Albert Speer to rebuild Berlin stadium

The son of Albert Speer - Hitler's chief architect - is behind controversial plans to revamp a derelict city-centre stadium which was used during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Albert Speer junior, 73, the son of Hitler’s trusted architect who planned to rebuild the Third Reich’s capital if Germany had won World War II – wants to update a sports stadium which was prominent during the Nazi era.

Speer, an award-winning international architect and urban planner, heads a 100-strong architectural company in Frankfurt.

Fourth division football club Borussia Tennis Berlin want to revamp their Post Stadion facility in Mitte, near Berlin’s main railway station, at a cost of €16 million ($25 million US dollars).

The modern 16,000-seat stadium is planned to be ready by the summer of 2009.

An investor is said to be interested, but German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel has reported that the local officials are skeptical. The plans will be put in front of Mitte’s planning authority on April 15.

“If Tennis Borussia had brought these plans to us five years ago, we would have been interested,” said district mayor Christian Hanke.

At its peak, the Post Stadion held 60,000 spectators and Hitler watched Germany lose to Norway during the 1936 Berlin Olympic games.

But when Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin left to play at the city’s Olympic Stadium in the early 1990s, the stadium fell into even deeper disrepair.

The main stand, which is under a conservation order as a listed building, is to be incorporated into the stadium’s new design.