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Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

Author joycevs
#1 | Posted: 30 Dec 2008 05:56 
Does somebody have the adresses of the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates? That would make it a lot easier to find them :)

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 30 Dec 2008 08:51 
Hi Joyce.
The UNESCO site has the Latitude/Longitude grid references of each estate.
If you open Google Maps in another window and copy across the grid references in turn you will be taken to the exact locations within Berlin (or at least I was!).

The table in this Wiki page will lead you to each suburb but not to the exact spot (at least in the ones I looked at)

Author joycevs
#3 | Posted: 31 Dec 2008 03:33 
Thanks for the tip, at least I can look up the street now :-)

Author meltwaterfalls
#4 | Posted: 2 Jan 2009 13:23 
Hi not sure if you have already been to Berlin or not but hope this is of some use.

Wohnstadt Carl Legien is the closest to the city centre. It is just up the street from the planetarium in Prenzlauerberg, there are a few small sign posts to get you there from the S- Bahn (Prenzlauer Alle) which is on the main loop around the centre. Prenzlauerberg was a nice place to head to anyway but the Housing estate is a little bit away from the shops and bars.

Schiller Park is near Rehberge (U6) and you could probably walk from there to Wiesse Stadt which is less than 1km away near Residentzstrasse station (U8) both are near Tegel airport.

Also up near the Tegel is Siemens Stadt station is Siemensdamm (U7)

Britz is also on the U7 but on the other side of the city this may be the best site to visit as it is a little more unique than the others. Both Blaschkoalle and Parchimer Alle stations would be of use.

Finally Gardenstadt Falkenburg is in the south near Schoenfeld Airport it is furthest out and perhaps the least rewarding, but it is the earliest. Altglienicke (S9, S45) and Grunau (S8, S46, S85)

If you have google earth installed you can get all the locations up by clicking on the show all locations which should give you a good idea of where they are.

Hope that is not too late to be of use!

Enjoy Berlin anway.

Author iris
#5 | Posted: 26 Jul 2009 12:22 
I think I can help you:

Here is the tour:

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 20 Jul 2013 05:32 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Any suggestions about which Housing Estates should be visited if one doesn't have time for all 6!! The above links/comments are useful but there may be more advice in the light of our specific interests/situation

My "criteria" are (in reducing sequence of importance)
a. "Visible" Architectural Interest - i.e. which is/are going to provide the most impact/wow factor in a short visit!
b. "Historical" Architectural interest - i.e. Which is/are the most significant historically because of its place in the "canon" of the movement or an architect?
c. Ease of access. We will be travelling by car (so closeness of metro stations is not an issue) and, on this occasion, will really only be taking in Berlin as a diversion between Halle and Wismar (Some diversion!) and we will not be stopping off to see anything else. Similarly we will almost certainly not be overnighting in Berlin.

I guess that 2 or maybe 3 at most is all we want to find time for, so the trio of Schillerpark, Seimensstadt and Weisse Stadt reasonably close together in the NW would seem to be particularly convenient as we skirt the city by autobahn to the West. It has been suggested above that Falkenburg at Bohnsdorf in the SE is of less interest. So, would missing it together with Britz and Carl Legien be a "great loss" given the "opportunity cost" of getting to them?

Author hubert
#7 | Posted: 21 Jul 2013 12:47 
If your time is limited I would suggest to visit Weiße Stadt and Siemensstadt, and maybe to have a short stop at the nearby Schillerpark estate.
Siemensstadt and Weiße Stadt were the last of the six housing estates that were completed, and here the influence on the architecture after WWII is clearly evident. In the Weiße Stadt the most significant structures are along the Aroser Allee: the two 5-storey-buildings at the "entrance" of the quarter and the "bridge building" at the end of Aroser Allee. But you should also have a look at the buildings along the Schillerring. I liked very much that many details like doors, window-frames, balconies were preserved or have been restored in the original style (but this is true for all six estates).
In Siemenssatdt the best known building is the so called "Panzerkreuzer" by Hans Scharoun (in the southwest of the nominated area), but more typical are the houses along the Goebelstraße.
At both estates you should pay attention not only to the street frontage but also to the green backyards and balconies.

