Berlin, 50 years later. Following the division of city urban development began to follow different paths in the western and eastern halves. Whereas East Berlin became the capital of the GDR, West Berlin, which was isolated, developed into a “propaganda” demonstration project of the West. With the support of the Marshall Plan in the 1950s a change from repairing to reconstructing the city was introduced. The dream was to create an articulated and more open city. A clean break was to be made with the traditional city and its 19th century tenement buildings.

This new direction was given visible expression by the first international building exhibition of the post-war period, the Interbau Berlin in 1957. Organised as a demonstration project with the character of a model, the aim was to present the demolition and redevelopment of the bourgeois Hansaviertel, which had been badly damaged in the war, as an example of the “city of tomorrow”. Under the patronage of the Berlin Senate 53 internationally known architects were invited to carry out individual buildings in a park-like landscape. The new Hansaviertel was intended to completely erase memories of the old Hansaviertel. Instead of the old block development pattern a mix of high-rise and low buildings was erected, set in a park-like setting.

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