Berlin Sony Center Reflections
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The site was originally a bustling city centre in the early 20th century. Most of the buildings were destroyed or damaged during World War II. From 1961 on, most of the area became part of the No Man's Land of the Berlin Wall, resulting in the destruction of the remaining buildings. After the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, the square became the focus of attention again, as a large (some 60 hectares), attractive location which had suddenly become available in the centre of a major European capital city. As part of a redevelopment effort for the area, the center was constructed. The centre was designed by Helmut Jahn and construction was completed in 2000 at a total cost of €750M. In February 2008 Sony sold Berlin's Sony Center for less than €600M to a group of German and US investment funds, including investment bank Morgan Stanley, Corpus Sireo and an affiliate of The John Buck Company .
Sony Center contains a mix of shops, restaurants, a conference centre, hotel rooms, luxurious rented suites and condominiums, offices, art and film museums, cinemas, an IMAX theater, a small version of Legoland, and a "Sony Style" store. Free Wi-Fi connections are available for all visitors. During major sports events like the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the centre also had a large television screen on which the games were broadcast to viewers sitting in the large open area in the middle.
The Sony Center is located near the Berlin Potsdamer Platz railway station, which can be accessed on foot. A large shopping centre is nearby, as are many hotels, the Deutsche Bahn central offices, and an office building featuring the fastest lift in Europe.
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