Plattenbau

Gropiusstadt is a neighbourhood in Berlin, named after Walter Gropius, the architect who projected the complex. He had a very beautiful living space in mind. After the Berlin Wall was built it was no longer possible to build beyond the West-Berlin borders so instead of building in width, the settlement was built in height to accommodate the density of the people who were going to live there.

“The open spaces between the high rises weren’t green yet and thus offered zero quality of life; dark corners and stairways became spaces of anxiety and fear. The occupants stayed in their apartments among each other, and in spite of many social institutions who tried to combat the problems, the social life didn’t develop as expected. The occupants criticized the lack of inner city urbanity, which was caused by the vast free space, as well as the high density of neighbors and the loss of the “Kiez-Gefühl” (which I can only translate as “Street Culture” or “Neighborhood Culture”). The number of tenants kept fluctuating along with the abandoned apartments.”