Schlesische Strasse 1-9, ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Alvaro Siza

I’d walked past this Kreuzberg block numerous times without noticing it; it’s entirely grey (I’m surprised it wasn’t given a ‘mediterranean’ colour scheme like Fraenkelufer).  But its curved roofline and subtle detailing into the adjoining block mark it out as different.

The block was constructed as part of the IBA 1987, which included major refurbishing/part rebuilding of other buildings on the block (numbered as ‘Block 121’, part of the Altbau programme).  However, Bonjour Tristesse (nos 1-9) is the key piece of ‘architecture’.  What’s interesting, I think, is the integration into the surrounding blocks, of a roofline and plan shape unfamiliar to Berlin.

\'Bonjour Tristesse\', Schlesisches Strasse, Kreuzberg, Berlin

\'Bonjour Tristesse\', eaves detail

I also managed to sneak in round the back recently (access to hofs are often controlled) so a couple of poorish quality camera snaps.

Clearly the plan shape is fundamentally different from the traditional rectilinear plans of the surrounding late 19th centry blocks. Best to view it from above, which hopefully works via the wonder of Google maps via this link. If it doesn’t, just search for the curvy block at the junction of Schlesische Strase and Falckensteinstrasse. The block address numbers don’t seem to help much.

Finally, one of Manchester University’s ever useful videos on the subect…



3 thoughts on “Schlesische Strasse 1-9, ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Alvaro Siza

    • Hi Bettina, thanks! I haven’t lived in Berlin for a couple of years, but am back in August, looking forward to exploring again…


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