The nineteenth century tenement house was originally an example of formalism. The single-family house – the villa – was the normative bourgeois dwelling. All other types of dwelling in the large towns were seen in relation to the ideal perception of the single-family house. The exterior façade image announced the character of the tenement house as a commodity, as did the anonymity of the relation between buyer and seller, between housing producer and property owner. The technical simplification of the construction of tenements in Berlin had a long history, which was closely associated with Prussia as a military state. As early as the eighteenth century, military barracks in Berlin had been built to function independently for soldiers. The building boom came to an end in the late 1870s, and by 1880, rent levels in Berlin were at their lowest since the end of the 1850s.