The Six Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

Falkenberg Garden City (paintbox housing estate)
Construction period: 1913-1916
Aera of nominated property: 4,4 ha

Schillerpark Estate
Construction period: 1924-1930, 1953-1957
Aera of nominated property
: 4,6 ha

Britz Residential Estate (Horseshoe Estate)
Construction period: 1925-1930
Aera of nominated property: 37,1 ha

White City
Construction period: 1929-1931
Aera of nominated property: 14,3 ha

Siemensstadt Estate (“Ring”Estate)
Construction period: 1929-1931
Aera of nominated property: 19,3 ha

Wohnstadt Carl Legien
Construction period: 1929-1930
Aera of nominated property: 8,4 ha

These six Berlin residential estates were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites on 7 July 2008. The official inauguration ceremony took place at city hall in Berlin on 7 June 2009.

The inscription of these estates in the World Heritage List and the long process that led to their nomination constitute a proud achievement for the city of Berlin. The following book presents the story in detail:

Siedlungen der Berliner Moderne. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates from Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (hardcover – 30 July 2009)

All six estates were designed and built in an era of great social upheaval.

Numerous books have been written about this period. Visitors who are interested in history and architectural theory can find printed literature on the subject or discover the buildings on the internet in a way that was unthinkable until very recently.

None of that, however, can replace the impression one gets from visiting in person, and if you can put aside a day in your busy calendar for a tour, you will come away feeling like you have done something educational and enriching.

Come on a tour and discover more about the history of modernism and gain a new perspective on the present day.


The architects

Bruno Taut,  4 May 1880 born at Königsberg/Ostpreußen,
24 December 1938
died at Istanbul

Martin Wagner,  5 November 1885 born at Königsberg/Ostpreußen,
28 May 1957 died at Cambridge, Mass. (USA)

Bruno Ahrends, 9 April 1887 born at Berlin,
24 July 1948
died at Kapstadt (Südafrika)

Wilhelm Büning, 4 April 1881 born at Borken/Westfalen,
2 August 1958
died at Berlin

Otto Rudolf Salvisberg, 19 October 1882 born at Könitz bei Bern (Schweiz),
23 December 1940
died at Arosa (Schweiz)

Hans Scharoun, 20 September 1895 born at Bremen,
25 November 1972
died at Berlin

Walter Gropius, 18 May 1883 born at Berlin,
05 July 1969
died at Boston (USA)

Hugo Häring, 22 May 1882 born at Biberach/Rißk,
17 May 1958 died at Göppingen

Fred Forbat, 31 March 1897 born at Péc (Ungarn),
2 May 1972 died at Vällingby (Schweden)

Otto Bartning,  12 April 1883 born at Karlsruhe,
20 Februar 1959 died at Darmstadt

Paul Rudof Henning,  16 August 1886 born at Berlin,
11 October 1986 died at Berlin

Leberecht Migge,  20 March 1881 born at Danzig,
30 May 1935
died at Flensburg

Ludwig Lesser, 03 Februar 1869 born at Berlin,
25 December 1957 died at Vallentuna near Stockholm (Schweden)

The most important art and architecture associations:

Deutscher Werkbund founded 6 October 1907
24 founding members, including 12 artists and architects and 12 firms


Source:, accessed 29 April 2009


Der Sturm (1910-1932)


November Group in Berlin, 120 members (1918-1933), including 49 from Der Sturm

Arbeitsrat für Kunst, 114 members (1 March 1918 to 30 May 1921) Berlin

Gläserne Kette, 15 members (24 November 1919 to 24 December 1921), a series of letters

The Ring, an architectural collective (began in 1924 as the Ring of Ten), 29 members from 29 May 1926 to 1933, Berlin.