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About The Production (Continued)
Production designer Hanisch visited Wolfsburg in pre-production and in these two sites found extraordinary modern architecture. 

"Autostadt is such an unusual place. It plays with a virtual, modern surrounding we found fascinating,” Hanisch notes. "The huge interior of the KonzernWelt building and its front exterior were fantastic in themselves, but then in relation to the theme park behind – it was almost supernatural. The choice to use this location was very much about the image or feeling we wanted to sell of the IBBC.”

Autostadt is a landscaped theme park owned by the Volkswagen Group where customers pick up newly-purchased VWs and tour the seven individual pavilions of each of the manufacturer's brands. Linked by an underground computer-controlled conveyor tunnel to the distribution center, the site's Car Towers are impressive transparent glass spheres measuring 157 feet high and hold 400 cars fresh-off the assembly line. 

Never before opened to a film crew, Autostadt's CEO Dr Otto Wachs granted Tykwer permission to film in the building where its magnificent opening glass panels, the largest of their kind in the world, were featured.

"In the film we play with the idea of translucence in big business,” says Hanisch. "A bank like the IBBC is anything but with its highly covert criminal activities, but they pretend to be this kind of open-minded, consumer-friendly, world-friendly business. Glass can be transparent or it can be a reflection and we play with that in the film thematically and visually with the camera.” 

Next to Wolfsburg's main train station, and across the Mittelland Canal from Austostadt, sits London-based conceptual architect Zaha Hadid's otherworldly design, The Phaeno Science Center. The museum is the largest interactive science museum in Germany with cutting-edge exhibits and commissioned artwork. Hadid's innovative building was conceived as an "adventure landscape, a futuristic venue for the journey of discovery”. An astounding concrete structure, the unusual award-winning design has been described as a "hypnotic work of architecture – the kind of building that utterly transforms our vision of the future.” The museum serves as the film's location for the Calvini family's business headquarters.

In late November, at the onset of winter, the production bid farewell to Berlin and made their way to one of Italy's largest cities. Calling Le Méridien Gallia home, the crew settled in to the hotel on the Piazza Duca D'Aosta for its three weeks of filming. Opened in 1932, the Gallia's façade is a splendid example of art nouveau and its grand lobby, rooftop and back entrance served as key locations for the film. 

Whitman and Salinger's investigation brings them to Milan in search of incriminating clues they believe an Italian businessman vying for political office can provide. 

Next to the hotel, and dominating the same large square, is the city's imposing central train station, Stazione Centrale di Milano. Under Mussolini, the station's original design became more grandiose when the dictator wanted it to represent the strength of the fascist regime. When the station was inaugurated in 1931, its size was record-breaking at more than 650 feet wide and 236 feet high. Without a defining style, it's a kinetic blend of many including Liberty and Art Deco.

However, competing for prominence in the Piazza Duca D'Aosta is the Pirelli Building. Designed by Gio Ponti in 1950, the elegantly styled skyscraper is Milan's tallest structure at a height of 417 feet. Currently housing the Region of Lombardy's offices, the looming modernist structure is juxtaposed against the classical neighboring architecture, a visual thematic thread throughout the film. 

"Milan works as the transitional zone between Berlin and New York because both old and new worlds are re


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