Berlin's Unesco heritage sites include the obvious crowd pleasers Museum Island and various palaces, but also a scattered group of less gaudy jewels: the Modernism Housing Estates. Located outside the city center (which spared their destruction in WWII), they're worth the trip, and not just for urban planning buffs. The six subsidized housing estates (Siedlungen) were designed by Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner and Walter Gropius between 1910 and 1933, and testify to Berlin's innovative housing policies, especially during the über-progressive Weimar Republic. The estates – apartment complexes and gardens – were developed during the building reform movement that revolutionized low-income housing. Taut, Gropius and Wagner sought to create affordable yet beautiful and functional living conditions through novel design, architecture, gardens and urban planning. These early examples influenced architecture and city planning around the world.

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
Berlin neighborhoods of Falkenberg, Prenzlauer Berg, Wedding, Reinickendorf, Charlottenburg

Horseshoe Estate :: on a winter's day

Horsehoe Estate :: planned by Bruno Taut

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