Schillerpark settlement

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Buildings Bristolstrasse 1, 3 and 5

The Schillerpark settlement is a residential area in the English Quarter of Berlin 's Wedding district . It was built in the 1920s according to plans by the architect Bruno Taut and is considered the first large-scale residential project outside the domain of private entrepreneurs in Berlin during the Weimar Republic . It was also one of the early cooperative settlements of the Berliner Spar- und Bauverein, which had the settlement built since 1924. In the trade union-cooperative network model, GEHAG took over the construction supervision, the construction work the Bauhütte Berlin. The settlement aimed at an aesthetic, structural and content-related redefinition of residential construction. Since July 7, 2008, the Schillerpark housing estate has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with five other Berlin Modernist housing developments .

Building history

Inner courtyard of the houses Bristolstrasse 1 and 3 and Dubliner Strasse 62 and 64

The first plans to build a housing estate on the north-eastern side of the Schillerpark in Wedding were developed in 1914 after the park was completed, but were not implemented any further after the outbreak of the First World War . It was not until 1924, after the introduction of the house interest tax in the German Reich, that sufficient financial resources were available to build new housing estates within the framework of social housing . The housing cooperative Berliner Spar- und Bauverein commissioned the architect Bruno Taut, who was responsible for the construction of the Falkenberg garden city before the war , to plan a settlement on Schillerpark along Bristolstrasse.

While the original concept from 1914 provided for block perimeter development, Taut opted for an open construction method of two to four-story groups of houses for the new design. The buildings designed in the style of New Building were based on the work of the Dutch architect JJP Oud , the use of dark red bricks for the facade design was reminiscent of the Amsterdam School . White and blue plastered surfaces set only a few color accents on the outside. The flat roofs of the residential complexes were among the first in Berlin. The construction of the estate had to be enforced against considerable objections to its modern design on the part of the Wedding District Office and the building authority, but was supported by the City of Berlin's City Planning Officer, Martin Wagner . The flat roofs in particular met with resistance from more traditional views of architecture.

Between 1924 and 1930, a total of 303 apartments were built in three construction phases. In the first construction phase from 1924 to 1925, three-horse buildings were erected, which were grouped around a courtyard. In the later construction phases there were only two apartments per floor and entrance, which made the exterior of the building more even and calm. All buildings were equipped with bathrooms and balconies or loggias , and a communal wash house was built for washing clothes. The 1 12 - to 4 12 -room apartments were spacious, even the 1 12 -room apartments were around 40 m² in size. The courtyard area was planted with greenery and equipped with children's playgrounds - presumably according to Taut's plans. The Schillerpark settlement also had a kindergarten .

History of the settlement

The settlement was initially inhabited by higher-skilled workers, clerks, civil servants and trade union officials, partly also by artists and intellectuals, because of the rental costs that exceeded the local economic possibilities of those for whom it was actually intended. However, Taut's architecture was not inferior either, despite her claim to design “a new people's apartment”, his expressed intention to avoid any “poor people's art”. Because of the high proportion of members of the left parties, mostly the SPD , but also the KPD , the settlement was soon popularly referred to as the “Red Bonzenburg”. This corresponded, for example, with the reservation of the third building block of the settlement for union officials. In the first-built area on Dubliner Strasse there was already a KPD cell that ran political agitation among the permanent residents of the 'Freudental' arbor colony opposite. You faced a majority of SPD functionaries. In the KPD, the settlement as the place of residence of its members was quite controversial because of the privileged situation. Nonetheless, she used the large peripheral area of ​​the Schiller Park opposite the first building block, which was not used for gardening but as a paddling pool in the summer of 1927 for an annual meeting of the Red Front Fighters Association . In the time of National Socialism , many of the original settlement residents were affected by displacement, prison and concentration camps ; they were replaced by new tenants close to the system. However, the plan to adapt to the aesthetics of the new rulers by replacing the flat roofs with conventional roof shapes was no longer implemented.

Rear view of the houses built by Hans Hoffmann on Corker Strasse

In World War II, parts were destroyed the settlement. Its reconstruction was directed in 1951 by Max Taut , the brother of Bruno Taut, who died in 1938. A striking corner house on the corner of Bristolstrasse and Dubliner Strasse in the first block was changed by Max Taut's increase to four floors. The estate was expanded between 1954 and 1959 by the architect Hans Hoffmann , who adapted the new buildings to the style developed by Taut. Gradually there was a change in the profile of the residents due to an increase in the average age and smaller apartments with a simultaneous further development of the spatial requirements of the Berlin population. The character of many of the balconies was changed by the tenants by glazing, thereby reducing the uniformity of the original design.

The estate was last renovated in 1991, and the 570 or so apartments are currently being managed by the Berlin construction and housing cooperative dating from 1892 . Both the building and the outdoor facilities are under monument protection . This requires, among other things, a horticultural maintenance of the inner courtyard planting of the settlement.


  • Jörg Haspel, Annemarie Jaeggi: Settlements of Berlin Modernism . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2007. ISBN 978-3-422-02091-7 .
  • Unda Hörner: The architects Bruno and Max Taut. Two brothers - two paths in life . Gebrüder Mann Verlag, Berlin 2012. ISBN 978-3-7861-2662-1 .
  • Kurt Junghanns : Bruno Taut 1880–1938. Architecture and social thought . 3. Edition. E. A. Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-363-00674-8 .

Web links

Commons : Siedlung Schillerpark  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Between tradition and innovation. 100 years of the Berlin construction and housing cooperative from 1892 . In: Klaus Novy et al. (Ed.): Housing reform in Berlin . 1st edition. tape 1 . Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-89468-031-8 , pp. 75-79 .
  2. ^ Press release of the German UNESCO Commission of July 7, 2008.
  3. Senate promises: "This German world heritage is in the best of hands" . In: Berliner Morgenpost , July 8, 2008.
  4. ↑ An outdated oasis in the social hotspot . In: the daily newspaper , June 23, 2008.
  5. Kurt Junghanns: Bruno Taut 1880–1938. Architecture and social thought. 3. Edition. EA Seemann, Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-363-00674-8 , pp. 67-68 .
  6. Hilde Benjamin: Georg Benjamin. A biography. 3. Edition. Hirzel, Leipzig 1987, ISBN 3-7401-0105-9 , pp. 160 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 34 '  N , 13 ° 21'  E