As Stefan Degen, CEO of Deutsche Wohnen Construction and Facilities GmbH, explains, “We want to restore the former charm of the estate, so we are making extensive investments here. As the largest owner of listed residential properties in Germany, we feel a particular sense of obligation towards our architectural heritage.” In addition to the Ring Estate, Deutsche Wohnen also owns three further Berlin Modernist estates, which were declared UNESCO world heritage sites in July 2008: White City in Reinickendorf, the Horseshoe Estate in Britz and the Carl Legien Estate in Prenzlauer Berg. Overall, Deutsche Wohnen has invested just under EUR 39 million in the refurbishment of these estates.
Prof. Dr Jörg Haspel, the head of the Berlin Monument Authority and the city’s chief conservationist, says, “Deutsche Wohnen’s commitment to the protection of historic buildings is exemplary – with regard to the refurbishment of its four UNESCO world heritage estates and its other listed housing too. Numerous properties belonging to Deutsche Wohnen in Berlin are of exceptional architectural significance. With its strong commitment to the protection of historic buildings, Deutsche Wohnen is also making a positive statement in favour of Berlin.”
In order to retain the unique nature of the Ring Estate, Deutsche Wohnen had already invested a total of EUR 10.2 million in the refurbishment of the northern part of Siemensstadt between 2009 and 2014. Following its merger with GSW Immobilien AG at the end of 2013, Deutsche Wohnen became the owner of the entire Ring Estate and can now complete the necessary refurbishment work.
The work on the “Langer Jammer” this year involves the refurbishment of the facade and roof. Next year, there will follow the modernisation of the building technology and the electrical wiring and water pipes, the insulation of the cellars and attics, the refurbishment of the stairwells as well as some final work on the facade and roof.
At the end of 2014 a start was made on the planning and execution of refurbishment work on a building complex in Jungfernheideweg and Goebelstraße that was designed as part of the Ring Estate by Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement. In accordance with the building specifications of the time, the buildings are being given a white facade again, the windows, box gutters and railings painted grey, and the brickwork panelling between the windows and the base repaired. In addition, the conduits for electrical wiring are being reinforced and the stairwells, windows and doors repaired – with particular care and attention being paid to the ribbon glazing in the stairwells. Finally, the cellars and attics are being insulated and the arcades in Goebelstraße are being refurbished. The work will be finished by the end of 2016.
The Ring Estate Siemensstadt was built by members of the innovative and progressive architects’ association “The Ring” between 1929 and 1934. The six architects, Otto Bartning, Fred Forbat, Walter Gropius, Hugo Häring, Paul-Rudolf Henning and Hans Scharoun, gave expression to their ideas of modern urban design in this estate. Accordingly, the estate is varied in its design today. The entire spectrum of “New Building” can be seen, ranging from the functionalism of Gropius to the spatial artistry of Scharoun and the wealth of organic forms created by Häring. Deutsche Wohnen has set up a “Siemensstadt Info Station” in Goebelstraße 2 in the Ring Estate. The info station provides information about the architectural heritage of the estate to residents and tourists alike. Please visit www.welterbesiedlungen-berlin.de for information about the other UNESCO estates in Berlin.
About Deutsche Wohnen
Deutsche Wohnen is one of the leading publicly listed residential property companies in Germany and Europe with a business focus on managing and developing its residential property portfolio. As at 30 September 2015 the portfolio comprised 149,100 units, of which 147,000 were residential and 2,100 commercial properties. Deutsche Wohnen owns flats in four Berlin Modernist housing estates, which were given UNESCO world cultural heritage status in July 2008: White City, the Horseshoe Estate in Britz, the Carl Legien Estate in Prenzlauer Berg and the Ring Estate (Siemensstadt).