View Full Version : More achitecture crack for mr. g - German tower block recycling

14-11-2005, 16:25:36

It looks like many other desirable new homes: a light, spacious two-storey villa with a cool, geometric simplicity. But architect Hervé Biele's first built project, in Mehrow, just outside Berlin, is more than it seems. In its previous life, it was a grim communist tower block in an East German housing estate.

The plattenbauen were the GDR's one-stop solution to its gargantuan housing problems - the architectural equivalent of the Trabant car. Made from prefabricated concrete panels, they were churned out fast and cheap in a handful of blankly functional, almost indistinguishable designs, usually five to 11 storeys high, arranged in long, relentless blocks.

But when the Berlin wall came down, and the east got to see what standards in the west were like, nobody wanted to live in a plattenbau any more.

So what to do with them? Plenty of plattenbauen were modernised and are still occupied, but the government plans to demolish at least 350,000 homes in the next five years. Until recently, the only course of action was to grind the concrete to rubble and use it for road building, but projects like Biele's have put the legacy of the plattenbau in a different light.

"We don't have to pay for the panels - they're garbage," he explains, on site. "We just come here and say, 'We want this one, this one and this one'; and then we cut them to shape right here and take them away to put up on site. The only thing we have to do is take the wallpaper off them." Lying next to the ruins of a tower block is a stack of fresh panels for Biele's next project, a two-bedroom house with an adjoining guest flat, 30km away. Each panel is labelled according to its eventual position as a floor or a wall.

Behind the site, another scarred and vandalised 11-storey behemoth sits empty, awaiting a similar treatment. "Out of each floor, I can make one small house, so there's 11 houses there," says Biele. "It's like building out of Lego."

14-11-2005, 16:44:10
who would want to live in Meh Row???

14-11-2005, 16:59:20
I think Annie (the ginger orphan) must have lived there...

Dyl Ulenspiegel
14-11-2005, 18:01:26

14-11-2005, 19:47:49

15-11-2005, 07:24:28
that is not ARCHITECTURE............

15-11-2005, 09:02:24

Dyl Ulenspiegel
15-11-2005, 09:10:09
It's dutch architecture.

15-11-2005, 09:13:55
go play with yourself dyl.......
in this thread I am the Law

Dyl Ulenspiegel
15-11-2005, 09:29:25
You are the law of architecture, Mr Plattenbau.

15-11-2005, 09:35:05

15-11-2005, 11:04:57

15-11-2005, 11:17:40

15-11-2005, 11:24:19
DJ Drek en MC MisterG

Dyl Ulenspiegel
15-11-2005, 11:25:36
Elvis has left the Platte.

15-11-2005, 11:27:07
Elvis hat die plattenbau erlassen

15-11-2005, 11:28:19
Originally posted by Drekkus
DJ Drek en MC MisterG Yoooo Sven!!!