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.
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