A spectacular, but initially very controversially discussed example for recent architecture in Dresden is the so-called "Kristallpalast" (Crystal Palace). Not far from Prager Straße, it was built in 1997/98 next to the circular-building cinema as its extension. The two cinemas are now independent from each other, though the numbering of the cinema halls in the "Kristallpalast" still starts with number 8.
The building, planned by the Vienna-based architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au was controversial because of its unusual de-constructivist design expression: to a large asymmetric structural shell made from béton brut, there is a large steel skeleton attached which is completely enclosed in glass. This part of the building thus reminds of a large crystal, a cirumstance which is responsible for the colloquial name of the cinema.
Thus, the architecture contrasts strongly with the historic architectural monuments of Dresden's city centre and also with the nearby plattenbau housing and the modern design of Prager Straße. While many inhabitants of Dresden are baffled at the sight of this piece of contemporary architecture, others consider it as a gain that also modern buildings shape the cityscape of Dresden.
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* The photograph "The Kristallpalast in Dresden" was published by GNU FDL and adapted by www.wikipedia.de.