When the Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg districts were merged as part of the Berlin administrative reform in 2001. Many viewed the move as building bridges – or rather, one specific bridge – between the east and the west. Where once the River Spree served to divide the city as the border of the GDR. Today the bustling Oberbaumbrücke bridge unites it, along with the two subdistricts the bridge connects.
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is the smallest of Berlin’s 12 districts in terms of area – but it’s also the most densely populated and its inhabitants are the youngest on average. The various cultural venues and exciting night life. And the district is famous for are concentrated primarily in traditional neighbourhoods. Whose streets are lined with old buildings, the great majority of which have now been refurbished.
A completely new neighbourhood is build in what was once a desolate area on the Friedrichshain side of the Spree. The so-called Mediaspree is one of the biggest investment projects in Berlin. Here, a new event hall, a concert hall, cinemas, and various large and small restaurants are under construction. Alongside office buildings that will mainly house companies from digital industries. The development’s residential and apartment buildings, some of which are located directly on the banks of the Spree. These are among the most expensive in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.
The postwar modernist estates in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg attract less attention than other neighbourhoods. Here, new housing was developed on a grand scale in both East and West Berlin between the 1960s and 1980s. The area east and southeast of Alexanderplatz in Friedrichshain contains a large number of prefabricated buildings with plenty of green spaces in between – and it’s incredibly quiet and peaceful here, despite the central location.
The large housing estate at Hallesches Tor is a major residential development in Kreuzberg. This development was recently expanded by removing car parks – relics of a car- friendly city planning approach – and replacing them with new apartment buildings. Potential has been tapped in the past, and still continues to be tapped, for new construction on a large scale in Kreuzberg. The formerly desolate area around the Gleisdreieck underground station formerly is under transformation into a park with adjacent residential buildings.
Mediaspree is slowly starting to take its final shape, but construction cranes are stilldominating the skyline.