veranda with Eva and his friends. The main room was a large space with a large glass window that looked out to the mountains. This large glass could be lowered into the bottom sill, thus producing a gigantic opening that was truly magnificent. This spatial breakdown between the interior and exterior was a remarkable event as illustrated by some of the movies of the room. In this room, Hitler would meet with his friends as well as discuss war strategy. The room also doubled as a movie theatre and Hitler would spend hours watching “King Kong” and “Snow White”, his two favorite movies. In this project, the Berghof room is no longer on a mountain top looking out at the snow covered peaks, instead it is buried underground and the magnificent window is blocked and has a fresco of the Russian soldiers raising the Hammer and Sickle flag over the Reichstag in Berlin. Hitler would be forced to occupy his favorite space, but now it is without light, underground and he is forced to view what surely would have been his most horrified sight.
The Fuhrerbunker and Vorbunker were a pair of bunkers in the garden of the New Chancellery in Berlin. They were designed to withstand the bombings of Berlin. They were located approximately 33 feet underground and the ceiling was over 10 feet thick. The rooms were fairly small and cramped and these concrete rooms served as Hitler’s last residence. In this project the bunkers are raised out of the ground and the walls are now constructed of glass. Thus when Hitler roams these rooms and corridors, everyone can watch him like an animal in a cage. The space of his suicide and ultimate defeat will certainly provide a tortuous existence.
The two spaces are connected by a series of stairs that lead from the Fuhrerbunker down into a cave that is connected to the Berghof. The entering into this cave forces Hitler to sink to the base of man everday. The cave brings him back to the origins of the species and reminds him continually of his evil.
Ultimately this House for Hitler is a series of events meant to torture the occupant.