The structural division of Berlin reveals a tripartite division into the city, the Wilhelminian metropolitan belt and outlying districts: At the core of the urban agglomeration lies the city that has been most affected by war, the post-war period and reunification. Even today, with a small resident population, it is the seat of important administrative, economic and cultural institutions. The Wilhelminian metropolitan belt, which adjoins the outside on all sides and is structured by traffic facilities, waters, industrial and green areas, is the most important urban sub-area with very dense development, but also many green areas in terms of population and economic power. Old, predominantly urbanized village centers bear witness to earlier stages of settlement development. The connected by the S-Bahn-Ring, 1961 at the sector border, however, separate links of the city belt have taken over numerous functions of the core area after the extensive failure of the old city. The zoo district, which used to compete with the old city, was also created after severe war damage Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzienstrasse as the city of Berlin (West) new.
Fehrbelliner Platz has gained great importance as an administrative center. The city districts and suburbs are structurally extremely diverse. In addition to extensive agriculturally used areas (especially in the northeast), there are local recreation areas (forests, bodies of water) in the southeast, southwest and northwest. Along the railways and roads leading into the surrounding area, partly alternating with industrial areas, a mostly loosened up residential development of different ages, which is always based on the village center, extends far into the surrounding area. Extensive industrial areas have settled on the Spree and Oberhavel, long stretches of the canals and along the railway lines. In between there are extensive allotment gardens.
After 1945 (up to 1986) around 1 million apartments with all the facilities were built, of which around 570,000 (up to the end of 1986) were new apartments in West Berlin, mainly in large settlements; these are in Berlin (West) and others. Charlottenburg-Nord, the Märkisches Viertel, the Falkenhagener Feld, the Gropiusstadt and Lichterfelde-Süd, in Berlin (East) the Salvador-Allende-Viertel in Köpenick, the Neanderviertel, the Hans-Loch-Siedlung and Marzahn. In the city, which has been growing again since 2011, there is a lack of affordable housing. The deficiency is to be remedied by designating “city quarters” in the housing and urban development program.
The historic cityscape was destroyed in World War II and torn apart by the construction of the Berlin Wall. The tasks resulting from the unification of the two halves of the city, which were separated from 1948-90, continue to pose a major challenge to urban planning.
The oldest sacred buildings include the former Franciscan monastery church (around 1300; ruins), the reconstructed Nikolaikirche (1230–1470) used for exhibitions and the Marienkirche (13th / 15th centuries). The Grunewald hunting lodge (Caspar Theyss, 1542; now a museum) and the Spandau Citadel (built as a fortress based on the Italian model from 1560–94) date from the Renaissance. The Ribbeckhaus (1624) next to the New Marstall is the only surviving late Renaissance townhouse in Berlin.
The Baroque period had a major impact on the cityscape: Charlottenburg Palace (1695–1791 by K. Nering, J. F. Eosander von Göthe, G. W. von Knobelsdorff and C. G. Langhans; in the courtyard of the equestrian monument to the Great Elector by A. Schlueter, 1696 ff., Formerly on the Long Bridge at the Berlin City Palace; in the park, mausoleum of Queen Luise by K. F. Schinkel, marble sarcophagus by C. D. Rauch), armory (1695–1706, the 22 masks of dying warriors by Schlueter are a highlight of German baroque sculpture; today the seat of the German Historical Museum, modern extension by Pei Ieoh Ming 1999–2003) and the Berlin City Palace (1699–1715 by Schlüter and Eosander von Göthe; badly damaged in 1944/45, blown up and demolished in 1950/51; new building as »Humboldt Forum« finally decided by the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate in 2007; From September 2008 to August 2010 the »Temporary Art Hall« was open on the square, which served as an exhibition space for artists living in Berlin [dismantled at the beginning of 2011], in 2013 the foundation stone was laid for the replica of the palace). In its place, including the historical pleasure garden (former park by P. J. Lenné, started in 1832; leveled since 1935, redesigned in 1998/99 based on plans by Schinkel) the Marx-Engels-Platz (today again Schlossplatz) was laid out and the former State Council building (1962-64, by Josef Kaiser and Roland Korn, interior design by Hans-Erich Bogatzky), a steel frame building, into which a two-storey baroque portal of the castle was built. Frederick the Great was by Knobelsdorff the Court Opera (1741-43, after fire of 1843 C. F. Langhans renewed and today German State Opera) and the Prince Heinrich Palace (1748-66, baroque three-wing building, designed by Knobelsdorff, since 1810 the seat of the university); He also left the Old Library (1775–80 based on the model of the Michaeler tract of the Vienna Hofburg; burned out in 1945, restored from 1967–69) and the Hedwig Cathedral (1747–73 based on the model of the Roman pantheon; burned out in 1943, heavy during reconstruction 1952–63 changed, modernized inside). Basically going back to an urban planning by Knobelsdorff, these buildings formed the so-called Forum Fridericianum (Lindenforum).
