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Block 121, Schlesisches Tor [Block 121, Schlesisches Tor residential complex], Berlin, Germany (1980-1990)

Block 121, Schlesisches Tor [Block 121, Schlesisches Tor residential complex], Berlin, Germany (1980-1990)

Part of

People

  • Alvaro Siza (archive creator)
  • Alvaro Siza (architect)
  • Peter Brinkert (architect)
  • Uli Böhme (architect)

Title

Block 121, Schlesisches Tor [Block 121, Schlesisches Tor residential complex], Berlin, Germany (1980-1990)

Dates of creation

circa 1980-1990

Level of archival description

Project

Extent and Medium

  • Approximately 865 drawings (including approximately 676 reprographic copies)
  • 329 slides
  • 234 photographs
  • 70 35mm negative strips
  • 33 postcards
  • 9 model pieces
  • 5 contact sheets
  • 0.20 linear meters of textual documentation
  • 4 maps
  • 1 poster
  • 1 certificate

Scope and Content

The project series documents Block 121, better known as Bonjour Tristesse. While the records were held in the office’s archives this project was assigned the number 2/80. This project was one of several projects Siza submitted to the International Architectural Exhibition Berlin competition (International Bauaustellung, IBA, circa 1979-1987), and was Siza’s first international built project.

The IBA was an urban renewal strategy for West Berlin and received submissions from several international architects. The IBA divided West Berlin into two parts: IBA Neubau ('new building'), led by Josef Paul Kleihues and IBA Altbau ('old building') led by Hardt-Walherr Hämer. IBA Nuebau's focus was to build new buildings while IBA Altbau's was to renovate existing buildings. The project site for Block 121 was in the district of Kreuzberg, a district on the eastern side of then West Berlin. Due to low rents, there was an influx of immigrants and students to Kreuzberg in the late 1970s. Bonjour Tristesse would serve as a residential complex for a predominantly Turkish immigrant population. In 1980, Hämer invited Siza to submit an entry for this complex to be built on the east side of Kreuzberg beside the Schlesisches Tor train station. Hämer encouraged the participatory model which Siza had become known for from his work with the Servicio Ambulatorio de Apoio Local (SAAL) in Portugal.

This project series is arranged in four subseries: AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS1, Competition, Block 121 (identified as 2/80); AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS2, Bonjour Tristesse (identified as 2/80 A); AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS3, Kita [Kindergarten] (identified as 2/80 B); and AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS4, Senior Club Anziani [Senior citizens’ clubhouse] (identified as 2/80 C). The office’s archivist assigned the number 2/80 to materials related to the competition phase of this project; letters (A, B, and C) were then assigned to each subsequent portion of the project following the competition. All documentation for this project series, including the project subseries, has been kept together to maintain the order of the office’s arrangement.

Reference Number

AP178.S1.1980.PR02

Arrangement

Material in this series was arranged by Álvaro Siza’s office and has been kept in this order.

This project series is arranged in four subseries: AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS1, Competition, Block 121 (identified as 2/80); AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS2, Bonjour Tristesse (identified as 2/80 A); AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS3 , Kita [Kindergarten] (identified as 2/80 B); and AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS4, Senior Club Anziani [Senior citizens’ clubhouse] (identified as 2/80 C).

Location

Berlin Germany

Credit line

When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation: Álvaro Siza fonds, Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.

Language of material

German, Portuguese, English

Related units of description

  • Sketches for Block 121 are also included in Siza's sketchbooks found in Series AP178.S2 of this fond. Of note are sketchbooks 46, 59, 74, 84, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95, 110, 147, 150, 153, 155, 157, 163 and 168. These sketchbooks include competition and post-competition sketches of Bonjour Tristesse. Some of these sketchbooks also contain sketches of the Kita and the Senior Club Anziani. See Subseries AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS3 and AP178.S1.1980.PR02.SS4 for more details. Researchers may also be interested in the model of this project commissioned by Roberto Cremascoli (ARCH271404) in 2014 for the exhibit entitled "Álvaro Siza. Inside the human being."
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