Construction period: 1925-1930
Thanks to its large size and distinctive horseshoe shape, Großsiedlung Britz (Hufeisensiedlung) is the most famous of the six estates.
A plan with a horseshoe shaped lawn and plantings exists for the Schollenhof in Berlin-Reinickendorf, but it was not built that way. The Schillerpark estate, which Bruno Taut designed from 1927 to 1929, was also supposed to have horseshoe shaped plantings. Source: Rolf Bothe, Bruno Tauts Schillerpark, Tübingen 1980, fig. 11, p. 187 (plan from 2 Oct. 1927) and fig. 14, p. 190 (plan from March 1929)
The horseshoe was one of the guiding themes in Taut’s visual language for community-promoting architect0ural ensembles. Source: Bettina Zöller-Stock,
Bruno Taut: Die Innenraumentwürfe des Berliner Architekten, DVA 1993
If you go to www.maps.google.com and search for “Schollenhof, Berlin” you will see that the two forms bear a striking similarity.
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There is no main entrance to the Hufeisensiedlung; the easiest way to enter it is to go through the middle, the horseshoe itself, at Lowise-Reuter-Ring. Even people who are not familiar with Berlin will be impressed as they approach the estate from Blaschkoallee via Stavenhagener Straße. The unexpected colourfulness of the buildings shines through the trees, a sign that you are headed for something special, even though this particular block was not designed by Bruno Taut, but by Martin Wagner. The same is true for the splendid Lindenhof estate on Eythstraße in Berlin-Schöneberg, which was planned (1918) and built (1920-1921) several years earlier, and which also features the work of landscape architect Leberecht Migge.
Written later about 1925 and Martin Wagner:
“On 1 May, when the festivities were over, a group of men from GEHAG, Bauhütte Berlin and Dewog visited the plot in Britz that Wagner had acquired for the construction of a housing estate. Led by Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner, their plan was to build more than 1,000 modernist flats there over the following two years, flats that would come to be seen as classic examples of Neues Bauen – the Hufeisensiedlung. The fact that the financing forms led, in actual fact, to very few workers being able to afford the rent cannot really be blamed on the architects. Two trips to England and Holland with delegations of the Deutschen Gartenstadtgesellschaft (German Garden City Society) enabled further comparison with other European residential and estate architecture. In October Wagner was the main speaker at a public demonstration of the trade unions, land reformers and other organisations against the shortage of flats and presented a Reich Residential Building Programme on behalf of the trade unions, calling for the promotion of cheaper construction, own homes and low-rise buildings.” Source: Martin Wagner 1885–1957. Wohnungsbau und Weltstadtplanung. Die Rationalisierung des Glücks, exhibition catalogue, Berlin 1985
Landscape architects: Leberecht Migge and Ottokar Wagler