Text by Malte Brandenburg
Most post-war housing estates in Berlin were often built in form of tower blocks and in a fairly identical fashion, however when looking closer you find a lot of variation. These buildings initially provided modern and affordable housing for many middle class families.
With an easing housing market and other affordable alternatives, often a demographic change occurred: The middle class left to build their own house in the suburbs or for the increasingly popular “Berliner Altbau” in the city centres, while they were gradually replaced by families with economic and social burdens. Initially a vast improvement of life for many people after the war, some of these housing estates became social hot spots while others became more popular.
In recent years various initiatives tried to counter the negative effects, e.g. by painting the rather grey buildings. Still, people stacked on top of each other as urban life form, remains an experiment.