The construction of plattenbauten (Platte – plate, Bauten – buildings) began in the 1960’s and arose out of necessity as the city’s housing crisis deepened. Actually plattenbauten were constructed in many cities in Europe during this time as mass destruction after the second world war was followed by a large population increase as refugee numbers increased. This resulted in an urgent need to build scaleable low cost housing.
The plattenbauten were produced en masse, one design at a time and that design i.e. #70 would be used repeatedly, until a new design was deemed necessary. The plattenbauten were designed to create fast and cheap housing solutions, in fact it’s said that some of the designs could be erected in less than a day. They were usually at least 5 storeys high and extremely uniform in appearance. It’s said that people who lived in them would have to count the windows up and to the left or right to identify their apartment from the street because the outside of the buildings had no distinguishing characteristics to speak off.
There were only a few variations on the design of a plattenbau and as such, each of the designs were given a number such as 58 or 70. Each plattenbau was made from prefabricated concrete panels outside and the inside consisted of lots of plastic with some chrome and wood fittings here and there. The style of these apartments became representative of the era and is one of the highlights of the wonderful DDR Museum, which covers the history of Germany during the time of Socialism.
The apartment is in a Plattenbau and these have shaped the face of Berlin life for more than 50 years. This unique architectural style can be found throughout the city. It’s in these buildings that you will meet the real Berliners. The Berlin Apartment building faces Alexanderplatz, and it’s 8th floor position provides great views across the rooftops to the TV Tower (Fernsehturm). A typical style of Berlin housing is apartments built around a courtyard (hoff) or a park and this one is no different. The apartment offers a serene leafy outlook from your bedroom windows over the courtyard and park below.