How Germany Successfully Renovated Old Socialist Apartment Blocks Into Modern Looking Buildings

From cheap affordable working-class apartments to modern day luxury…

ifinnsson (CC0), Pixabay

During the post World War period both Soviets, Yugoslavs, Czecho-Slovaks but also many Western countries had the main task to prove their growing urban population with huge number of affordable apartments. During this period, many prefab houses were built, in which many people still live. On example such “panels” were built in East Germany (ex DDR), but while in the countries of the former Soviet Union such houses became obsolete and are subject to demolition.

Germans decided not to demolish five-story buildings, but to perform a complete renovation, which they considered economically more profitable.

Perhaps the main change was the dismantling of the unifying segment. In this way, the architects divided one long stretching building into 2 or more writes micccp.

Then the apartments were insulated according to the requirements of the law and repainted from gray to brighter: beige, brown, green, purple…

In many of these block three floors were made of five floors. Meaning apartments became more spacious.

To make a new type of blocks, it wasn’t accomplished just by painting. The houses got built, balconies, loggias and outdoor elevators. It may seem that only underground parking is missing, but there is more than enough space for cars.

The builders took care of the safety of residents, erecting a kind of a buffer zone in the form of a low brick wall separating the entrances from the roadway.

Particularly noteworthy are the trash cans guarded by fenced bars with a lock. So tenants can be sure that no one else will throw garbage in their container.

German yards also differ from ours. Paths are paved with sidewalk, and lawn and well-groomed plants are considered mandatory.

How do you evaluate the German approach to the Soviet panel houses? Only one painting of houses is worth something!

What do you think?

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