Evocative U

(ee-vok'-uh-tiv) Bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind

Glenn Murray

Written by Glenn Murray. I design and build cool software. CV

Here's my latest think piece.


To rebuild a neighborhood destroyed in WWII, West Berlin brought together an elite group of modernist architects - including Walter Gropius, Alvar Aalto, Oscar Niemayer, and Arne Jacobsen - to design and develop their utopian vision of post-war urban living. The 1950s remain unrivaled as a period of boundless optimism for building a high-tech futurist society. Hansaviertel is a little shabby now, but the freshness of ideas still permeates a lovely neighborhood.

The communist regime in East Germany had a much different vision of post-war lifestyle than their Capitalist West German counterparts. East Berlin's Karl-Marx-Allee is a wide boulevard flanked by imposing monolithic apartment buildings. To me they evoke mixed feelings of grandiosity, awe, and cold dominating power. Which is exactly what the architects of Communist East Germany intended.