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In 1902 the department store Wertheim in Berlin started to showcase state-of-the-art living spaces designed by contemporary architects and artists. A set up of two typical Berlin…

Housing in times of crisis

Housing exhibitions present experimental answers to urgent social and economic issues that are related to housing, especially in times of crisis. This makes exhibitions an important link between theory and practice. The ‘growing home’ is an experimental idea that was developed in the 1930s, but it might also be suitable for the current crisis.

The International Building Exhibition Berlin (1957)

When the Hansaviertel was completed, its separate buildings were widely praised, yet the layout of the district in terms of urban planning was the subject of harsh criticism from the trade press. Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann shows that the ideology of an open building, which was already outdated at that time, was used as a propaganda tool in the fight against the East German ideal of the compact city.


Rezoning and new, non-traditional methods of financing were some of the themes of IBA 2020 in Berlin. Although this building exhibition was cancelled, Vanessa Miriam Carlow, a member of the preparatory group, thinks that the ideas for IBA 2020 have not been lost, and that they will trickle into the thinking about the city via other channels.

Die Wohnung unserer Zeit

In 1931, amid the economic crisis, the Deutsche Bauausstellung opened in Berlin. It was the result of an initiative started several years beforehand to open a permanent building…


In 1979, 23 years after the realization of the Interbau exhibition in Berlin’s Hansaviertel district, the initiative was taken to organize a new, large-scale building exhibition in…

Baugruppen as Catalysts for New Urban Housing Quality

Germany in general and Berlin in particular have a rich tradition of collective private commissions. This contribution traces the circumstances in which so-called Baugruppen (building groups) could flourish and describes their influence on architectural practice in Germany.


Berlin bureau Zanderroth Architekten has realized 45 town-houses in the Prenzlauerberg district for a Baugruppe (building group), arranged in two strips along each side of a communal…
Frei Otto, Baumhäuser, Berlin


On the edge of Berlin’s Tiergarten, hidden among stylish embassies and the postmodern architecture of the late 1980s, are three variegated clusters of stacked owner-built homes.…
Gartenstadt Staaken

Gartenstadt Staaken

Kleinhaus und Kleinsiedlung (1918) by Hermann Muthesius can be read as a manual for the design of garden cities or suburbs. In the introduction, Muthesius, an architect who chiefly…


Differentiation Due to the Floor Plan Even in his earliest designs, German architect Hans Scharoun exhibited a keen interest in spatial and functional relationships, married…

Amsterdam versus Berlin

A comparison between the supply and quality of luxury city apartments in the cities of Amsterdam and Berlin leads to remarkable conclusions regarding the effects of local historical differences and the differences between a tight and ample market.