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art:berlin - Virtual City Tour: Visions of Reconstruction Die INTERBAU 1957 and the Hansaviertel


In the early 1950s, the West Berlin Senate decided not to rebuild the inner-city Hansaviertel, which had been destroyed during the war. Instead, designated as a fairground, 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 in the western world through a competition process. Thus, the designs of Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer or Alvar Aalto met those of a colleague with whom they had already discussed the same issues in the pre-war period, Walter Gropius. For his part, he met here with Berlin acquaintances such as Wils Ebert, Egon Eiermann or Wassili Luckhardt.

The architecture of the Hansaviertel is based on the ideas of the Bauhaus doctrine and was executed by its masters and students.

Modernism has had a lasting impact on Berlin's cityscape. Six Berlin Modernist housing estates alone were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. Numerous other buildings, such as the Mies von der Rohe House, the Bundesschule Bernau, and finally the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design itself, bear witness to the groundbreaking power of these ideas, which spread around the world.

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