Tactile Model

The Return to the "Berlin Block"

In the 1980s, the block perimeter construction typical of nineteenth-century Berlin became popular again. New architecture was clearly oriented toward a public area in front (the street) and a private one in back (the courtyard). Designers varied the tradition of a continuous structure by leaving several places open or creating spacious passageways.

The tactile models show the evolution of urban-design structures with examples from the 1970s and 1980s. Old and new buildings, green spaces, and streets are distinguished by color and touch to make it easier to distinguish them. For comparison, the two models on the far left show, respectively, the typical Berlin block perimeter construction of the nineteenth century and the modern slab construction of the 1960s.

Modell+Design, Technische Universität Berlin
Design: Lara Jensen, Esra Kaheveci

Labels under each of the models from left to right

  • Berlin block perimeter construction
  • Modern slab construction
  • Residential Complex with Studio Tower, Charlottenstrasse, John Hejduk
  • Apartment building on Ritterstrasse, Rob Krier
  • Apartment building on Lützowstrasse, Vittorio Gregotti
  • Urban villas Rauchstrasse, Rob Krier
  • Vinetaplatz, Josef Paul Kleihues

Introduction to the Exhibition Section

New Impetus for Berlin

Since the early 1970s at the latest, the disappointment of Berlin’s residents about the architecture of the postwar era was clearly palpable. The criticism turned against policies that threatened the preservation and redevelopment of the old tenement buildings and hence urgently needed housing. The protest was also triggered by the ongoing planning for a car-friendly city, excessive separation of the functions of housing and working in particular, and new housing developments on the urban periphery that were perceived as depressing.

In its wake, there was a reevaluation in the context of an international debate over urban design in both parts of Berlin. It found expression in numerous, sometimes pioneering interventions, visions, and designs. In both halves of the city, these considerations gradually developed into a new overall program in each case—laying the foundation for the architecture of the 1980s.