UNESCO Welterbe

Location: District of Reinickendorf, Paracelsus-Bad subway station
Streets: Aroser Allee, Baseler Straße, Bieler Str., Emmentaler Straße, Genfer Straße, Gotthardstraße, Romanshorner Weg, Schillerring, Sankt-Galler-Straße
Total Area: 14.3 ha [35.34 acres]
Number of Flats: 1.268
Flat Sizes: 1 to 3 ½ rooms (80 per cent thereof with up to 2 ½ rooms) [excl. kitchen and bathroom]
Constructed: 1929 to 1931
General Management: Martin Wagner
Urban Design: Otto Rudolf Salvisberg
Architects: Otto Rudolf Salvisberg, Bruno Ahrends, Wilhelm Büning
Consulting Architect: Friedrich Paulsen
Landscape Architect: Ludwig Lesser
Building Owner: Gemeinnützige Heimstättengesellschaft Primus mbH
Reconstruction: From 1949 until 1954, reconstruction and basic renovation according to original model, since 1982 modernisation programme with emphasis on preserving the architecture
Owners: Deutsche Wohnen, some flats owned privately

The Weiße Stadt ("White City") and large housing estate Siemensstadt ("Siemens City") are twin projects. They were both developed at the end of the 1920s upon the initiative of Martin Wagner. Both were financed from a magistrate's special fund amounting to 15 million Reichsmark, issued during a period in which other financial sources (e.g. rent tax) were gradually running dry.

Weiße Stadt is a large housing estate with an open-plan internal structure, consisting of fringe buildings and rows of houses as well as intertwining green spaces. At the time of construction, rationality and economic efficiency were the dominating aspects. The dimensions of the development, but also of the buildings themselves, were determined on the basis of profitability calculations. It was thus possible to prefabricate building components.

The use of colour in Weiße Stadt clearly differs from the housing projects designed by Taut: vivid colour accents, e.g. on projecting roofs, window frames, downpipes and entrance doors, highlight the neutral white of the facades.

The multitude of facilities was unique: 25 decentralised shops, a children's home, a medical practice, a café, and a district heating station (which was pulled down at the end of the 1960s) with affiliated central laundry facilities were part of the housing estate.