On my ride east to the Global Craft Beer Festival this past weekend, I traveled along Frankfurter Allee and Alt-Friedrichsfelde, a long stretch of road that is part of the Bundesstraße 1, a federal highway traveling east-west in Germany. Since it’s a main thoroughfare for cars, there isn’t much “cultural” life on the road. Instead, there are shopping centers here and there, and a lot of Plattenbauten. These high-rise apartments are made of prefabricated material, which meant they were easy and inexpensive to make during the GDR.
On one hand, these buildings are really simplistic, mass-produced, and kind of ugly. On the other hand, they still have a lot of room for variation in color and design, so they’re not all the same. I stopped quite a bit on my bike ride to take some photos, because I think they’re so interesting, even if there is this sort of apocalyptic feel to them.