On Chausseestraße, where the border between East and West Berlin once ran, 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. Riehmer's Hofgarten in Kreuzberg and the Amalienpark in Pankow served 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 fact that the garden appears surprisingly spacious and generous is mainly due to the fact that a cemetery at the rear continues the green corridor created in the courtyard; and, with its picturesque chapel, it forms a distinctive line of sight. The inner-city garden idyll is surrounded by modern architecture. Sixteen individual houses, whose façades are quite different in their materiality and colourfulness, make each individual building unique.
As more and more people move to the cities because of attractive jobs, good infrastructure and a wide range of cultural, shopping and leisure facilities, open spaces have to give way in order to 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. One brings 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. On roofs, wastelands or in backyards, flowers are cultivated, and vegetables are grown. While the urban hobby gardeners were initially ridiculed as big-city ecologists, urban planners and scientists now see in them an opportunity to confront the social and ecological problems arising from growing cities. Green housing projects like The Garden are in vogue because they prove that densely populated cities and natural spaces can be connected with one another.