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Risen from RuinsThe Cultural Politics of Rebuilding East Berlin$
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Paul Stangl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603202

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603202.001.0001

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City Plans

City Plans

(p.62) 2 City Plans
Risen from Ruins

Paul Stangl

Stanford University Press

Between 1945 and 1949 a series of modernist plans were developed for Berlin. In this time of political turmoil, planners and politicians projected a broad range of meanings onto the plans. After the founding of the East German state, Lothar Bolz orchestrated the adoption of socialist realism as state policy, requiring a return to traditional urban design. This theory included a range of tenets guiding planning, but Walter Ulbricht intervened to assure that planning would be dominated by a concern for parade routes leading to an immense square in the city center. In response to West Berlin’s international building exhibition, the German Democratic Republic held their own design competition for a “socialist” city center in 1958. The recent introduction of industrialized building, along with uncertainty and debate over the nature of “socialist” architecture, was evident in designs with a range of influences, including international modernism, midcentury modernism, and socialist realism.

Keywords:   City planning, modernism, Athens Charter, midcentury modernism, socialist realism, state parade, demonstrations, technological optimism

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