Paul Mebes

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Memorial plaque at the Schadow High School in Berlin-Zehlendorf
Memorial stone for Paul Mebes in the park of the same name in Berlin-Zehlendorf

Paul Mebes (born January 23, 1872 in Magdeburg , † April 9, 1938 in Berlin ; full name: Paul Louis Adolf Mebes ) was a German architect and architectural theorist .


Mebes completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter and then studied architecture at the Technical University of Braunschweig and the Technical University of (Berlin-) Charlottenburg . After passing the 2nd state examination , he first worked as a government master builder ( assessor in the public building administration).

From 1906 (according to other sources as early as 1902) to 1922, Mebes worked for the civil servants housing association zu Berlin eGmbH , and from 1909 to 1919 he was part of its structural engineering board member .

Since 1903 Mebes was married to Gertrud Dora Julie Hedwig Sophie Emmerich, a daughter of the architect Julius Emmerich . From 1911, he and his brother-in-law Paul Emmerich ran the architectural office Mebes und Emmerich , which was mainly devoted to housing developments. Designs for other buildings, including schools and administration buildings, also come from this office.

On November 19, 1920, the Technical University of Braunschweig awarded him an honorary doctorate (Dr.-Ing. E. h.) At the suggestion of the Department of Architecture . Even after leaving the civil servants' housing association, he shaped Berlin through the planning and construction of significant large estates for non-profit housing associations such as the Heidehof housing estate in Zehlendorf, the Friedrich Ebert housing estate in Wedding, the Spree housing estate in Oberschöneweide and the Rauchlose Stadt housing estate in Steglitz. Mebes' success was not only due to his skills as an architect, but also as an organizer, who was also able to complete large building projects - often together with other architects - to the satisfaction of the client and everyone involved.

In 1931 Mebes became a member of the Prussian Academy of the Arts , after the Nazis came to power he was expelled on May 15, 1933. Mebes reacted to the seizure of power with his withdrawal from public office and a major downsizing of his architecture office.

Paul Mebes died in Berlin in 1938 at the age of 66. His grave is in the Zehlendorf cemetery . By resolution of the Berlin Senate , the last resting place of Paul Mebes (field 22 U 400) has been dedicated as an honorary grave of the State of Berlin since 1978 . The dedication was extended in 1999 for the usual period of twenty years.

The "Paul-Mebes-Park" on the corner of Potsdamer Strasse and Fischer-Dieskau-Weg in Berlin-Zehlendorf was named in his honor.


Buildings and designs

Mebes' designs attracted a lot of attention in European housing and urban development at the beginning of the 20th century. He was one of the pioneers of open housing developments before the First World War . He vehemently rejected the block perimeter development with rear buildings that had prevailed until then . His designs for apartment buildings for the civil servants' housing association in Berlin and the Krochsiedlung in Leipzig were particularly striking .

Mebes' activity can be divided into three periods: the early phase (1909–1918), an expressive phase (1918–1924) and the factual phase (1925–1938) that lasted until his death.

The early phase was marked by efforts to get away from the traditional Berlin architecture of historicism , i.e. from overloaded stucco facades, exuberant splendor and indiscriminate eclecticism . Mebes tried to achieve “modesty, objectivity and beauty” in his buildings. In doing so, he made use of traditional styles: He was particularly oriented towards the architecture of the 18th century. Classicist details can be found particularly frequently ; forms of North German or Dutch (simple) Baroque also appear; even early Gothic forms can be found. In the design of larger residential complexes, he turned away from traditional block development - the extreme forms of which were criticized with the term "tenement barracks" - and dissolved the closed structures with private streets and gardens. Before the First World War, he became one of the most important architects of bourgeois apartment building.

In the expressive phase, residential buildings with expressionistic , but sparingly used elements, such as strong color contrasts (alternating brick and plaster surfaces), pointed staircases ("crystalline" in the sense of Expressionism), windows with "triangular" angled lintels and Maschikulis partly borrowed from the castle architecture .

From the second half of the 1920s, buildings were built that are influenced by the architecture of the Neue Bauens and have a clear sobriety. Mebes, who had made the demands of New Objectivity even before its emergence as a style, was now less a pioneer than a representative of the style. At Mebes, too, a uniform style developed from around 1924. He attached less importance to the details than before, but the systems still look aesthetically closed. He continues to work with color effects (plastered surfaces / brick masonry) to e.g. B. to highlight stairwells and ribbon windows. Well-considered apartment floor plans, brightness and good ventilation of the apartments characterize these buildings.

