IGNANT’s Guide To Brutalism In Berlin

On Pallastraße, between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg, lies one of Berlin’s most interesting Brutalist buildings; the contentious housing complex Pallasseum designed by German architect Jürgen Sawade. Constructed between 1973 and 1976, the Pallasseum is a 15-storey-building that houses around 2000 people in 514 apartments. Like many Modernist projects, the utopian ambitions of the complex were not wholly successful. For some time, the project was known as the Sozial Palast, or social palace, in aspersive reference to residents there receiving welfare payments. In recent years, the grand concrete structure has undergone positive change. Renamed the Pallasseum, the front doors and stairwells have been redesigned, a cafe has been built at the base of the building, and the adjoining car park has been reimagined as a playground.

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