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Restaurant ship Spreeblick in the Hansa quarter
Hansa quarter in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Lukas Larsson

Hansaviertel

A post-war modern architecture trip

The Tiergarten borders on the southern end of Hansaviertel, known to architecture fans as a striking example of the “Neues Bauen” style of post-war architecture. Given the widespread destruction of the Second World War, the construction of Hansaviertel in the 1950 was a symbol of the regenerative powers of Berlin – or more precisely, West Berlin. In the eastern part of the city at the same time and in direct competition, the Soviet-inspired residential buildings in Stalinallee, now known as Karl-Marx-Allee, were going up.

Modern architecture

Renowned architects from Germany and abroad contributed to the large-scale modern building project at Hansaviertel, which set new standards in social housing construction and became an exemplary estate. The solid rows of houses that were built before the war were replaced by loose collections of buildings with wide green spaces which ten renowned German and international landscape architects helped design. A total of 1160 new flats were built in different types of building, including high-rise and low-rise blocks, standing alone or side by side. Some of the arrangements of buildings are now internationally famous and particularly worth seeing: visit the eight-storey building by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto or the seven-storey residential block on V-shaped supports by the Brazilian architect Oskar Niemeyer with its free-standing elevator tower.

The nine-storey Walter-Gropius-Haus is characterised by its narrow sides with apartments rotated by 90 degrees. Since 1995, all the buildings and landscape gardens have been listed heritage sites.

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