Schinkel’s buildings were created in classicism (including Neue Wache, 1816–18, Central Memorial in Germany since 1993; Altes Museum, 1822–30; Schauspielhaus, 1818–21; Friedrichswerder Church, 1824–30, restored, since 1987 Schinkel Museum), the Brandenburg Gate (1788–91 by C. G. Langhans based on the model of the Propylaea on the Athens Acropolis; Quadriga with the goddess of victory by G. Schadow in 1794), Berlin’s landmark, and the buildings on Pfaueninsel (palace completed as an artificial ruin in 1797, also dairy farm, Kavaliershaus with 1826 by Schinkel Facade of a late Gothic town house in Gdańsk, Luisentempel, etc.), Bellevue Palace (1785–89, the first official residence of the Federal President since 1994), Tegel Palace (1820–24 by Schinkel, Humboldt Museum), Kleinglienicke Palace (1826 by Schinkel) and the Gothicized one Kreuzbergdenkmal (cast iron national monument designed by Schinkel for the Wars of Liberation 1813–15).
The most uniform building ensemble in Berlin is the Gendarmenmarkt with Schinkel’s theater (1818–21), flanked by the German and French Domes (1701–08, the domed towers 1780–85 by K. von Gontard), designed as counterparts. Impressive buildings can be found along the magnificent avenue “Unter den Linden”, which was laid out in the Dutch style in 1647: Schlossbrücke (1819–24 by Schinkel), Kronprinzenpalais (17th –19th centuries), Prinzessinnenpalais (1733–37, now Operncafé), in front of it four military monuments von Rauch (1819 ff.), Zeughaus, Neue Wache and Singakademie (1825–27, today Maxim-Gorki-Theater). Rauch’s equestrian statue of Frederick the Great (1851), installed in Potsdam in the Park of Sanssouci since 1963, has been in »Unter den Linden« again since 1981.
Buildings from the Wilhelmine era include the Victory Column on the Großer Stern in the Tiergarten (1865–73), the Cathedral at the Lustgarten (1894–1904; badly damaged in 1944, rebuilt and re-consecrated in 1993; valuable pieces of equipment, including Hohenzollern sarcophagi based on designs by Schlüter); Also important is the Red Town Hall (1861–69 in red brick with terracottas) with a 74 m high tower. The building of the former Reichstag (1884–94 by P. Wallot, heavily damaged in 1933 and 1945; restored) was converted from 1995–99 by N. Foster as the seat of parliament (including a glass dome). The partially destroyed tower of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (F. Schwechten, 1891–95) was moved to the new church building by E. Eiermann Included in 1962.
The Museum Island between the Spree and the Kupfergraben with the Old Museum (1822–30), the New Museum (1843–55), the Old National Gallery (1866–76) is a unique building ensemble., Pergamon Museum (1909–30) and Bode Museum (1897–1903). After the First World War, pioneering large estates (including Siemensstadt and Britz) and modern individual buildings were built: the assembly hall of the AEG turbine factory (1909 by P. Behrens), radio tower (1924–26 by Heinrich Straumer), broadcasting house (1929–31 by H. Poelzig), Shellhaus (1928–31 by E. Fahrenkamp), Olympiastadion (1934–36 by W. March; 2000-04 provided with a spectator canopy according to the design by Gerkan, Marg & Partner and completely modernized). As a result of the severe destruction of the city in the Second World War, the construction of settlements was also of great importance after 1945. This is how the Gropiusstadt (1964 ff.) Came into being in the southeast and the Märkisches Viertel (1963 ff.) In the north. The Hansa district at Tiergarten, built by international architects (including W. Gropius, O. Niemeyer) between 1955 and 1960, is a residential area designed for Interbau 1957. As part of the International Building Exhibition Berlin (IBA) 1987, under the direction of J. P. Kleihues (since 1979) New buildings and renovations carried out (SO 36, Südliche Friedrichstadt, Luisenstadt). The numerous examples of modern individual buildings from the 20th century also include the Corbusier House (1957), the Congress Hall (1957 by H. A. Stubbins, partially collapsed in 1980, rebuilt in 1986 and reopened in 1989 as the House of World Cultures), the European Center (1963/64 by H. Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg), the Philharmonie and the Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage (1960–63 and 1967–78 by H. Scharoun), the Neue Nationalgalerie (1965–68 by L. Mies van the raw one), the International Congress Center (ICC; 1976–79), the Bauhaus Archive, Museum of Design (designed in 1964 by Gropius, modified in 1976–79).