Siemensstadt Estate

Construction period: 1929-1931

Siemensstadt (Ringsiedlung) was built at the same time as Weiße Stadt and it too is a large estate covering about the same size area. Although it has a completely different character, it and its garden spaces are equally well qualified to play the same defining role in contemporary residential architecture as the Weiße Stadt…

part designd by Fred Forbat at Geißlerpfad brigde house

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Unlike Weiße Stadt it is not very easy for the general public to recognise the architects’ signatures on the exterior of the buildings, except of course for the rounded balconies of Hugo Häring and the naval architecture of Hans Scharoun.

section by Hans Scharoun at Jungfernheideweg

That may be because there were twice as many architects here and the project was a team effort rather than the work of individuals. Not all of the architects were members of Der Ring, the architectural collective that developed out of the Ring of Ten. FredForbat and PaulRudolfHenning must have joined later, since Forbat wrote (unpublished): “When they selected the architects, Wagner, who as Stadtbaurat (chief city planner) was the man in charge of it all, asked me to join them.”

The group consisted of Scharoun, Gropius, Bartning and Häring from the radical architectural collective Der Ring, and then me and Henning who were not a part of the collective. At our first meeting we decided to build Siemensstadt using the Zeilenbau linear block principle, and then after each of us presented our development sketches, we decided to go ahead with Scharoun’s proposal.” Source: Vier Berliner Siedlungen der Weimarer Republik, p. 160, Argon-Verlag Berlin 1984, 1987, edited by Norbert Huse.

part designed by Walter Gropius at Jungfernheideweg

Thus, under the leadership of the illustrious HansScharoun and the “direction of MartinWagner the chief city planner, the houses were each designed and built according to the same economic specifications. The project was divided up as follows:

Otto Bartning (“Langer Jammer”)

Hans Scharoun (“Panzerkreuzer” and entrance, as well as other parts)

Walter Gropius (two rows)

Fred Forbat (edge row)

Hugo Häring (nine rows)

Paul Rudolf Henning (four rows)

Leberecht Migge (gardens and open spaces)

part designed by Paul Rudolf Henning at Heckerdamm

Plaques around the estate help with orientation while also describing the protected status of the buildings and the lives of the architects who designed them.

Bauteil Hugo Häring

part designed by Hugo Häring at Goebelstraße