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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Enhancing digital teaching

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | bologna.lab | Projects | Berlin Perspectives | Courses | Summer Semester 2015 | Re/Inventing Berlin - Architecture after 1945

Re/Inventing Berlin - Architecture after 1945

Taught by Alessa Paluch

Tuesday, 14:00 - 16:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Course taught in English

Language requirements: English B2


Course Description

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 and cultural
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.
A constant participation and reading is obligatory. Short Presentations should be hold. Every participant
is obliged to write a scientific essay (5 pages) and an architecture critique (1-2 pages), which standards
and form will be subject of at least one session. The essay and/or the architecture critique can be
submitted in German and/or English.
This seminar suits students of urban planning, urban studies, metropolitan studies, culture studies,
geography, sociology, art history and history. Invited to join are all interested students of the humanities
and social sciences.


  • Bodenschatz, Harald: Berlin Urban Design. A brief history of a european city. Berlin 2010.
  • Diefendorf, Jeffrey M.: In the wake of war. The Reconstruction of German cities after World War II. New York 1993.
  • Englert, Alfred: Berlin Modernism. Berlin 2008.
  • Goldberger, Paul: Why architecture matters. New Haven 2011.