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Berlin skyscraper too heavy for Alexanderplatz

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A model of Frank Gehry's skyscraper at Alexanderplatz. Photo: DPA
17:13 CEST+02:00
A bid to build Germany's tallest apartment block in central Berlin is in jeopardy amid fears the skyscraper will be so heavy it will crush the U-Bahn tunnel beneath it.

The 150-metre high tower block is to be built so close to the U5, an important metro line for the eastern districts of Berlin, that it could damage the train tunnel, the Berliner Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

The U5 line runs in an arc around the area and the ground could sink once construction work starts, allowing groundwater to enter into the tunnel.

Berlin's Transport Authority (BVG) now wants to clarify if trains could still run during the construction period, while Berlin's Senate has put the plans on ice.

The project's American investors, Hines Property Group, has now commissioned a survey to assess the risks surrounding the building of the skyscraper which was designed by US architect Frank Gehry.

Whether the project will now go ahead in its original form remains to be seen. The response from the investors so far has been restrained, but they are confident that the problems for the €250-million project can be resolved in the not too distant future.

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“We're heading in the right direction and are confident that a decision will be made soon,” Hines said.

SEE ALSO: Germany's tallest hotel planned for Berlin 

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