Bremen: Böttcherstraße

Böttcherstraße, 1922-1931. Entwurf: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland
Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

1921 – 1931

Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Bötterstraße, Bremen

Böttcherstraße in Bremen, about 110 meters long, was origi­nally the home and workplace of barrel makers.

The Bremen entre­preneur Ludwig Roselius, who had made a fortune with the invention of decaff­einated coffee HAG, collected antiques and art, being parti­cu­larly interested in objects of Nordic origin.

In 1902, he bought a former Kontorhaus in Bremen’s Böttcherstrasse, which was in danger of falling into disrepair.

This was the start of his invol­vement in Böttcherstrasse, which he subse­quently had trans­formed into a repre­sen­tative showcase for his company and a total work of art.

In 1924, he acquired the heritable building right for the properties at Böttcherstrasse 15–19 from the state of Bremen for a period of 60 years.

After two years of negotia­tions, this made it possible to continue the new develo­pment of Böttcherstrasse on the west side after the conversion of the Roseliushaus and the wareh­ouses at Böttcherstrasse 4–5 into the Bremen-Amerika Bank.

Roselius had convinced the Senate and the city’s building autho­rities with his plan to create a small colony for artists and small artisans with studios, stores and apart­ments in the vicinity of Bremen’s market square in keeping with the North German building tradition.

After Roselius finally bought the entire street, he commis­sioned the archi­tects Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland as well as the artist Bernhard Hoetger to build or demolish and rebuild a total of six houses.

Between 1923 and 1926, a whole series of houses were built in the brick expres­sionist style, mostly according to the plans of the archi­tects Runge and Scotland.

The result was an expres­sionist ensemble with extensive facade decoration and figural ornamentation.

Robinson Crusoe Haus

The Robinson Crusoe House (Böttcherstraße 1) was built in 1931 as the last house on the street and was designed by Karl von Weihe and Ludwig Roselius. Roselius chose the novel character Robinson Crusoe as the godfather for the house, as he exemplifies the Hanseatic drive and pioneering spirit.

The interior was designed by the archi­tects Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland.

The furnis­hings of the house have been largely lost.

In the staircase, wooden panels with scenes from the story of Robinson Crusoe, carved and colored by Theodor Schultz-Walbaum, have survived.

On the first floor are the twelve colored leaded glass windows made by Bernhard Hoetger in 1926 and the sculp­tures ‚Silver Lion, Carrying the Day‘ and ‚Panther, Carrying the Night‘ made of bronze in 1913.

Bernhard Hoetger, Leopard carrying the night, bronze, 1913

Bernhard Hoetger, Leopard carrying the night, bronze, 1913

Bernhard Hoetger, Silver lion, carrying the day, bronze, 1913

Bernhard Hoetger, Silver lion, carrying the day, bronze, 1913

Haus St. Petrus

Haus St. Petrus (Böttcherstraße 3–5) was built between 1923 and 1927 according to plans by archi­tects Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland and served as a restaurant until its destruction in the war.

Roselius Haus

The Roselius House (Böttcherstraße 6) is the oldest of the buildings in the street, its foundation walls dating back to the 14th century. It first served Ludwig Roselius as his adminis­trative headquarters and was expanded in 1928 according to plans by Carl Eeg and Alfred Runge to house his extensive art collection.

Haus der Sieben Faulen

The House of the Seven Lazy Men (Böttcherstrasse 7) was built between 1924 and 1927 according to plans by Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland. It housed the adver­tising rooms of Kaffee HAG and the offices of the Deutscher Werkbund.

The figures of the Seven Lazy Ones on the gable facing the street Hinter dem Schütting, which give the building its name, were created between 1924 and 1926 according to designs by the sculptor Aloys Röhr from Münster.

Today, only the former tasting room of the coffee HAG with tiled walls has been preserved from the original furnis­hings of high artistic value.

