"West Berlin"

"West Berlin"

Hansa district and Kulturforum

„West-Berlin“ – © visitBerlin / Koch

After the War’s end, the urban planning’s primary task was the rebuilding of the destroyed city in both halves of the city. In the west, the areas of Kurfürstendamm and Kulturforum formed a priority. The initial starting point for the new design of the war-destroyed Breitscheidplatz was the competition “Round the Zoo” in 1947-1948. The so called “Ermisch-Plan” laid down traffic and alignments. In 1950, the “Richtplan Soogebiet” was adopted, and in 1956, with the construction of the Zentrums am Zoo, started.
Within the context of an international building exhibition in 1957, new housing forms and innovative ground plans came into being in the Hansa district. Next to Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, above all, the Scandinavian architects Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Kay Fisker and Sten Samuelson delivered important impulses for a new home decor.
Likewise, since the 50’s, from the ideas of Hans Scharoun, the Kulturforum came into being, directly at the sector border of East Berlin in the former Tiergarten district. After 1870, this district had developed itself into a residential area favoured by Berliner citizens and artists. The Tiergarten district was widely destroyed in the war. At today’s Kulturforum, only St. Matthäus church is a reminder of the historic development.
In the 1980’s, Berlin moved once more into the focus of international architecture interests. In the divided city, after the painful experiences with the radical demolitions and consequences of the wholesale redevelopment of the founding era districts, a departure from the auto-friendly city landscape idea to a condensed more habitable city (IBA) was supposed to be demonstrated within the context of a new building exhibition.