Keywords Change this

IBA 1987

Project timeline

1986 – 1993



Location Change this

Dessauer Straße
10963 Berlin

Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
March 06th, 2020

Block 2 Change this

Berlin, Germany
by Peter Blake, Christine Jachmann, ... Change this
1 of 6

Description Change this

The plot between Dessauer Straße, Stresemannstraße and Bernburger Straße in Berlin-Kreuzberg, originally considered as a site for an ecological building by Frei Otto, was ultimately designated as a demonstration area for women’s issues. At the time, it was mostly wasteland. The St. Luke Church was still standing on the Bernburger Straße, but needed to be reconstructed. Total surface of the plot was 5.817 m², of which 3,204 m² was the construction area.

In 1981, Oswald Mathias Ungers and Bernd Faskel compiled an urban planning study for Friedrichvorstadt, followed in 1984 by a report on women's issues in architecture and urban planning. On December 10 1985, Günter Schlusche presented IBA’s program for the Block 2, with Myra Warhaftig and Zaha Hadid announced as desired architects. Thus, this area stood as a demonstration zone for how architecture can respond to the specific needs of women.

In the meantime, however, a plan emerged to have the IBA contribution of Polish architects built in this block as well. On April 15 1986, a design seminar for invited members of the Polish Architectural Association took place in the IBA House. The participants consisted of five teams: 1) Wojciech Dobrzanski and Romuald Loegler, 2) Wojciech Kosinski and Andry Wyzykowski, 3) Stanislaw Denko and Robert Kuzianik, 4) Krzyszkof Lenartowicz and Jacek Czekaj, 5) Daniel Karpinski and Wojciech Obtulowicz. This provoked protests by the women's movement. FOPA (Feminist Organization of Planners and Architects) and Zaha Hadid spoke critically in the press about the women's block which would be built by men. IBA responded by involving FOPA, which was to announce a limited competition in 1986 and to prepare a new report on building for women.

In July 1986, two seminars and a workshop were organized with the intention to sharpen the focus of the works aimed to support "emancipatory living". In December 1986, the Working Group on Ecological Urban Redevelopment was commissioned to draw up a catalog on ecological measures for the residential development in Stresemannstraße, Dessauer Straße and Bernburger Straße. Finally, an ecological seminar for the architects involved in planning Block 2 was organized in 1987. The design recommended that children's play areas should be fields of experience, and it led to a special design of the courtyards: there were shrubs to hide, as well as water and sand spots.

Planning priorities and urban design concept

The priorities were emancipatory living and experimental living arrangements, 12 apartments accessible to handicapped tenants, environmentally friendly raw materials, and energy-saving construction methods.

The urban planning concept envisaged a 4-storey building connected to a block with three courtyards between Stresemannstraße, Dessauer Straße and Bernburger Straße, with an 8-storey corner building on Stresemannstraße / Dessauer Straße.



Register to join to conversation.