Haus des Glockenspiels

The Haus des Glockenspiels (Böttcherstraße 4) was built between 1922 and 1924 by converting two old wareh­ouses according to plans by Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland.

The first carillon was inaugu­rated in 1934 and consisted of thirty bells made of Meissen porcelain.

To the carillon move laterally in a tower ten carved and color­fully painted wooden panels with motifs of the ocean conquerors, the explorers and adven­turers who crossed the ocean by ship or by air, based on designs by Bernhard Hoetger.

After destruction during the war, the second carillon was erected in 1954, and was replaced by a third carillon during renovation work in 1991. Hoetger’s wooden panels survived the war undamaged.

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Paula Modersohn-Becker Haus

The Paula Modersohn-Becker House (Böttcherstrasse 8–9) was built between 1926 and 1927 to designs by Bernhard Hoetger and contained a store for local arts and crafts, an inn, an exhibition room, and workshops for artisans in the courtyard.

A room on the third floor was reserved for the works of artist Paula Modersohn-Becker.

It was the first museum ever dedicated to a female artist and still displays the most extensive collection of paintings by the artist.

The Paula Modersohn Becker House was origi­nally connected to the gable of the House of the Seven Lazy Men by a bridge.

The bridge window, designed by Bernhard Hoetger as a pictorial work, was replaced in 1936 at the insis­tence of the National Socialist rulers by Hoetger’s relief in gilded bronze of the Archangel Michael.

The fountain in the courtyard with the clay reliefs of the Seven Lazy Men and the Bremen Town Musicians on the fountain pipe is also a design by Bernhard Hoetger.

During the recon­struction of the section of the building that was severely damaged in the war, the towers and shield wall were consi­derably simplified in places and the craftsmen’s courtyard was opened up to the street.

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Haus Atlantis

In 1931, the Atlantis House (Böttcherstrasse 2) was completed, which differs from the existing buildings on Böttcherstrasse solely in its materials of glass, steel and concrete.

Built from 1929 to 1931 to designs by Bernhard Hoetger based on the ideas of Ludwig Roselius and Herman Wirth, the demons­tra­tively modern functional building in reinforced concrete was intended, among other things, for an institute for the study of the legendary Atlantis.

In 1933, the Museum Väterkunde, which Roselius had commis­sioned Hans Müller-Brauel to build in 1927, moved into the Atlantis House.

The contro­versial museum, in which Ludwig Roselius housed his extensive prehis­toric collec­tions, wanted to derive Nordic as well as American culture from the lost Atlantis.

The facade, reframed in the postwar period, was origi­nally gridded and verti­cally articu­lated by steel columns extending to the apex of the roof.

This struc­tural framework supported a wood-carved façade program designed by Hoetger above the entrance axis.

The so-called Tree of Life was a monumental pictorial work consisting of a yearly wheel, a cross and a sun disk, a cultural symbolic repre­sen­tation for the beginning of life, from which the beginning of the year and thus at the same time the human being grows.

This tree of life was fiercely opposed by the Nazis and ultimately burned during the war.

The facade, renewed in 1954 by the archi­tects Max Säume and Günther Hafemann with a depiction of the heavenly bodies, was hidden by an ornamented brick wall created between 1964 and 1964 by the artist Ewald Mataré.

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922-1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Böttcherstrasse, 1922–1931. Design: Bernhard Hoetger, Alfred Runge, Eduard Scotland

Since 1935, the attacks of the National Socialists against Böttcherstraße increased. The National Socialist press, which was in line with the Nazis, demanded a recon­struction and even the demolition of some parts of Böttcherstrasse.

In 1937, Albert Speer, of all people, placed Böttcherstrasse under a preser­vation order as an example of the so-called decayed art of the Weimar period.

In 1944, large parts of Böttcherstraße were destroyed.

The facades were largely restored to their original condition until 1954, financed by the Kaffee-HAG company.

Since 1973, the street has been listed as a historic monument. In 1999, the street was exten­sively renovated.

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