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How Berlin's Mietskaserne Tenements Became Coveted Urban Housing

Why do mid-rise tenements dominate Berlin? The Mietskaserne, or “rental barracks,” have shaped the city’s culture and its counterculture.
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(This article is part of our ongoing series exploring the iconic home designs that shaped global cities. Read more from the series and sign up to get the next story sent directly to your inbox.) 

Berlin’s older residential districts could scarcely be laid out more differently than those in London. Whereas residential inner London typically consists of low-rise houses built on shallow plots, Berlin’s older homes are tall, hefty tenements divided into apartments, lining streets like canyon walls and concealing behind their often elaborate facades deep complexes of courtyards that stretch far back.