On Chausseestraße, along the former border between East and West Berlin, the green ensemble of buildings by Eike Becker_Architekten seems to abolish the borders between city and countryside. The design transfers the idea of the Berlin Hofgärten from the 19th century into the modern age, with Riehmer's Hofgarten in Kreuzberg and the Amalienpark in Pankow serving as models. The result is a quiet green living oasis in the middle of the pulsating city. Balconies, terraces, allotments and an unusual open space design counter the urban hectic life with a garden idyll in which the metropolis feels like a never-ending Sunday in the countryside. The garden appears surprisingly spacious and generous - this is due to the continuation of the green corridor created in the courtyard by the cemetery at the rear of the complex, which formas a distinctive line of sight framed by a picturesque chapel. The inner-city garden idyll is surrounded by modern architecture. Sixteen individual houses, with façades of varying materiality and colour, make each individual building unique.
As more and more people move to the city for attractive jobs, good infrastructure and a wide range of cultural and leisurely opportunities, open spaces must make room for living space. But the fewer open spaces there are, the worse the climate – and the greater people's need for nature. By increasingly blurring the boundaries between city and countryside, the growing urban population is redefining urbanity, bringing nature back into the urban space. More and more people are coming together in community and neighbourhood gardens to design their surroundings and experience nature within the city. Flower gardens and vegetable patches are popping up on roofs, in industrial wastelands or backyards. While urban gardeners were initially ridiculed as dilletant big-city ecologists, planners and scientists now see in them an opportunity to confront the social and ecological problems arising from expanding cities. Green housing projects like The Garden are in vogue because they prove that densely populated cities and natural spaces can be connected.