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Böhm House - Pragerplatz

Berlin, Germany
1 of 8beckerundkries

Prager Platz 4/5 is a residential and commercial building at Prager Platz in the Charlottenberg district of West Berlin's Wilmersdorf. The building was designed by Pritzker Prize winning German architect Gottfried Böhm and is a part of a larger block development at Prager platz.

It is an important testimony from an urban planning perspective. With Gottfried Böhm, Rob Krier and Carlo Aymonino, the development brings together three of the most famous architects of postmodernism. Despite the individual design of the individual buildings, they are held together by an overarching urban design concept.

Pre IBA’87

Only the urban planning report in the run-up to the IBA Berlin 1987 developed solvable scenarios for a new space design. As a demonstration project in the “Models for a City” series, Gottfried Böhm, Rob Krier and Carlo Aymonino created visions of an urban space that had been redesigned based on historical principles. The model examinations of 1976 form the groundwork for the theoretical concept of critical reconstruction that was used at the IBA Berlin 1987. Here the typologies and terms were developed. The debates between Böhm, Krier and Aymonino formulated the possibilities for further thinking about urban spaces based on their historical shape and their traditional education. At Prager Platz it is evident like hardly anywhere else in Berlin that there is more behind the concept of critical reconstruction.

These observations make the edge of the square on Prager Platz a tangible model not only for the demands of the IBA '87. The urban planning concept is a significant reflection of the content and theories of postmodern building itself: namely the translation of traditional typologies into contemporary uses and architectural language. This also includes the unmistakable and necessary confrontation of historical traditions with socially revised requirements for life and living.

Residential and commercial building at Prager Platz 4/5 by Gottfried Böhm

The residential and commercial building at Prager Platz 4/5, planned by Gottfried Böhm quotes the forms of the building that stood there until the end of the war. Böhm takes up the lines of alignment of the old houses and also finds a solution based on the historical model for corner emphasis. Böhm calls it "democratization" of the design and typology. The spatial program and design were revised according to the new and changed social demands. There is no emphasis on the grand residential floor (the upper floor). The floor heights, with the exception of the shop zone on the ground floor, are the same. The building is entered at ground level. Böhm realizes his own claim in this building, “the experience of social change through the experience of architecture”. The Prager Platz 4/5 property is one of the important works of the architect Böhm.