Is it an art installation? Are they an architectural highlight? Are they landmarks for where the Berlin wall used to be? Do they transport oil and gas throughout the city? What are those gigantic colorful pink pipes doing all over Berlin? Why are they there? When you visit the German capital, you’re more than likely to notice these pink snakes for kilometers on end. 60 kilometers of Berlin pink pipes to be exact. Let’s solve the Berlin pink pipes mystery.
The answer is pretty straightforward; they carry groundwater from the various building sites in the city to the River Spree and other canals. Berlin is built on a massive swamp and so water needs to be pumped out as soon as construction starts to lower the groundwater level. And like with every city, there’s always construction going on somewhere so these pink oddities are a common site in Berlin’s landscape.
But why bright pink? Well, Pollem, the company that has been supplying Berlin with the main part of the 60km of tubes wanted to make a statement with the pipes. Rather than just make them functional, they spoke with scientists and psychologists and found out that all kids’ favorite color is pink. Up until they go to school and are programmed that it is a ‘girls’ color that is… And adults like the color pink as it reminds them to be fun and youthful. So they decided to make their part of the Berlin pipes pink. And the result is a labyrinth of pink tubes from Potsdamer Platz all across town.
Certainly, we at the Amstel quite love these intriguing Berlin pink pipes. Think of it, if they would be brown or greyish everybody would hate them, and now it’s a bright and edgy city statement that calls for happy conversations. So embrace your fun, youthful and pink self and come to Berlin!
picture by Steluma