Gerhard Puhlmann: Die Stalinallee: nationales Aufbauprogramm. Verlag der Nation, 1952. Unpaged. Tall quarto (13.5 in./34 cm.) Hardbound with cloth spine. Toned black-and-white reproductions.
Another gem of East German propaganda!
"During the early 1950s, the Western Allied and Soviet sides of Berlin were preparing for the unconventional start of what would become the 'concrete' confrontation between two ideological opposites: capitalism and communism. The will to rebuild Berlin created a range of new visions on urbanism and architecture, which show a remarkable combination of foreign and domestic influences. In the West, under Allied control, modernism was the recipe for rebuilding Berlin, while in the East the opposite direction was dictated according to Soviet models.
Planners and architects working in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) mostly neglected the city’s burnt down monumental buildings. Instead, they worked on the rebuilding of the Frankfurter Strasse as a prototype and propaganda project for the reconstruction of an East German capital. The political agenda behind became even more evident with changing the name of this important traffic artery between Alexanderplatz and the Eastern parts of town to Stalinallee.
A competition was held for the rebuilding project, by which a 'new way' of rebuilding East Berlin was to be implemented. The designers were given 'explicit instructions to follow the tenets contained in Sechzehn Grundsätze des Städtebaus (the Sixteen Principles of Urban Design)'. This prescriptive document was heavily influenced by Moscow and was commonly understood as a counter agenda to the Athens Charter. The Athens Charter, the blueprint for modernist urban planning written up by the members of CIAM, was heavily criticised in East Germany. Modernism was to be neglected as a capitalistic style infused by decadence. Liebknecht, a high positioned architect at the East German Bauakademie, declared that functionalism and the Bauhaus had nothing to do with art. Even state leader Walter Ulbricht preferred socialist realist architecture. Inspired by Soviet examples, socialist realism had a highly monumental notion in the field of architecture and planning. Different from the later conceived and poorly built ‘Plattenbau’, the Stalinallee apartments were luxurious, complete with high ceilings, large windows, and decorations in terracotta. At the point where the Warschauer Strasse crosses the Stalinallee, East German architect Henselmann designed the Frankfurter Tor, giving the Stalinallee its iconic character."--from the (brillian) blog, Failed Architecture
Almost Fine; a bit if abrasion to 'tips'; tiny stain to front board; tightly bound, bright cloth spine.