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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab - Neue Lehre. Neues Lernen

Re/Inventing Berlin - Architecture after 1945

Taught by Alessa Paluch

Starts 18.18. / Tuesday, 14:00 - 16:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Language requirements: min. English B2 (with the Option to Write the Essay in German)



Course Description

At the end of World War II Berlin , the former capital of Hitlers Third Reich, was largely destroyed. But the area-wide destructions also held a chance: the possibility to rebuild Berlin as a totally new city – in modernists words: as a better city. And indeed Berlin changed dramatically – but not in the way modern architects and urban planners had envisioned it in the post-war period.
Quite differing proposals were made in East and West Berlin. Especially for the so called Capital of the Cold War it proves to be true that architecture is a not just a mirror to the society which builds it – but that architecture also shapes the lives of the people living with and within it.
Using examples such as Karl-Marx-Allee, Hansaviertel, Gropiusstadt, Potsdamer Platz et al. this seminar retraces the stations and phases of reconstruction with a focus on political, cultural and social developments. The most influential concepts of 20th century urban planning will be presented. In addition the seminar aims to be an exercise in (architecture) criticism.


Course Requirements 

  • Regular Attendance
Attendance Policy: You may not miss more than 2 sessions. The missing of a session should be communicated in advance via email. If a third session is missed a make-up-work can be arranged. Missing four times means failing the class.
  • Obligatory Reading
    Texts and Learning Material are provided via moodle.


  • Presentation (about 15 minutes)
Presentation's topic will be chosen out of the seminar's schedule at the end of the second session.
  • Architecture Critique (1-2 pages)
Requirements and Formalities of how to write an Architecture Critique will be discussed at the workshop „How to write a good critique?“ At the end of the seminar the critiques will also be published on the seminar's blog www.berlinperspectivesonarchitecture.com.
  • Essay (5 pages)
The Essay is meant to be a practice in academic research and writing. Students will be
encouraged to find a topic fitting their interests and studies at their home university.
Attention: There will be no excuse for Plagiarism – intended or unintended – and anyone who is find out trying to cheat (that's what it is!) won't be accounted for his or her work.