16 October 2012

Hansaviertel, north of Tiergarten in Berlin, rebuilt in the post-war period. An area with a twist: leading architects like Alvar Aalto, Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen contributed to it for Interbau 57 (IBA - International Building Exhibition). This was an early West Berlin showcase, whilst the East was building up the Karl Marx allee in Stalinist style. Hansaviertel ignores the original street grid, the buildings are set in a park-like environment. 

The stamp commemorates IBA 57. For those of you interested: it is a axonometric drawing, in line with the logo, which looks like an O with a bend and reads like a B(erlin?). I had a chance to visit one of the flats, designed by Danish Kay Fisker. See below for some of the original features. Fisker's building is on the stamp (...): the third block to the left starting from the bottom of the big 7 in the corner.      
Autumn is probably a great time to visit the Hansaviertel, with the trees providing an amazing backdrop to the starkly modernist buildings. 

I am not sure whether the Hansaviertel is a listed site, but the outside of the buildings is certainly taken care off. All of the buildings originally had wooden window frames, some buildings had them replaced by aluminium. In the Frisker building some had been replaced by new wooden frames. No PVC here!

Alvar Aalto's contribution, it seems to have a slight bend, making the balconies appear irregular. 

This is the building designed by Fisker. Note the park-like setting. The building consists of duplex flats: galleries on one floor and square windows for bathroom and bedrooms on another.

Original internal staircase, painted in Falu-red, a traditional Swedish colour. The new cabinet underneath happens to be Scandinavian as well: check out www.bolia.com. The owner of the apartment reckons that the original flooring would have been blue linoleum. 
Upstairs, this is the top floor of the building, with a slightly slanted roof: original built-in cupboards in bedroom and also in corridor.

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