  • 1906–1907: Housing development on the banks of the Plan in Berlin-Kreuzberg
  • 1906–1907: Housing development in Berlin-Schöneberg , north of Rudolph-Wilde-Platz (today John-F.-Kennedy-Platz )
  • 1907–1908: Steglitz II residential complex for the Berlin civil servants' housing association in Berlin-Steglitz, Fritschweg / Grillparzerstraße / Rückertstraße
Horstweg in Berlin-Charlottenburg (1907–1910)
  • 1907–1910: Charlottenburg IIa and b residential complex for the civil servants' housing association in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Horstweg / Danckelmannstrasse / Wundtstrasse / Vereinsweg
  • 1908–1909: Housing development for the civil servants' housing association in Berlin in Berlin-Niederschönhausen , Grabbeallee / Paul-Franke-Straße
  • 1909–1910: Houses for the civil servants' housing association in Berlin in Berlin-Zehlendorf , Clayallee 289–303
  • 1909–1910: Housing complex with front gardens and courtyards in Berlin-Pankow , Wisbyer Strasse 41–44A, Max-Koska-Strasse 4–12, Spiekermannstrasse 27–29, Talstrasse 7–12
  • 1909-1914, 1921-1923 Housing estate Reichshof (now family farm , with 210 apartments in four phases) for the official apartment association Bochum in Bochum- Grumme , Herder Allee / Wielandstraße / family farm / Am family farm location
  • before 1910: country house in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Riemeisterstraße
  • 1910–1912: 1st construction phase (with eleven groups of houses) in the garden city of Zehlendorf in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Camphausenstrasse / Dallwitzstrasse / Berlepschstrasse / Thürstrasse and Rotherstieg
  • 1912: Fahrenholtz house in Magdeburg , district Leipziger Strasse , Jean-Burger-Strasse 2
Nordsternhaus in Berlin-Schöneberg (1912–1914)
  • 1912–1914: Nordsternhaus in Berlin-Schöneberg, Badensche Strasse 2 / Nordsternplatz / Salzburger Strasse 21–25 / Nordsternstrasse
  • 1913: Iduna insurance company building in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Charlottenstrasse 82
  • 1913–1929: " Brass works settlement " with water tower in Finow
  • 1914: Schadow high school in Berlin-Zehlendorf
  • 1918–1922: “Rechener Busch” residential complex in Bochum- Wiemelhausen , Else-Hirsch-Strasse 13–21, 18–20, 32–40 / Ottilie-Schoenewald-Strasse 16–24, 21–27 / Dr.-Moritz-David -Strasse 1–3 (120 apartments, heavily changed) location
  • 1919–1921: 2nd construction phase of the garden city Zehlendorf (with eleven groups of houses) in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Thürstrasse / Dallwitzstrasse / Radtkestrasse
  • 1921–1923: 3rd construction phase of the garden city Zehlendorf (with 108 apartments) in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Schrockstrasse / Berlepschstrasse / Camphausenstrasse
  • 1921–1927: Housing development in Bochum-Wiemelhausen, Grolmannstrasse 4–14, 11–17 / Kampmannstrasse 4–22, 17–23 / Mulderpaßstrasse 1–13 / Brinkmannstrasse 5–9 / Friedrich-Harkort-Strasse 21 (with 200 apartments) location
  • 1922: Residence for the Potsdam factory owner Richard Schweizer, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 24a
  • 1923: Double house in Bochum-Wiemelhausen, Ostermannstrasse 5–7 (destroyed)
  • 1923–1925: “Am Heidehof” settlement in Berlin-Schlachtensee
Binger Strasse 51/52 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf (1924–1925)
  • 1924–1925: Riese residential building in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Binger Strasse 51/52
  • 1924–1926: “Werrablock” residential development in Berlin-Neukölln
  • around 1925: Housing complex with open spaces in Berlin-Pankow, Granitzstrasse 21–24 / Miltenberger Weg 11–16 / Neumannstrasse 40–44A
  • 1925–1926: Housing complex with inner courtyard in Berlin-Pankow, Kissingenstrasse 35–36 / Neumannstrasse 49–55 / Stubnitzstrasse 2–14
  • 1926: Houses in Bochum-Hamme , Overdycker Straße 8-10 (destroyed)
  • 1926: Housing complex in Berlin-Pankow, Kissingenplatz 11–13 / Miltenberger Weg 17–21 / Neumannstrasse 35–39
  • 1926–1927: Housing development in Berlin-Friedrichsfelde , Lincolnstrasse / Zachertstrasse / Bietzkestrasse / Eggersdorfer Strasse / Einbecker Strasse
  • 1926–1927: Housing development in Bochum-Wiemelhausen, Königsallee 160–164 (with 36 apartments) location
  • 1926–1927: Housing complex with open spaces in Berlin-Pankow, Granitzstrasse 9–20, Neumannstrasse 45–48, Stubnitzstrasse 15–24,
  • 1926–1929: Housing development in Bochum- Grumme , Heckertstrasse 108–110, Starenweg 7–9 location
  • 1926-1929: Housing in Bochum-Wiemelhausen, Danziger Strasse 1-11, 2-14, Thorner road 20-28, Drusenbergstrasse 138 (130 units) Location
  • 1927: House group in Bärendorf , Bochum-Weitmar , Graffring 39–49 Lage
  • 1927–1928: Housing development in Berlin-Mitte , Osloer Strasse 94–98
  • 1926–1928: GSW residential development in Berlin-Schöneberg , Rubensstrasse / Otzenstrasse / Traegerstrasse / Eisackstrasse
  • 1928–1930: Mountain school in Apolda
  • 1928–1930: Housing complex in Berlin-Pankow, Gemündener Strasse 1–41, Granitzstrasse 25–28, Karlstadter Strasse 1–7, Kissingenplatz 8–10, Kissingenstrasse 28A – 32, Miltenberger Weg 1–10
  • 1929–1930: Housing development in Bochum-Grumme, Alexandrinenstrasse 6–24, Teylestrasse 18–25 location
  • 1929–1930: Krochsiedlung in Leipzig- Gohlis
  • 1929–1932: Friedrich-Ebert-Siedlung in Berlin-Wedding
  • around 1930: Children's home with a central laundry in Berlin-Pankow, Granitzstrasse 38 / 38A
  • 1930–1931: “Birkenhof”, “Kastanienhof” and “Tannenhof” residential complexes with open spaces in Berlin-Pankow, Granitzstrasse 29–32, 34–37, 39–42 / Dettelbacher Weg 27–51 / Gemündener Strasse 24–42 / Karlstadter Strasse 20–40, 42–44 / Retzbacher Weg 62–84, 86 / Zeiler Weg 1–15, 21 (together with Jacobus Goettel)
Karlstadter Strasse 4–6 in Berlin-Pankow (1930–1931)
  • 1930–1931: Housing complex in Berlin-Pankow, Karlstadter Strasse 4–6 / Kissingenstrasse 28A – 29A / Retzbacher Weg 39–47
  • 1930–1934: "Fireless and smokeless settlement" in Berlin-Steglitz , Steglitzer Damm
  • 1931–1932: Reichsforschungssiedlung Haselhorst in Berlin-Spandau-Haselhorst
  • 1931–1932: Housing complex in Berlin-Pankow, Dettelbacher Weg 2–26 / Kissingenstrasse 25–25A / Prenzlauer Promenade 116–128 / Zeiler Weg 28–44
  • 1932–1934: Flußpferdhof residential development in Berlin-Alt-Hohenschönhausen , Große-Leege-Straße 60–82
  • 1934–1935: Administration building of the fire society of the Province of Brandenburg in Berlin-Tiergarten , Am Karlsbad
  • 1936–1938: Office building for the representative office of Friedrich Krupp AG in Berlin-Tiergarten , Tiergartenstraße 30/31 (today Canisius-Kolleg )


