UNESCO Welterbe

Large Housing Estate Britz - Hufeisensiedlung

Location: District of Neukölln
Subdistrict: Britz, Blaschkoallee and Parchimer Allee subway stations
Streets: Buschkrugallee, Dörchläuchtingstraße, Fritz-Reuter-Allee, Gielower Straße, Grüner Weg, Hüsung, Jochen-Nüßler-Straße, Liningstraße, Lowise-Reuter-Ring, Miningstraße, Onkel-Bräsig-Straße, Parchimer Allee, Paster-Behrens-Straße, Stavenhagener Straße, Talberger Straße
Total Area: 37.1 ha [91.68 acres]
Number of Flats: 1,960, of which 675 are townhouse units
Flat Sizes: 1 ½ to 4 ½ rooms [excluding kitchen and bathroom]
Constructed: 1925 to 1930
Urban Design: Bruno Taut (together with Martin Wagner)
Architects: Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner
Landscape Architects: Leberecht Migge, Ottokar Wagler
Building Owner: GEHAG Gemeinnützige Heimstätten-, Spar- und Bau-AG
Reconstruction: Since 1984, with emphasis on preserving the architecture
Owners: Deutsche Wohnen, some detached houses owned privately

The large housing estate for 5,000 people was erected from 1925 onwards on the premises of the former Britz Manor. Taut integrated architecture and topography, not only with the horseshoe surrounding a glacial pond that gave the settlement its name. He used asymmetries and a staggered arrangement of the blocks of buildings as his defining urbanistic principle. Three-storey buildings of flats frame lower two-storey rows of individual houses. This frame, with its "red front", appears almost rugged along Fritz-Reuter-Allee, a provocative demarcation from the neighbouring Eierteich housing estate with its traditionalistic design. Upon protests from Conservative members of parliament, the magistrate had taken these premises out of Taut's area of planning and assigned them to DeGeWo. That is why construction phases 3 and 5, with their rows of houses on Buschkrugallee and Parchimer Allee, are situated apart from the rest of the Hufeisensiedlung (“Horseshoe” housing estate).

In the sixth and final construction phase in 1929/30, fourteen rows of houses, standing decidedly closer together, were built showing a reduced design and having no projections and set-offs. This permitted a more rational construction with just a few elements, a reaction to the reduction of subsidies from rent tax proceeds.