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Settlement Lindenbaum

Frankfurt-Eschersheim, Germany
Settlement “Am Lindenbaum”_facade.jpg
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depicted item: Settlement “Am Lindenbaum”, facade.Image credit: © Matthias Matzak / VG BildkunstURL:

The housing estate “Am Lindenbaum” was created as part of the urban planning program "Das Neue Frankfurt", which also characterizes the settlement. “Das Neue Frankfurt” primarily refers to the architectural style around 1930, and the term was the title of a magazine created by Ernst May in 1929.

In 1929, as part of the Frankfurt housing program "Das Neue Frankfurt", led by Ernst May, Walter Gropius was commissioned to build the "Am Lindenbaum" housing estate south of the old town of Eschersheim. At that time, after resigning from the Bauhaus directorship in 1928, Gropius was running a private architectural office in Berlin.

The “Am Lindenbaum” settlement planned by Walter Gropius was completed in 1930. Back then, the client was GAGFAH, a non-profit housing company. The settlement features different types of “minimal apartments” and is comprised of eight four-storey complexes with a total of 198 apartments with 45 m2 to 72 m2 floor space. Five row buildings are oriented north-west to south-east, and in the north, three building blocks stretch parallel along the street “Hinter den Ulmen”. In the original design, the brick buildings have smooth, white plaster and a base with dark red/brown divided clinkers. Between the housing blocks, which were shaped by Gropius, there is also a typical May feature in the form of a green area.

The three transverse buildings along the street “Hinter den Ulmen” spatially underline the orientation of the green residential courtyards between the row buildings. In the south, the courtyards are bordered by a low wall.

Living rooms and kitchens are generally oriented to the west (in order to receive the afternoon sun) or - in the case of the transverse buildings - to the south, bedrooms and bathrooms to the east or to the north. Access is usually from the west. The buildings are given a sculptural rhythm by alternating with cantilevered balconies and the small punched windows on the top floor provide a striking upper end of the building.

All the apartments in the settlement were preserved during the Second World War.


The settlement "Am Lindenbaum" combines a high degree of systematization in its unity of buildings, open spaces and floor plan typology. The lively appearance of facade design through the rhythm of cantilevered balconies, openings, windows and/or doors is an absolute representation of modernism.

The settlement "Am Lindenbaum" represents the only contribution made by the architect and founder of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, to "Das Neue Frankfurt". At the time of its completion, it was extremely modern with its green courtyards, the rows of buildings laid out across the street and the flat roofs.

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