construction work has begun on germany’s ‘national monument to freedom and unity’, a memorial in berlin that will remember and honor the protesters who defied the communist state in 1989. the project celebrates the men and women who fought for the fall of the berlin wall and the reunification of the country. designed as a kinetic bowl, the dynamic, occupiable memorial will gently shift up and down as visitors gather atop it. this interactive social-sculpture reminds us of the great impact which comes from unity, communication, and participation.

berlin monument freedom unity
image © milla & partner (also main image)



designed by milla & partner, led by creative director and architect sebastian letz, the monument will gently transform with group participation. if there are at least 20 more people standing on one half of the bowl than on the other, the bowl will start to move, slowly and gently,’ explains the architect. the shifting bowl introduces a platform which invites visitors to communicate and to act together, a reminder of the 1989 revolution which saw a widespread joint action within a divided state. to experience the transformation of the monument, visitors need to unify, communicate, and cooperate as a whole. ‘freedom and unity are not static conditions,’ the design team elaborates. ‘they need to be constantly redefined and require constant commitment.’

berlin monument freedom unity
image © milla & partner



the ‘monument to freedom and unity’ is being erected in the heart of berlin. two slogans will be inscribed atop the 50 meter-long bowl in bold letters: ‘wir sind das volk. wir sind ein volk.’ (we are the people. we are one people.) this inscription recalls chants by protesters in 1989 which captured the desire to reunite germany and remove the violent and oppressive berlin wall of the cold war. the architects continue: ‘as with the peaceful revolution of 1989, people need to communicate and decide on joint action, in order to create the motion. it shows the strength in numbers.’


video © milla & partner



project info:


name: national monument tofreedom and unityin berlin
client: the federal republic of germany, represented by the federal commissioner for cultural and media affairs (BKM), in cooperation with the federal ministry for the environment, nature conservation, construction and nuclear safety (BMUB) and the federal ministry for building and regional planning (BBR)
design and implementation: milla & partner GmbH, creative agency for spatial communication, with offices in stuttgart and berlin
design and artistic lead: sebastian letz, creative director at milla & partner
title of the design: bürger in bewegung (citizens in motion)
width: 50 m (164 ft)
depth: 18 m (59 ft) (across the lateral axis)
accessible area: approx. 700 sqm (7,535 sqf)
height (from plinth): 5.72 m (19 ft)
weight: approx. 150 tonnes (165 US tons)
load in use: 35 kN/m2
number of people (load capacity): approximately 1,400 people