Block 70

New Building and Cautious Redevelopment at Fraenkelufer

The large Block 70 in Kreuzberg between Fraenkelufer and Kohlfurterstraße was the heart of renewal work as part of the wholesale redevelopment in Berlin in the 1970s. Eviction, vacancy and demolition were already at an advanced stage when work was stopped and IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung-Altbau 1980/81 developed a concept for cautious redevelopment and new buildings in the block, in cooperation with architects and residents.

The idea of a road crossing through the block was rejected. Instead, the previously cleared sites were redeveloped with residential buildings by architects Inken and Hinrich Baller. Other new buildings were built and already vacant old buildings were cautiously modernised in a self-help approach with a new management body at significantly reduced costs. They included self-help and student groups, non-profit social and labour policy organisations as well as a self-building cooperative. Despite considerable resistance, the non-profit housing and residential building society Gemeinnützige Siedlungs- und Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin (GSW) – responsible for the original demolition concept – was persuaded to adopt the new IBA concept.

The new buildings were completed in 1984, followed by the cautious modernisation and self-help projects. The existing school was subsequently expanded, a daycare centre was built and the road area on Admiralstrasse and Fraenkelufer was planted and revitalised. With its expressive new architecture combined with innovative, socially-focused modernisation of old buildings under a new management body, the entire project remains one of the most attractive and impactful IBA projects.

Further IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung