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Short History of Alter Lesesaal

The D&C Co-Lab is based in the historic Old Reading Room at the Main Building of TU Berlin. In its history, the space was home to the TU library two times - once before World War II, and once after, when it was reconstructed and redesigned the way it is today. The library moved in again in 1953, with the Old Reading Room becoming the central entrance and reading room, providing 140 reading desks for students, as well as a room for magazines and a separate reading room for professors.

The redesign and reconstruction of the Old Reading Room featured a mezzanine level, which housed a part of the libraries’ collection, from where it was possible to send books to the reading room through a pneumatic dispatch and book lift, which still remain in the space today.

The interior architecture of the space, which in large parts still remains, as well as the view over Campus Charlottenburg and to Zoologischer Garten led the Old Reading Room to be called one of the most beautiful reading rooms throughout Berlin. While the cork linoleum floors were exchanged with finished concrete, and the inventory in form of custom designed tables and chairs was removed, the lamps out of sheet metal slats on the gallery ceilings, as well as the staircase and railings out of curved tubular steel and accents of corrugated eternit still remain.

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