The residential complex at Ritterstraße-Süd, Ritterstraße 61-66, Alte Jakobstraße 122-123, Lindenstraße 28-29, also known as Konzepta-Ritterstraße after its developer, was a pilot project for the International Building Exhibition IBA Berlin 1987.
It was initiated by Senate Building Director Hans Christian Müller. For the first time after the war, a block edge development of detached houses was built here between 1977 and 1980, the execution of which was awarded to different groups of architects. A "unity in diversity" had to be achieved by means of a planning methodology designed for such a collaborative and cooperative project. The consistently young architects coordinated their work in seminars and workshops and, together with the client, authorities and coordinators, developed the system from master planning to the floor plans.
Rob Krier and the Masterplan for Konzepta
An urban design by Rob Krier served as a common base for the design, which brought the concept of small blocks into the process with an additional passage through the neighborhood. With his gatehouse over a connecting north-south passage, Krier built the most prominent building in the complex on the double plot of Ritterstrasse 63-64. For the first time, the architect in Berlin had the opportunity to implement his theses and models published in Stuttgart under the title "Urban space in theory and practice" in 1975 and to test his unusual central room floor plans in residential construction.
In order to enable a floor plan that is adequate for the new construction task and the new living concepts, the Federal Ministry of Building included Ritterstrasse-Süd in the funding program for "experimental and comparative building projects". The focus was on large apartments that meet different forms of living and co-living, on living and mediating between street and the courtyard, communicative connections between individual rooms on a floor plan level and on circular loops through the apartments. These were the common principles in the 13 houses. Common areas were also planned and oriented towards the courtyard allowing the residents to enjoy the experimental living project.
Ritterstrasse-Süd: a pilot project for IBA 1984/87
In none of the following new construction projects in Berlin was the ‘paradigm shift in planning culture’ as politically supported as in Ritterstrasse-Süd. The facility alternated between the planning principles and design ideas since the Second Urban Renewal Program of 1974 and a realignment and internationalization was seen towards the end of the 80s and the ideologies were strengthened even further in the follow-up projects of the IBA 1984/87.
As a pilot project of the IBA, Ritterstraße-Süd was the "pilgrimage site for all architects traveling to Berlin" and was the subject of controversial debates among the specialist public until the exhibition year 1987.