But all of the six housing estates have their own special feature and together they tell the story of social housing. Falkenlust is the oldest of them, and for the first time, it was realized in Berlin, that workers live in a bright garden city in colourful houses. But for today's visitors, it offers nothing extraordinary. Brick has probably the most exceptional structure, the central building in form of a horseshoe, but I don't think that it is really worth a longer detour if your time is limited.

I found that the maps on the Unesco website were very helpful for orientation.

However, no matter which of the estates you visit, you may miss a real wow-effect. The outstanding value are not unique or exceptional buildings, but that this architecture is so common today.

Author Solivagant
#8 | Posted: 21 Jul 2013 15:17 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Thanks for the info and suggestions Hubert.

I must admit that the more I look into the differing aspects of the 6 estates the more I am inclined to try to take in Falkenburg plus just one of the others. As the earliest and apparently the estate with the smallest living units it seems the closest to the English Garden City movement and the differences/similarities are something I would quite like to see and feel

Germany in its nomination file (naturally?) tries to downplay the value of the English Garden City representatives
"However in the end these estates"(viz Letchworth, Hampstead and Welwyn)... "were not real garden cities according to Howard's definition since they got caught up in the maelstorm of big city life in London and rather got turned into satellite or dormitory suburbs"

ICOMOS has "bought" into this argument in its Comparative analysis with some rather surprising comments -
a. "Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft avoided from the start, the utopian claims of Howard's ideal city"
b. "The English garden towns, which were the model for the urban development of Falkenberg, are not as colourful"
c. "In England, the heyday of modern residential development began during the period of reconstruction after World War II"

I have always been surprised that UK doesn't seem to have seriously progressed the idea of nominating one or more of its "Garden cities" (though it got earlier housing developments inscribed at Lanark and Saltaire). Does Meltwaterfalls know if Letchworth etc have undergone so many changes that they would fail the "authenticity" test - or is it just that none of them want the hassle of WHS status?

Author meltwaterfalls
#9 | Posted: 22 Jul 2013 08:51 
I have always been surprised that UK doesn't seem to have seriously progressed the idea of nominating one or more of its "Garden cities"

Yep same for me, I thought that they were onto a winner with them as they were widely influential and from what I can tell are fairly coherent. I thought there was even scope to tie in the Arts and Crafts movement and some of it's major artworks etc.

I'm not 100% sure on the authenticity of the Garden Cities, I have only visited Welwyn GC and despite the station being a rather bland shopping centre now, the rest of the town felt pretty authentic to me, and the you certainly can feel the space and layout is very planned. I quite liked it, I can't say it was of OUV but I don't really think that the Berlin ones feel that remarkable either, but I think they are worthy of their spot on the list.

In regards to the Berlin Modernism Estates, I wouldn't argue with Hubert's suggestions. I spied Falkenburg and it looked reasonably interesting but that was about all. I visited Carl Legien, I wouldn't say it was that remarkable, but perhaps worth a detour if you are driving there.

Not sure if you have the locations already, but here is a map with the 6 on them

Author meltwaterfalls
#10 | Posted: 12 Aug 2014 05:44 
Doing a little bit of research for my third trip to Berlin I stumbled upon Tautes Heim (Bruno Taut's house). So if you were interested you can now stay in a house at one of the estates. This isn't just some random B&B though it has been lovingly restored (by a landscape architect and a designer specialising in cultural history), so well in fact it won the Europa Nostra award, it is is more like staying in a museum.

Alas, I've already sorted and paid for my accommodation (it is a bit outside my usual budget as well but we will ignore that) but their website is a great resource for people want to investigate the Housing estates, and modern architecture in Berlin.

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 Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

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