Berlin Backyards are something special. In our new series, we want to show you the diversity of these parallel worlds that are unseen from the street side. For our first editorial, we showed you two very different backyards (or, as I’ve learned later, courtyards might be the better word) and told you a little bit about the impressions they left on us.
This time around, our first backyard does not leave a spectacular impression at all. But once you walk inside the gate you see how the mood and the atmosphere change. Through the third entrance you finally arrive at a beautiful Mosque, where plenty of children are clamoring about and the religious Islamic community are holding their prayers. We got lost in the details of the low walls that let us view the horizon of graffiti. The whiteness of the buildings made it look sterile and new, although it was nowhere near that. And, as always: old bikes, new bikes. Bikes everywhere.
Our second backyard is another complete opposite. It’s wild and green and lush and rich in nature. When we walked about the premises, we got to talking with a resident. He explained to us that this block used to be a squat. Occupied territory. And the squatters, back in the days, really had to fight to keep the house and housing projects like it. There was a time when politicians were really considering the option of cleaning the blocks out — that is, seriously eradicating all those beautiful courtyards-complexes to build shabby new architecture type of row houses. Thankfully, they didn’t get through with the motion.
This housing project is still a cooperative. A real example on how thinks can work out in Berlin. There’s a wood manufactory, a language school, a really big garden and loads and loads of ivy.