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May 23rd 1942, Tondern, Denmark

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Hinrich Baller

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"To design always means to develop something for the future, it is always a piece of hope for a "better world", a concrete utopia in Bloch's sense. As architects we are, as it were, specialists on answering the question how we should live in the future, in what type of environment – to me this is the architect's essential social responsibility."
Inken Baller


Article last edited by Zahara on
May 27th, 2020

Inken Baller Change this

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born 1942, Tondern
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Inken Baller was born on May 23, 1942 in Tondern (DK). From 1985 she was a visiting professor, and from 1989 a full time professor at the Kassel University of Applied Sciences. Since 1996 she held the chair for design and construction at the Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus, where she also worked as Vice President. She retired on May 23, 2007.

Her first realized building, House Bachmann in Zürich from 1966, testified to her connections to the artistically and socially committed Berlin avant-garde from the turn of the century. Having just completed her education, she began making a name for herself in competitions for the Cologne area.

In the 1970s, along with her husband Hinrich Baller Inken Baller participated in the careful revitalization of the large BlockIBA Block 70 of the International Bauaustellung 1979, an urban renewal project which ran for almost a decadeIBA Berlin 1987. The residential development by the Ballers include the gate houses, corner house, fire wall house, garden and courtyard design and old building renovations. The new buildings were completed in 1984, followed by the cautious modernisation and self-help projects.

The intelligent treatment of Bruno Taut's heritage at the kottbusser Tor in 1976, together with the expressive apartment and commercial complex in Lietzenburgerstrasse in Berlin (1975), and their impressive revitalization of IBA Block 70 gave the Baller couple a unique position in the stony landscape of Berlin.

The social housing project at Frankelufer (IBA Block 70) in Berlin symbolizes, today just as much as in the past, a humane, expressive and socially committed celebration of the city in Kreuzberg. Divorced from her husband since 1990, lnken Bailer has given her work new emphasis by engaging in the collaborative work in "Weiberwirtschaft" (a women business centre in Berlin). The competition "My Dreamhouse" allowed her to build a series of one-family houses in Berlin, which contributed to her fame outside of architectural circles.

Along with her built projects, her more than two decade long teaching career, first at the Gesamthochschule in Kassel, and since 1996 at BTU Cottbus, together with her engagement as vice president and her many advisory tasks, have provided Inken Baller with a platform to partake in the transformation of the current built and perceived fabric of architecture.


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