Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp MisselwitzHannes Langguth

Dreams of Beyond: Revisiting the Urban Periphery of Berlin 

‘Outer City Becomes Inner City’ is the headline for the planned IBA Berlin 2020. Due to the rising development pressure on inner city quarters within the city’s S-Bahn-ring, the city is shifting its focus onto its periphery beyond. But a simple export of classical paradigms of the compact European city - ‘Inner City’ - is unlikely to succeed. Which alternative visions and strategic models could be appropriated for a space that is, above all, characterized through extreme heterogeneity, discontinuity and fragmentation? Do the deficiencies of these sites possibly also reveal their very potential and inherent strength? Rather than attempting to superimpose one over the other and eliminate difference, could we consider the value of a more symbiotic relationship of differences?

This design research project investigates the ambivalent space of Berlin’s ‘Outer City’ as a historical laboratory for alternative / counter designs that always engaged with the ‘Inner City’ in a dialectical relationship: a space for diverse projections and longings that could not fit into the tightly regulated inner city, the testing of different individualistic or collective visions or societal models, a search space, space for escape or repression. The result is a multi-layered and complex landscape of fragments of past and present projections of vastly different scales and spatial manifestations including garden city models, detached family house idylls, mass housing experiments, allotment gardens, shopping malls, infrastructures or small niches for alternative experiments.

Two investigative frames will be defined (sample strips) and examined as archives of manifestations of these various utopias. Found fragments will be investigated in terms of their origin (political, cultural, spatial), present day constitution (use, actors) as well as conflicts and transformation potential. As a result, the research will be compiled in an Outer City Atlas which will become an archive of ideas for the IBA 2020 and the basis for the first international IBA Summer Academy (August 10 – 25, 2013).

The project will be taught in close cooperation with:
Urban Catalyst Studio, Raumlaborberlin

Course Information+

Teaching Research Project, 15 ECTS
MA Arch: E. 05, P
MA UD:  PJ 1-3 
MA SRP: PJ 1-3

Teaching day
Thursday, 10 am - 4 pm, A 202

First meeting
April 12, 2013, 10 am, A 202

Open Studio
April 9, 2013, 10 am, A 202


Hannes Langguth

Room A 621 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907