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Cold War Berlin's Utopian Cityscapes From Both Sides of the Wall

Heinrich Kuhn, Wohnbebauung von Chen Kuen Lee, Märkisches Viertel, Senftenberger Ring 80-86, Fotografie, um 1970, © Heinrich Kuhn/Sabine Krüger, Repro: Isabell Kanthak
Heinrich Kuhn, Wohnbebauung von Chen Kuen Lee, Märkisches Viertel, Senftenberger Ring 80-86, Fotografie, um 1970, © Heinrich Kuhn/Sabine Krüger, Repro: Isabell Kanthak

Demolished by the war and then divided by the wall, Berlin may have seemed like unstable ground for a flowering of modern design and city planning. Radically Modern, a new exhibition at the city's recently reopened Berlinische Galerie that's running through October, showcases how the sixties building boom on both sides of the wall, when two political systems sought to exude modernism and step away from the recent past, gave rise to unorthodox ideas espousing a utopian future. This examination of urban design not only highlights some of the era's key modernist buildings, such as Mies van der Rohe's Neue Nationalgalerie, as well as a retrofuture aesthetic, but is also trying to make a present-day case to preserve the architecture of this era. The collection of sketches, urban planning documents, models and photos from more than 30 architects is just decades old, but a significant number of these structures have already been lost or are in danger.


This Custom Modern Houseboat May Be Berlin's Hippest Rental [Curbed]
How Mies van der Rohe's Design for a Bacardi HQ in Cuba Became Berlin's Iconic Neue Nationalgalerie [Curbed]