Hansaviertel Architecture, Berlin

Um, did you know there is an Aalto apartment building in Berlin? In fact there are a bunch of heavy hitters in modern architecture, including Walter Gropius, Aalto, Oscar Neimeyer, in the northwestern bit of Tiergarten. This was part of a building project in about 1957 which aimed to create public housing that was generous and well designed, had amenities such as parks and services around it, and generally served the community well. Aalto specifically spoke of it in terms of giving people all of the benefits and spaciousness you feel in a house, but in an apartment setting. The urban guidelines spoke of a 'loose and green urban landscape' and enabling equal living conditions for everyone.

This all comes back to Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation model for apartments with services and amenities integrated into them to create a community in one building; a building type he popped all over the world, and others inspired by him did so too. (Le C did a unite just down from here in Charlottenberg, which apparently he was unimpressed by after he lost control of the outcome.)

The Hansaviertel project was given government funding during the period of post-war optimism, and is a reaction against souless, endless, stacked apartments and estates in general, and speaks directly against their political opponents in the East, who were putting up enormous rows of working-class houses with Neo-Classical decoration along the Stalin Avenue.

Interbau Apartment House, Klopstockstrasse 30
Alvar Aalto

Interbau Apartment House, Händelallee 3-9
Walter Gropius (Bauhasu founder), TAC with Wils Elbert

Interbau Apartment House, Altonaer Straße 4-14
Oscar Niemeyer and Soares Filho

Klopstockstrasse, Händelallee, Altonaer Strasse have a bunch of others on them, too. They include Hansa Library, the Memorial Church and the Academy of Arts.


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Anna Metcalfe is a content maker, word writer and editor of things.