Keywords Change this

IBA 1987, International Bauausstellung 1987, Ecological, Housing

Project timeline

1987 – 1987



Location Change this

Dessauer Straße / Bernburger Straße
10963 Berlin

Also known as Change this

Eco-Project Block 6

Architect Change this


Article last edited by Sonja Dragovic on
November 13th, 2019

Block 6 Change this

Berlin, Germany
by Jan Rave, Josef Paul Kleihues, ... Change this

Facade on Dessauer Straße, project by Christoph Langhof

1 of 7

Description Change this

As environmental awareness increased in the 1970s, IBA Berlin also sought ways to make urban life environmentally friendly. In the Block 6 eco-project, it succeeded in changing standards and perspectives. The project shows that decentralised drainage concepts with constructed wetlands are possible even in inner-city locations and with inner-city density.

Block 6, located south-east of Potsdamer Platz includes a historic building, a dominant residential complex from the 1960s and six residential buildings built as part of IBA-Neubau (New Buildings) with 106 apartments. At the same time, an integrated water concept for local supply and drainage was also implemented for them. On 900 square metres in the courtyard of the residential complex, a constructed wetland grey water treatment plant was installed with a multi-level planting concept. The low-nutrient grey water from bathtubs, showers and kitchens was treated decentrally and used to water the green spaces and for domestic requirements. Also, ecological standards common today were tried and implemented here for the first time: Waste sorting, extensive green roofs and water saving devices in all apartments.

In 1987, the block became a pilot project of the Experimental Residential and Urban Development (EXWOST) programme for ecological urban renewal. The owner shut down the treatment plant in 1993 as it was no longer profitable and malfunctioned. However, it was reopened with a new water concept in 2006/2007. The State of Berlin and the owner wanted to ensure that the plant would remain in place as a “technical monument”. Since then, a new water treatment building has treated the greywater produced by roughly 250 people with mechanical and biological processes to bath water quality, and re-used it to flush toilets and water tenants’ gardens. Rainwater that falls on the ground is now fed to the original constructed wetland. As a result, the plant and its urban ecological model character have been preserved. According to the Senate Department for Urban Development, it is now Berlin’s only pilot project for ecological building featuring water recycling.



Register to join to conversation.