1998: I arrived in Berlin, hoping to explore the place where the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan, who I greatly admired, had lived and worked. The city and the way it made me feel far eyxeeded all my expectations and I began to become increasingly interested in architecture.
My wanderings through Berlin invariably drew me to Großsiedlung Siemensstadt, where I discovered a gem of modernist architecture. It was a building that reminded me of the outline of a great ship and seemed to form the entrance to the estate. It is often referred to as the “armoured cruiser”, even in specialist literature.
At 338 metres long, Otto Bartning’s Siemensstadt building, the “Long Lament”, also got ists name from its unusual appearance – although the “Whip Cracker” by Bruno Taut on Argentinische Allee trumps it at 400 metres. These nicknames testify to the importance of the buildings in the lives of their inhabitants, and reflect the extent to which they impress themselves on the consciousness of passersby.
I believe architecture is the only art form capable of so completely uniting the idea of the client with artistic character and practical value.
My tours through the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates are desingned to bring this belief to life for you and give an insight into this fascinating architectural style:
Gartenstadt Falkenberg (Paintbox Estate) in Treptow-Köpenick,
Siedlung Schillerpark im Wedding
Wohnstadt Carl Legien in Pankow
Großsiedlung Britz (Hufeisensiedlung),
Großsiedlung Siemensstadt (Ring Estate,
Weiße Stadt (White City) in Reinickendorf.
We’ll find out who was involved in the estates and what we can learn from them the today.