Six Years in the Making, Berlin’s IBeB Cooperative Housing Development Creates a Tight-Knit Community of Residents

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Recently shortlisted for the 2019 EU Mies Award, the 66-unit project’s lengthy customization process and ample common spaces form a community from the ground up.

It’s impossible to build in Berlin without getting an earful of history, architectural and otherwise, though some sites come with more chatter than others.

Located at one of Berlin’s noisier spots is a cooperative housing project that’s catchily titled Integratives Bauprojekt am ehemaligen Blumengroßmarkt, which roughly translates to “integrative construction project at the former Berlin flower market.” (It’s better known as “IBeB.”) Designed by a partnership of local architects ifau and Heide & Von Beckerath, it directly faces Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum (itself attached to the Baroque former Berlin Museum) and finds itself amid a smattering of Berlin classics: Hejduk’s Kreuzberg Tower, the golden Axel-Springer-Hochhaus, 1970s social housing, 19th-century Gründerzeit blocks, and Sauerbruch Hutton’s GSW headquarters.

While the construction of a large housing development at such a centrally located and historically loaded neighborhood is surprising and inspiring, even more impressive are the politics and design collaboration that made it possible…

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