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House of Statistics

House of Statistics

Plattenbau in the heart of Berlin

Plattenbau near Alexanderzplatz in Berlin? There must be a GDR history behind that. The prominent Haus der Statistik (House of Statistics) has been in disrepair since 2008.

The Haus der Statistiek consists of three Plattenbau towers from 9 to 11 floors high and was built in 1968 to redesign Alexanderplatz according to socialist ideals. The Haus der Statistik is straightforward and misses any trace of the Zuckerb√§ckerstil further down Frankfurter Allee. 

The only frivolities this concrete colossus allows are a steaming cup of coffee against a side wall and the pink projections between the windows that are reminiscent of a game of Tetris. But the biggest splurge was behind the walls of the building, specifically in the conference room. An eleven-metre-long wall painting, the Lob des Kommunismus by Ronald Paris, could be found there.

Officials from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Stasi (Ministry for State Security) found shelter there; even after German reunification in 1990, the building continued to be used as a Federal Bureau of Statistics regional department.

The gates were locked in 2008 because the building no longer meets contemporary requirements. The wall painting by Paris was dismantled. It now hangs in the DDR Museum, a "unique testimony of that time," according to the museum itself, a "glorification of communism," according to the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

What about the future?

In 2010, Berlin organized an architectural competition to revitalize the area once the building was demolished. But the planned demolition provoked protests. Since 2015, Modellprojekt Haus der Statistik has been working on alternative approaches that have saved the tower complex from destruction. The Haus der Statistik is being renovated and will house affordable apartments, cultural initiatives and education.

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