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IBA Lutzowplatz Apartments

Berlin, Germany
1 of 8

The residential development on the western edge of the square Lutzow was built from 1979 to 1983 as part of the International Building Exhibition Berlin in 1987 (IBA Berlin 1987). The block is bounded on the south by Wichmann Road, in the east by Lutzowplatz and to the north by Lutzowufer.


After 2008/09 demolition of the houses were made to Lutzowufer 20-23 and Wichmannstrasse 2 and the removal of the courtyard design complex consists today of the apartment block Lutzowplatz 2-18 (even) and the houses Wichmannstrasse 1 and 3

The area of the Lutzow square was named in the 1860s in honour of Baron Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lutzow. In 1900 the landscaping of Lutzowplatz was designed by Hermann Mighty. During the early 20th Century, the area was inhabited by middle-class artists and celebrities. The genteel bourgeois designed square surrounded prestigious residential and commercial buildings. However the WWII left the city almost completely destroyed.

In the 1950s and 1960s, with urban development of the area a traffic plan "car-friendly city" was implemented. During this time, the "City Bypass" was realized with the multi-lane expansion of Schillstrasse and the reconstruction of a road. All of these changes and the processing of car traffic cleared away the war damages and shaped the urban area of the Lutzowplatz.

There was later development of the Lutzow area during the 80's when there was the IBA contest Lutzowplatz and the expansion of the hotel Berlin (IBA project 17).


1977 a collaboration with Hans Kollhoff, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Riemann and Arthur A. Ovaska presented the study "The city within a city: Berlin, the city of Green Archipelago ". The concept developed by the architects' city within a city "and the" Green Archipelago" was based on the ideas of the existence of individual city units that are connected by green land. Contrary to concepts of a reconstruction of the city as it developed a character of city islands within a polycentric city. West Berlin should be in its further development with a focus on the few valuable parts of the city and use fallow and green spaces as spaces. From the context of the "city within the city", the architects developed the concept of "urban villa" as a form of urban living from.

During the same period Oswald Mathias Ungers, KL Dietsch, Hans Kollhoff and Arthur A. Ovaska made designs of a hotel and office building on the property of the Hotel Berlin. The designs were discarded. In the following period and before installing the IBA 84 it came to the hiring of Oswald Mathias Ungers for the housing projects on the western edge of the Lutzow place.

Ungers had the challenge of designing within a busy place; in his planning he created an approach that combines the intimacy of the home with the public spaces alike to each other. The result is a large urban form. By using a continuous wall with a closed front facade, the western side shields the living areas.

Building Data

The complex was completed in 1983 with a floor area of 13,400 sqm over 84 apartments. The total construction costs amounted to 21.6 million DM.


The apartments in Block Lutzowplatz 2-18 are predominantly in the duplex townhouse and have similar layouts. They have a floor space of about 80 to 110 square meters. The secondary rooms such as kitchens are geared towards the square, while the living room and other living spaces are oriented towards the quiet courtyard. The apartments on the 2nd and 3 floor have small terraces, while the apartments on the top floors can take advantage of generous roof terraces.

Conservation status

The buildings structure and appearance has been significantly altered, caused by the demolition of the houses Lutzowufer 20-23 and Wichmannstrasse. While the remaining houses Lutzowplatz 2-18 (even) show signs of a lack of maintenance and neglect.

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  1. Anne Funk & Dirk Kaden (German)
aleeshacallahan, June 22nd, 2020
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