The Interbau housing development of the late 1950s was West-Berlin’s (and the Modern Movement’s) response to the preceding propaganda and success of the reconstruction programme in the Soviet sector of Berlin and in the early GDR. The Stalin Avenue (by Hermann Henselmann, Richard Paulick. Josef Kaiser et al.) was the flagship project of the East, started in the late 1940s following principles of inter-war modernism and converted after the proclamation of the GDR 1949 in the Soviet style of Socialist Classicism according to the Stalinist doctrine of Socialist Realism (Nationale Tradition). The urban complex was renamed in Karl-Marx-Allee after the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and extended in industrialised forms of Socialist Modernism dominated by the Television Tower at Alexanderplatz in the 1960s.
The Hansaviertel housing estate was intended as an urbanistic and architectural antithesis and as political counterpart of the West in the Cold War period. The extensive building exhibition site at the edge of Berlin’s Tiergarten park was linked with related solitaire buildings like a new Congress Hall (Hugh Stubbins) and Le Corbusier’s “Unité d’habitation – Type Berlin”. The whole complex includes residential houses and public buildings designed by more than 50 architects of the International Style from a dozen western countries like Alvar Aalto, Luciano Baldessari, J. H. van den Broek and Jacob Bakema, Walter Gropius, Arne Jacobsen, Oscar Niemeyer, Pierre Vago as well as Paul Baumgarten, Werner Düttmann, Egon Eiermann, Sep Ruf or Max Taut et al..
The presentation will focus on two contradictory urbanistic planning concepts of rebuilding and modernising inner city quarter heavily damaged by war. Using the example of two internationally significant urban structures of the Cold War period the case study will discuss criteria of listing post-war urban complexes and present tools for urban heritage conservation management in modern quarters. The speaker’s input will pay a particular attention to the risks of modern heritage in post-socialist countries.
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