UNESCO Welterbe

Location: District of Pankow
Subdistrict: Prenzlauer Berg, Prenzlauer Allee City Railway station
Streets: Erich-Weinert-Straße, Georg-Blank-Straße, Gubitzstraße, Küselstraße, Lindenhoekweg, Sodtkestraße, Sültstraße, Trachtenbrodtstraße
Total Area: 8.4 ha [20.76 acres]
Number of Flats: 1,149
Flat Sizes: 1 ½ to 4 ½ rooms (80 per cent thereof with max. 2 rooms) [excluding kitchen and bathroom]
Constructed: 1928 to 1930
Urban Design: Bruno Taut
Architects: Bruno Taut, Franz Hilinger
Landscape Architects: Unknown, presumably Bruno Taut
Building Owner: GEHAG Gemeinnützige Heimstätten-, Spar- und Bau-AG
Reconstruction/Modernisation: From the middle of the 90s until 2004, based on inspections for historic preservation
Owner: Deutsche Wohnen

The Carl Legien Housing Estate was named after the first chairman of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund [German General Trade Unions Association] founded in 1919. Of all six housing estates, it offers the strongest contrast to the densely built housing estates of the Wilhelminian Era. Not by pure chance: it is the settlement located closest to the city centre. Accordingly, property prices are high and the population is dense.

Taut, therefore, placed emphasis on a concentrated multi-storey construction and designed a large housing estate with four- to five-storey houses. In exemplary fashion, he used the street grid from the Hobrecht plan to prove the superiority of his new architecture to the traditional urban tenement development, even on its own ground.

Taut designed rows of houses, fringes of blocks and garden spaces in a semi-open space arrangement. The individual flats clearly orientate themselves away from the street and towards the back gardens crossing Erich-Weinert-Straße. This is emphasised by the use of colour: the fronts facing the streets are painted a sunny yellow, which optically broadens the narrow streets, while the backyards form colour schemes of their own.