Keywords Change this

International Bauausstellung 1987, Social Housing, IBA 1987

Project timeline

1981 – 1985



Location Change this

Friedrichstrasse 43-45
10969 Berlin

Current state


Also known as Change this

IBA Social Housing, Haus am Checkpoint Charlie

Architect Change this

Client Change this

Hauert Noack, GmbH & Company


Article last edited by Zahara on
June 02nd, 2020

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Change this

Berlin, Germany
by Peter Eisenman Change this
1 of 16

Description Change this

The Checkpoint Charlie Museum was originally designed as a residential building on Friedrichstrasse 43 in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg. The building was designed by Peter Eisenman and built as part of the International Building Exhibition (International Bauausstellung or IBA Berlin 1987. It is located opposite another apartment building designed for the International Building Exhibition, Checkpoint Charlie Apartments by Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis and Matthias Sauerbruch.


The building was originally built for social housing in Berlin from 1981 until 1985. The American architect Peter Eisenman belonged to the architecture group, the New York Five. The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is in central Berlin and is a short distance from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, one of Eisenman's most famous works. The building's namesake comes from the then existing adjacent Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point between the two German states, which was necessitated by the Berlin Wall. Today the building houses a museum about the GDR and the Berlin Wall.

Grind Appearance

The appearance of the building at Checkpoint Charlie thrives on interaction of a differing square grid, the meridian and the streetscape. Since the land is situated on the border of two different urban patterns, the excise wall and the Berlin Wall, it is symbolized as the red ribbon in the facade of the 19th Century. Originally a garden was to be built, according to plans by Eisenman, but this was not realized after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this house is located the Wall Museum, which documents the history and events of the Berlin Wall. It was founded in 1962 by Rainer Hildebrandt. It is one of the most visited museums in Germany.

Checkpoint Charlie residential development

The residential and office building is located at Checkpoint Charlie, at the historic epicentre of the Cold War. With this building, IBA Berlin sought to add architectural and functional value to the junction of Kochstrasse/Friedrichstrasse, and implement one of the most important goals of IBA Berlin: Reclaiming the inner city as a residential space.

IBA-Neubau called for a critical reference to the historical location when designing new buildings. The historic city ground plan, with its typical block perimeter development, was to be advanced creatively. And that was the basis for the competition process for Block 5 in the southern Friedrichstadt quarter. American architect Peter Eisenman won the competition with a block concept which, in addition to filling empty sites, includes a green space in the form of an “artificially excavated city with overlapping walls and towers.” The design thus incorporated the border location of the block and the political division of east and west.

While the green space was not implemented, Eisenman designed his residential building at the corner of the block, built in 1986, in a confident contemporary design vocabulary. The building volume is derived by superimposing different geographic orientation grids: One grid refers to the rectangular historic city structure of Friedrichstrasse, while a second grid stands for the Mercator geodesic grid – a symbolic connection between past and present. In terms of architecture history, the building completed in 1986 represents an important contribution for the development of the 1980s and 1990s deconstructivism and became one of the flagships of IBA Berlin.


Posted by Christian | Friday, March 14th, 2014 | 13:18pm
Dear Andreas, thank you for the great link. We will update the entry!
Posted by Guest | Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 | 16:58pm
Posted by Guest | Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 | 16:53pm
sorry to see that there are several mistakes about the house in the text

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