1929 – 1931
Architects: Hans Scharoun, Georg Jacobowitz
Hohenzollerndamm 35-36, Mansfelder Strasse 29, Berlin, Germany
Built between 1929 and 1931, the residential complex on Hohenzollerndamm in Berlin, Germany, was designed by Hans Scharoun.
Scharoun, born in 1893, originally came from Bremen and spent his youth in Bremerhaven, where he came into daily contact with harbor operations, ships and shipbuilding.
From 1912 to 1914, he completed his architectural studies at the Technische Hochschule Berlin-Charlottenburg.
During World War I, he was deployed as a soldier in the reconstruction of destroyed cities in East Prussia.
At the end of the war, he initially remained in Cemachovsk, then worked as a freelance architect in Breslau (Wroclaw).
In 1925, through the mediation of Adolf Rading, received a professorship at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Breslau (Wroclaw), which he held until 1932.
In 1929 he planned a hostel for the Werkbund exhibition “Apartment and Workroom” in Wroclaw:
“The big city demands various solutions to the housing problem: from single-family houses to hotels. The hotel rooms in the hostel were to be given the independent effect of the smallest apartment despite the small living space. Thus, rowed micro-apartments were created with a special living part, sleeping part and additional room, which are lit from two sides.” (Quote Scharoun in the exhibition catalog Hans Scharoun, Academy of Arts, Berlin, 1967, p. 38)
Hohenzollerndamm Apartment Building
With a similar purpose, he designed the residential complex on Hohenzollerndamm in Berlin, which was conceived as a housing facility for single people and young married couples.
In contrast to the detached hostel in the Werkbund housing estate in Breslau, the apartment complex in Berlin is integrated into the multi-storey development of the urban surroundings.
The structure consists of two parallel panes (street side and courtyard side) that are offset from each other in a half-story fashion.
In the diversely structured, elegant façade, both the small residential units and the multifunctionality of the complex can be identified.
With the balconies projecting semicircularly like hinges, Scharoun designed an organic connection between the two street-facing wings.
After completion, the smooth plaster was given a coat of white oil paint, which lent the surface a delicate transparency.
The project’s client was entrepreneur and architect Georg Jacobowitz, whose company developed the floor plans of the individual 35- to 70-square-meter apartment types.
Jacobowitz built apartment buildings and housing complexes in the Berlin districts of Tiergarten, Charlottenburg and Treptow, among others. In 1933 he emigrated to Palestine.
The apartment building contained small one- and two-room units, studios in the attic and roof terraces, garages in the courtyard with a full basement, as well as store space and a restaurant on the ground floor, which also served the tenants.
The individual residences with kitchen or kitchenette and bathroom were planned in such a way that they conveyed the impression of concentrated representation and domestic organization in the smallest possible space.