Episode 83: The Pallasseum

pallasseum roberta caldas

Location:
Pallasstrasse 3, 10781 Berlin

Facts:

  • Built between 1973 and 1976
  • Designed by Jürgen Sawade

The massive L shaped building complex you see close to Kleistpark has a name: Pallasseum. Originally a social housing from the ‘70s, the Pallasseum got a bad reputation. Known to locals as Pallas, it was a hangout place to drug addicts and gangs. Today, the Pallasseum houses at least 25 nationalities and is a micro sample of Berlin’s multicultural population.

If the Pallasseum was at first seen as a modern building in the middle of the old Schöneberg houses and a place looking towards tomorrow, by 1998 with 136 vacant apartments and in decrepit conditions, it was on the verge of being demolished. That’s when a man named Klaus-Peter Fritsch comes to the picture and decides to change everything. He lowers rental costs, slowly renews the interior of the building and apartments and in 2001, he launches a competition to rename the then Sozialpalast. The new name, Pallasseum, was the idea of a 12 year old girl.

A full rebranding that worked, because nowadays there is a waiting list of people wanting to move in.

To know more about the site’s Nazi past, check out the talk below:

Photo and episode: Roberta Caldas

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