Synopses & Reviews
Divided Berlin provides an ideal case study for an investigation into the relationship between political ideology and a city's built environment and furthermore, the effect of this relationship on the construction of national identity. Throughout the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s, both East and West Germany sought to articulate ideologies and values in built form as part of an effort to establish legitimacy vis-a-vis the other Germany. This study considers the processes by which such ideas were communicated through architecture, as well as the degree to which the resulting buildings were accepted and/or acknowledged as symbols of a shared, national culture in either East or West. By looking at specific projects, such as the Berlin State Library ( Staatsbibliothek, Hans Scharoun, 1967-78) in West Berlin and the Palace of the Republic (Palast der Republik, Heinz Graffunder, et al. 1973-76) in East Berlin, this dissertation considers how and to what extent architecture helped to forge a sense of national identity in either country and in doing so examines the other kinds of divides that resulted from the physical and political division of Berlin.