As Stefan Degen, Head of Deutsche Wohnen Construction and Facilities GmbH, explains, “In Elstal we have conserved architectural heritage and have used the opportunity to ensure that the qualities of this unique residential estate can be both seen and actively enjoyed. In doing so, we were able to make the best possible use of our know-how, which we have acquired over several decades, in refurbishment and new building and to be true to our own standards of safeguarding and further developing quality in order to create long-term value.”
In 2013, Deutsche Wohnen started its careful and tenant-friendly refurbishment of the historic railway workers’ estate in Elstal in accordance with the requirements for listed buildings. Despite the conditions and restrictions created by the estate’s listed status, the buildings were given a comprehensive, energy-efficient refurbishment. Deutsche Wohnen succeeded in reducing the primary energy requirement and the emissions of the estate by 60 per cent, and additional housing was created by converting the attics of the buildings. To achieve this, the old and contaminated roofs had to be taken down and replaced. Regarding all of the work it carried out on the historic railway workers’ estate, Deutsche Wohnen liaised very closely with the local authority building department and the office for the preservation of historic monuments. As the owner of approximately 30,000 listed residential units – including four of the world-famous Berlin Modernist UNESCO estates – Deutsche Wohnen has many years of experience in the refurbishment of listed apartment buildings.
The aim of the refurbishment was to turn this listed estate, together with the market square, into a lively residential neighbourhood for both young and old with a very particular historical ambience. The enormous demand for the refurbished flats is proof of the particular charm of the estate. It was possible to hold on to all of the long-standing tenants and to let any vacant, refurbished flats within a very short time.
The project was responsibly developed and managed by Deutsche Wohnen Construction and Facilities GmbH, an operating subsidiary of Deutsche Wohnen AG. The project planning work was carried out by the firm of architects Blumers.
Die 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 2016, the portfolio comprised 160,500 units in total, of which 158,300 were residential and 2,200 commercial.