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Berlin – two models of the city

The significance of the IBA project in the Hansa Quarter only becomes fully apparent in view of the parallelism with the representative building activity along the old Große Frankfurter Straße, 1949-61 Stalinallee, since then Karl-Marx-Allee, which was the responsibility of the Magistrate of Greater Berlin. Here, the desire for "palaces for workers" became a rallying cry, hygienic, comfortable and social housing for all, executed in the highest quality of craftsmanship.

Tour Zwei Modelle Stadt - die Karl-Marx-Allee 1949-69
Tour Zwei Modelle Stadt - die Karl-Marx-Allee 1949-69 © Carolina Croonenbroek

The second phase of construction corrected this aesthetic dedicated to the national spirit of reconstruction in favour of a strictly modern, internationally understood industrial building style. The architectural collectives involved never achieved the heroic status of their Western colleagues, but the remarkable works of Richard Paulick, Josef Kaiser or Hermann Henselmann nevertheless belong to the heritage of German architectural history.

In this unique competition of ideological positions, participants can be guided through Friedrichshain, for example, by the "16 principles of urban design" based on Soviet influence, as they can also encounter the anti-urban advantages of the loosened-up, green, airy city in Tiergarten. The tenants came and stayed, the architects rave and the capital has followed. The "two sides of the same coin" are now entering the second application phase for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

The tour of the Hansa Quarter is also recommended: in the early 1950s, the West Berlin Senate decided not to rebuild the inner-city Hansa Quarter, which had been destroyed during the war. Instead, it was designated as a fairground, and this quarter now offered space for examples of modern, i.e. also social, housing construction. The urban housing of the future was left to a selection of ideas by German architects and the designs of the most renowned architects of the western world in a competition. Thus the designs of Le Corbusier, Oskar Niemeyer or Alvar Aalto met those of a colleague with whom they had already discussed the same questions in the pre-war period, Walter Gropius. For his part, he met Berlin acquaintances such as Wils Ebert, Egon Eiermann or Wassili Luckhardt here.

art:berlin - a product line of
cpb culture partner berlin GmbH

in cooperation with the Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design

(Program in German)

Additional information
meeting point: in front the Komos, Karl-Marx-Allee 131A, 10243 Berlin U Frankfurter Tor

Tour duration: 2 hours
KOSMOS Berlin - die Eventlocation
KOSMOS Berlin - die Eventlocation