Pioneering German blocks get UNESCO status

8th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

Berlin's groundbreaking inter-war social housing has been listed by UNESCO on its world heritage list, filling a gap in the organisation's collection

Quebec City -- The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO added a group of six Berlin housing developments to the world heritage roster Monday, opening a trend to cultural recognition of modern landmarks.

The decision brings Germany's total to 33 sites on the prestigious list, including three in Berlin.

UNESCO said at a meeting Monday in Quebec City, Canada, that the early 20th-century housing developments were to be recognized as a heritage site. The six complexes across the city will officially represent one site, which introduced a new trend of social housing construction.

The structures are recognized as having considerable influence on architecture and urban planning. The developments constructed between 1913 and 1934 were well known for using a horseshoe layout associated with architects Bruno Taut, Hans Scharoun and Walter Gropius. Their clear forms were recognized as influencing construction methods of the entire century.

Germany enjoyed an architectural golden age between the first and second world wars. The 'traditional' gothic style was abandoned and modern homes and offices were constructed from brick with an emphasis on space, light and practicality, vastly improving the living conditions of many.

The German UNESCO delegate in Quebec, Birgitta Ringbeck, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the decision came easily and that the developments filled a gap in the world heritage list. DPA





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