Case Study – Urban Regeneration Kreuzberg, Berlin


Kreuzberg is adjoint to the Berlin centre and it completed the urban fabric in 1910. In these days, it has huge population and density of urban fabric increased. The city consists of workers and immigrants (especially turkish people) and poor family. Flats rent were low and houses is nor enough. Because of that the infrastructure, green places and housing stoch is not enough.

In 1965, work of renewal began and this term called destruction and reconstruction.

In traditional urban renewal idea, people take away from their homes and region. This event bring about degrease of population. And city had bad effect in terms of economy.

This renewal Works continued until 1970. People started to protest to this event. They dont want to destruction (especially these people includes students, workers, and poor family because they dont want to give up their homes and works. And finally, the governement accept the people protests.

Then, started the term of protection of building.

The Kreuzberg decline because;

It has out dated structures of the neighbourhood

Destruction during the second war 2

Division of the city and the building of the Wall in 1961.


IBA  (ınternational building exhibiton) was an urban renewal projectin Berlin. It initiated in 1979 and completed in 1987.

The IBA has two distinct strategies.

Careful urban renewal

Critical reconstruction

The IBA has twelve principles in urban renewal. These principles make a contrast with 1970s urban renewal idea. They give importance to the local peoples needs. They ask them their needs and according to that, prepared a plan for the renewal.

 The standards of new building

In the new renewal idea, the conservation of existing building became more important but focused on the standard of new buildings.

The aim was : outside old building- inside new building.

The standard of new buildings should include central heating, balconies, fitted kitchens, new floor, and each flat has its own bath and toilet.

All of them have high costruction cost, high rent for flats, and eviction of tenants


And it was started to repair of the buildings.

They repaired roof skin. They dont recontruction because its cost is too high. existing stucco is conserved wherever possible and new method was applied. Climbing plants on the building and murals.

The existing double Windows protected because it was the best protection against cold and noice. The buildings reinforce and improve heat insulation by a second pane.

The principle in here: It is better to restore existing parts than to use new one.


Renovated and living and industrial space conserved as much as possible. They wan to retain the Kreuzberg Mixture. (Working class area  with an intensive mixture of living accomodation and light industry.)

  • Installation of a child day care center
  • Installation of a women’s neighourhood center
  • Numerous gardens planted in the courtyard of renovated


The another urban regeneration topic is the urban ecology. It was important fort he Kreuzberg. Because Kreuzberg has high air pollution and lack of green and open spaces. Before the renewal, It was made many greenry Works in the city.

New courtyard design, people grow plant in their backyard. Also in that term, it was applied on the roof and climbing plant was famous.

The another issue is the new buildings in old surrounding

There was many building and some of them demolish and some of them protection and add some new buildings.

This example is for that. THis building is for old people. It consists seven storey and it is jointed by a hall to an old building. This hall is glazed and people can sit or walk in there. The hall between old and new building provides a place for people meet. THe new part is based on reinforced concrete and brickwork. With this way, new building has a harmony with its old surroundings.

Bonjour Tristesse

Siza’s housing project is placed in the Kreuzberg in 19th century block. As the original corner building was destroyed in the war, a large void was left between the buildings on each side. Following the war, a series of stores was constructed, however this solution did not match the heights of the surrounding .

In 1980 the retail stores were demolished in order to make way for the new Bonjour Tristesse.

The most prominent characteristic of the design is its continuous, curving façade that joins the adjacent buildings and effectively completes the corner of the block.  This sculptural gesture is echoed at the rear of the building as well by a small concave curve.

Another feature is the subtle rising of the roofline towards the corner.

The grey exterior is penetrated by a dense and regular grid of windows, reflecting the typical order and rhythm of surrounding buildings.

Built during a time when the regeneration of Berlin was necessary, Bonjour Tristesse serves as a subtle yet impressive contribution to the city’s post-war identity.

While the rigid window pattern is meant to blend in with its surroundings, the curvilinear form is intended to be a reference to German Expressionism, and thus contrasts with its surroundings. It is this juxtaposition that provides the structure with an extremely unique appearance.

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