From the Interbau 1957 to the International Building Exhibition Berlin 1987. The standard strategy of demolishing entire urban districts and redeveloping whole areas drew an increasing amount of criticism and resistance. In deliberate contrast to the Interbau of 1957 the central theme of the IBA 1987 was the rediscovery of the historic inner city of Berlin that had been largely destroyed by the war and by the erection of the Wall. For the first time in the history of the building exhibition the IBA Berlin made the renovation of old building stock and the introduction of new buildings into the existing fabric - i.e. the repair of the city – into a central concern.30 years after the Interbau the IBA Berlin 87 took a stance against post-war urban planning. The IBA Berlin 87 drew its strength from two approaches to urban development: the IBA new build and the IBA old building programme.

Under a guiding principle defined as the “critical reconstruction” of the city, the IBA new build programme directed by Josef Paul Kleihues focussed on the southern part of Friedrichstadt, the southern Tiergarten district and the Tegeler Hafen. The connection of architecture and the art of building became a central concern of the IBA new build programme. This contrasted with the IBA approach to existing buildings directed by Hardt-Walter Hämer. Among its principal concerns were the preservation, stabilization and further development of existing social and functional structures of the city, along with the implementation of processes such as self-help and modernization by tenants. All in all the IBA old building programme led planning into a new era: new building took a back seat and precedence was given to securing and modernising existing building fabric. With its pilot projects this direction led to the creation of subsidy programmes for urban renewal and to changes to the legislation in relation to renovation and the protection of local environments.

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