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Student Village Siegmunds Hof

Berlin, Germany
1 of 13

The student village Siegmunds Hof was built from 1958 to 1961 next to the international building exhibition's housing projects of the Hansaviertel. The complex comprises the buildings at the addresses Siegmunds Hof 2-4, 12-17 and Schleswiger Ufer 1-2. They consist of several detached loosely grouped buildings in a garden-like landscape.

The complex is one of four student villages which were erected in the 1950s with American financial aid with the goal to instigate the German youth to a new form of communal living where individual responsibility and democratic values played a key role. Therefore the building programme included beside bedrooms, kitchens and bathroom an important number of community facilities.

Two architects, Peter Poelzig and Klaus H.Ernst, developed independently very different solutions. Klaus H. Ernst built a twelve storey high-rise and three four storey high-rises each consisting of residential tracts in a zigzag pattern on the east side of Siegmunds Hof. This highly culptural ensmble is strenghtened by protruding balconies. In the 12-storey high-rise, community rooms are arranged as duplexes.

Peter Poelzig developed a more dense ensemble. His composition opens with an eight-story skyscraper followed by smaller three-storey pavilions. The cube-shaped buildings are connected by covered walkways. With white-coloured facade panels, asymmetrically split windows and dark gray striped railings, the structures are diligently designed.