Building ensemble

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The marketplace of Wittenberg forms an ensemble of buildings in its unity of the townscape
Scheme of the Hackesche Höfe , example of a protected, connected building ensemble
Salzburg old town : example of a closed urban landscape (UNESCO World Heritage)

As architectural ensemble (also building ensemble special, also of buildings or shortly Ensemble listen ? / I and impersonal entity ) is known in architecture and urban planning , a group of buildings , constructions and open spaces that have a particular urban planning, cultural or aesthetic quality related. Audio file / audio sample

The elements operate independently, have their own entrances and access routes , but are perceived as a group. If the individual buildings are connected to one another, one speaks of a building complex .

The starting point for the ensemble protection is the Defacing Act of 1909. The individual buildings and elements can be very different in function and shape. The appearance of the ensemble is shaped by the individual elements and their spatial interplay. A multitude of parameters such as context , space , style , materials and color , but also lighting and decoration determine the character and quality of the ensemble. Ensembles can be as closed as they are diverse, especially with regard to the architectural style and construction methods, but also the context. A row of houses could come from a single construction phase or a potpourrie of buildings from a millennium, but still represent an ensemble. The row of houses could functionally be the same town houses, but a city district, a square, a castle, a monastery or an industrial plant is an ensemble in the variety of functions of the individual buildings. The transitions between ensemble and complex are fluid here, and partial ensembles and complexes can also be combined to form larger ensembles.

Ensemble protection

In the field of monument protection , the term ensemble protection or overall system is used for structural groups that are considered worthy of preservation due to their interaction and should be protected. Even if the individual buildings are not a monument , the building ensemble can be protected as an ensemble. The transition from individual protected architectural monuments through ensemble protection to site protection is fluid in the intention and rigor of the regulations. The stronger the ensemble aspect, the more acceptable are new installations in the system as long as they do not discredit the overall impression. The designation as UNESCO World Heritage is based primarily on the ensemble concept, i.e. the overall picture, not the preservation of the history of origin as a document , which is the basic idea of ​​classic monument protection: contemporary evidence is both, the overall picture and the original substance . A typical measure of pure ensemble protection are the reconstructions of lost buildings in vacant lots: They do offer a historical picture and are also informative in terms of style - both in terms of art history and sociology, but largely worthless for historical building research . Conversely, the classic monument protection always has a certain "museum" (purely conservational) aspect, while the ensemble protection corresponds to a more modern model of living, changing and adapting cultural monuments. Therefore, both approaches can complement each other in many ways. In rural areas, the transition to landscape protection is even fluid; this can also include areas that are heavily influenced by people (such as rural cultivated land or park landscapes) and also regulates the development. Structural elements integrated into the landscape can thus also represent ensembles, right through to historically grown settlement structures that are worth preserving as such (e.g. loose, scattered settlement ). A typical tool to protect the soft appearance of an ensemble are regulations on environmental protection , such as buffer zones around the actual protected object with regulations on building density and building heights so as not to impair the view of the ensemble.

Monument protection in the narrower sense and ensemble protection can be based on the same legal basis, as in Austria: There, the designation is carried out by the Federal Monuments Office ( Section 1, Paragraph 3 DMSG ). A tool of the municipal spatial planning and land-use planning there is the site protection, which includes old and new building. Or there are separate instruments that can overlap: In Germany, municipalities and municipalities define ensemble protection depending on the requirements of state law in their statutes or ordinance and must explain and justify their decision on this. The statutes or ordinance usually stipulate that all structural changes are only permitted with a permit, which must be based on the Monument Protection Act. Monument protection laws are laid down in the relevant state legislation. In South Tyrol, the municipality can determine the ensemble protection completely independently of the requirements of monument protection law, and combine local structural and landscape protection.

Urban redevelopment

The maintenance of building ensembles plays an important role in urban redevelopment , for example when the facades are changed in the course of the energy-efficient renovation. A successful example has been running in Bielefeld-Sennestadt since 2015 : A color guide for facade renovations was developed there and published under the name Farben der Sennestadt . Architects and designers have reconstructed the original colors of the facades of the model estate from the 1950s and 1960s and adapted them to today's needs. The color fan is mainly used for orientation when owner associations want to renovate apartment buildings together. The concept was implemented for the first time in October 2015 at houses Luheweg 1–11.



  • Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture (BMUKK), Federal Monuments Office (BDA): Standards for ensemble protection. BMUKK-GZ 13.600 / 0030-IV / 3/2013, status: November 19, 2013 - developed as part of a multi-phase pilot project on the topic of UNESCO World Heritage - ensemble protection, new ways of cooperation for the benefit of the citizens ( pdf ( memento from 5 March 2016 in the Internet Archive ),; concerns Austria).

Individual evidence

  1. a b c For example, the historical center of the city of Salzburg is an internationally recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, protected by a strict special old town conservation law, numerous buildings are individually protected under federal law, and the city mountains are covered by a variety of landscape and nature protection under national and municipal law . This results in a comprehensive ensemble protection in the variety of the functions of the entity and elements of the building ensemble; Preservation of the old town in Salzburg. ( Memento from March 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Cornelius Steckner: The local statute and the renewal of Rodenkirchen by Fritz Encke, Carl Rehorst and Fritz Schumacher, Denkmalpflege im Rheinland, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2011, pp. 10-14.
  3. a b cf. Ensemble protection., accessed on October 21, 2015.
  4. For this very reason, for example, the city of Dresden was stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage status: This case is a prime example of the tension between the monument concept and urban development .
  5. cf. Often cursed and yet valued. Petra Tempfer in Wiener Zeitung online, May 7, 2010;
    Ensemble protection is not always desirable. Wolfram Schachinger, Thomas Neger, in Der Standard online, March 30, 2014.
  6. Ensemble protection.
  7. Marco Bock: The colors of the Sennestadt. BundesBauBlatt 1-2 / 2016, p. 41ff. As well as on