Value and Making of Hobrecht’s Berlin. Growth, change and heritage of the Berlin city expansion

2014 – 2018

The development plan for the environments of Berlin, approved in 1862, created the basis on which the inner city has been built on till today. As a product of the capitalist-liberal economic order in the 19th century, the plan is the starting point of a debate about planning as a public policy. For the international exponents of urban modernity Hobrecht embodied the negative example of a socially blind reactionary planning, whose spatial realization had to be removed. Since the questioning of the guiding principles of modernistic town planning, the criticism on James Hobrecht has been questioned and the plan itself equated with the 19th century neighborhoods in an idealizing way. Accordingly, the development plan is a recurring reference not only in the study of the Berlin urban development, but also of the history of European planning paradigms.

The plan has undergone different interpretations, in which design, realization and transformation mix in various ways. Yet, ideas and real history have hardly been considered in relation to each other. This is the project’s starting point: The interdisciplinary research project aims to illuminate the history of ideas and the real history of the plan and the planning area in an integrated way. By focusing on the example of Berlin, the project examines general principles of the emergence and change in urban structures and in the planning discipline. The project runs from 2014-2016.

RESEARCH

The development plan for the environments of Berlin, approved in 1862, created the basis on which the inner city has been built on till today. As a product of the capitalist-liberal economic order in the 19th century, the plan is the starting point of a debate about planning as a public policy. For the international exponents of urban modernity Hobrecht embodied the negative example of a socially blind reactionary planning, whose spatial realization had to be removed. Since the questioning of the guiding principles of modernistic town planning, the criticism on James Hobrecht has been questioned and the plan itself equated with the 19th century neighborhoods in an idealizing way. Accordingly, the development plan is a recurring reference not only in the study of the Berlin urban development, but also of the history of European planning paradigms.

The plan has undergone different interpretations, in which design, realization and transformation mix in various ways. Yet, ideas and real history have hardly been considered in relation to each other. This is the project’s starting point: The interdisciplinary research project aims to illuminate the history of ideas and the real history of the plan and the planning area in an integrated way. By focusing on the example of Berlin, the project examines general principles of the emergence and change in urban structures and in the planning discipline. The project runs from 2014-2016.

Funding: DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Researchers: Prof. Dr. Angela Million, Felix Bentlin, Laura Calbet i Elias

cooperating partners:
Prof. Elke Pahl-Weber – Fachgebiet Bestandsentwicklung und Erneuerung von Siedlungseinheiten, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung (ISR), TU Berlin

Prof. Dr. Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper – Fachgebiet Denkmalpflege, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung (ISR), TU Berlin

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Publications

coming soon: Dolff-Bonekämper, Gabi / Million, Angela / Pahl-Weber, Elke (Hg.) (2018): Das Hobrechtsche Berlin. Wachstum, Wandel und Wert der Berliner Stadterweiterung. Band XX in der Reihe Grundlagen. DOM publishers, Berlin.

Bentlin, Felix (2017): Understanding the Hobrecht Plan. Origin, composition, and implementation of urban design elements in the Berlin expansion plan from 1862. In: Planning Perspectives. ISBN (Print): upcoming print publication in 2018. DOI (Online): https://doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2017.140848

Calbet i Elias, Laura / Hutterer, Florian / Uttke; Angela (2013): 150 Jahre Hobrechtplan. Die wiederkehrende Frage nach dem großen Plan. In: AK Städtebau SRL „Der Große Plan. Aktuelle Beiträge zum Städtebau.“ Berlin. S. 123-126. ISSN 0936-0778.

Bentlin, Felix (2012): Raumschule Neukölln – Architekturvermittlung durch Mapping im Hobrecht’schen Berlin. In: PLANERIN 5/2012: Pixel, Bits & Netzwerke, S. 43-44.

Uttke, Angela / Brück, Andreas / Heinrich, Anna Juliane (2012): Mapping Hobrecht Neukölln. In: Bezirksamt Neukölln von Berlin (Hrsg.): QUER/STRASSE. Die Schülerworkshops 2012 zur Sanierung der Karl-Marx-Straße. Projektdokumentation, S. 6-13. Zugriff unter http://www.aktion-kms.de/files/schuelerworkshops_2012.pdf

Rhede, Christiane / Hutterer, Florian / Herold, Stephanie / Calbet i Elias, Laura (2011): Bebauungs- oder Freiflächenplan? Die Rolle des öffentlichen Raumes bei Hobrecht. In: Flecken / Calbet i Elias (Hrsg.):  Der öffentliche Raum? Sichten, Reflexionen, Beispiele. Berlin 2011, S. 95-106.

Classes

SS 2011 Stegreif MA SRP & UD: Mapping das Hobrechtsche Berlin I – Cerda meets Hobrecht, Million/Brück/Calbet i Elias

SS 2012 Stegreif MA SRP & UD: Mapping das Hobrechtsche Berlin II – Auf der Suche nach Hobrecht in Neukölln, Million/Brück

WS 2015/16 MA-Projekt SRP & UD: Housing for the MASS – Old Ideas, new Forms of Urban Living, Million/Bentlin/Calbet i Elias