At The Berlinische Galerie, Anything Goes? Rediscovers Berlin’s Postmodern Cityscapes

Presenting a comprehensive analysis of the significance of this “divided postmodernism”, ‘Anything Goes ?’ focuses on the reevaluation of urban design, its backdrops and main players, in both parts of Berlin. In the GDR (German Democratic Republic), also knowns as East Berlin, “one essential reason for the new focus on architectural traditions was a desire for a more visible presence of the past,” explains the gallery, adding that, “likewise, an enduring housing shortage played an important role, [with] concepts for revedelopment also addressing old buildings, which had been neglected until then.” From restoration of old buildings to new references to history via facade constructions with gables, bay windows, and reliefs, “the connection to the past was to give people a sense of identity and belonging.”

In the Eastern part of the city, developments centered on historicist reconstructions and large prefabricated housing developments characterized by concrete-slab high-rises in the city’s peripheries. In West Berlin, these centered on small-scale projects by internationally renowned architects of the time, which introduced new memorial sites, design elements, and urban housing types, such as multi-family villas, to the western part of the capital.

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