Facade renovation of a listed housing estate as icon of Berlin Modernism

Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe housing estate), Außenring

The Hufeisensiedlung Berlin - the first housing estate for social housing

After the First World War, immigration to Berlin increased sharply, leading to housing shortages and catastrophic housing conditions. In the early 1920s, more than 100,000 apartments were missing in the city. From 1921 to 1928, therefore, numerous housing cooperatives were established, which pursued non-commercial and social reform goals and drove forward the construction of 17 large housing estates in Berlin in the following years. The Hufeisensiedlung in the Berlin district of Britz is one of the first estate of this social housing. It was built between 1925 and 1933 according to plans by the architect Bruno Taut in collaboration with Martin Wagner and is considered an icon of modern urban planning. In addition to the horseshoe-shaped ensemble, it includes several streets that run towards it. In 2008, together with five other Berlin housing estates, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berlin Modernism.

Bruno Taut divided the facades of the settlement by strong colors. This colour design caused a lot of criticism during the construction, but has become a hallmark of the settlement’s identity. The horseshoe-shaped core of the housing estate is owned by Deutsche Wohnen AG, which it renovated with Weber products in 2009.

In close coordination with the Berlin State Monument Office, a facade render was produced as a special recipe for the renovation: this render (weber.star 241), developed on the basis of a rilled render, containing quartz sand up to 2 mm and round  gravels  5 - 6 mm to conform to the historic original facade as much as possible. The company Max Weber GmbH Bausanierung applied the render and textured it as rilled render.

Building site:
Hufeisensiedlung, Außenring

Project type:
Residential flats; historic building

Completion date:

Deutsche Wohnen AG

Winfried Brenne Architekten, 12161 Berlin

Max Weber GmbH Bausanierung, 12109 Berlin