Due to the austere, blockish appearance of the buildings, they gained the sarcastic nickname of Arbeiterschließfach - a worker's locker. Their homogenous architectural style may not have been the most attractive, and the flats inside may not have been the most spacious, but they were planned in such a way that the Arbeiter living inside had proportionate access to nearby amenities like shops, schools and medical facilities. The flats were popular with a lot of East Germans, not least because they were centrally heated, seldom the case for the pre-war buildings that were left standing after the war.
In the above GDR news report from 1984 about a new residential development intended for families, the reporter describes how 3,000 new flats have already been completed and handed over to residents, apparently all within nine months and with building work still going on. He adds that four schools, four kindergartens and day nurseries as well as a shopping centre and a retirement home have also been completed alongside the new housing. "Berliner Bautempo" - Berlin pace of building - indeed.