  • Paul Mebes (Ed.): Around 1800 (2 volumes) 1908 ( digitized version )
  • Paul Mebes (ed.), Walter Curt Behrendt (arrangement): Around 1800. Architecture and handicraft in the last century of their traditional development. F. Bruckmann, Munich 1918 (referred to as the 2nd edition)


  • Edina Meyer: Paul Mebes. Rental house construction in Berlin 1906–1938. Verlag Richard Seitz, Berlin 1972. (with comprehensive catalog raisonné)
  • Thomas Bahr: Paul Mebes. Architect of the Apoldaer Bergschule. In: Apoldaer Heimat , Volume 18 (2000), pp. 7-10.
  • José-Manuel García Roig: Tres arquitectos del período guillermino. Hermann Muthesius, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, Paul Mebes. Universidad de Valladolid, Secretariado de Publicaciones, Valladolid (Spain) 2006.

Web links

Commons : Paul Mebes  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g Jörg Müller: The Friedrich-Ebert-Siedlung in Berlin-Wedding. On the construction and planning history of a residential area in the twenties. (= Workbooks of the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, Technical University Berlin , ISSN  0341-1125 , No. 52.) Berlin 1995, pp. 39–42.
  2. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 676.
  3. Honorary graves of the State of Berlin (as of November 2018) . (PDF, 413 kB) Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, p. 56; accessed on March 17, 2019. For a time limit of 20 years, see: Implementing Regulations for Section 12 Paragraph 6 Cemetery Act (AV Ehrengrabstätten) (PDF, 24 kB) of August 15, 2007, Paragraph 10; accessed on March 17, 2019.
  4. Housing complex and teachers' home in the Berlin State Monument List
  5. a b c d e f g h Entry in the list of monuments of the city of Bochum ( digital copy (PDF))
  6. Der Baumeister , 2nd year 1910, issue 5.
  7. ^ Entry in the monument database of the State of Brandenburg
  8. Kissingenviertel (a) in the Berlin State Monument List
  9. Kissingenviertel (b) in the Berlin State Monument List
  10. Kissingenviertel (c) in the Berlin State Monument List
  11. Residential complex with front gardens and Kastanienallee Eggersdorfer Strasse in the Berlin State Monument List
  12. Kissingenviertel (d) in the Berlin State Monument List
  13. Kissingenviertel (s) in the Berlin State Monument List
  14. Children's home with central laundry in the Berlin State Monument List
  15. Birkenhof, Kastanienhof, Tannenhof in the Berlin State Monument List
  16. Retzbacher Weg residential complex in the Berlin State Monument List
  17. Kissingenviertel (f) in the Berlin State Monument List