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Deutsches Heim


Laudation for the Brandenburg Monument Preservation Prize 2019 - Award ceremony on September 5th, 2019 in the Archaeological State Museum in Brandenburg an der Havel

What does a city do that lost its outstanding importance as a trade fair city at the end of the 19th century, that had no population growth and no strong industry? It can establish administrative facilities, strengthen the existing trades, and accommodate the Reichsbahn Directorate from the East, which became homeless after the First World War.


In Frankfurt/Oder, resourceful city fathers hired a renowned city planner and had the urban expansion area west of the old town and upper city, the so-called Nuhnen-Vorstadt, laid out according to artistic principles. In addition the city administration showed an extremely lucky hand in their choice. The Swiss architect and urban planner Hans Bernoulli, who was working in Berlin at the time, was hired.

To the north and south of today's August-Bebel-Straße, whose slightly distorted course follows the topography, Bernoulli proposed a network of picturesque, curved streets and public squares.

And Bernoulli's calculation seems to have paid off. The area, which had just two barracks in 1910, developed rapidly in the 1920s. Above all, cooperative housing came into being - probably, and we hear this today with jealous ears: because the land for urban development did not have to be bought back from private owners and could therefore apparently be passed on to the cooperatives on favorable terms.

In 1927/28, the “Deutsches Heim” building cooperative built a spacious residential complex on what is now August-Bebel-Straße, this important east-west connection in the Nuhnen suburb, which encloses an elongated courtyard in a U-shape.


It is thanks to heine | reichold architekten [today H2 Architektur by Hendrik Heine] and the client, the Wohnungswirtschaft Frankfurt/Oder.


The building had fallen into disrepair after being vacant for 15 years, and its structure - even at the time of construction - was worse than poor.


The economic bottlenecks that led to cheap solutions when building the house in the 1920s made the renovation considerably more difficult.

It took more than four years for the renovation project to be completed. During this time, a rapprochement and learning process took place for everyone involved. The two- and three-part double box windows with bars, which are central to the appearance of the complex and date back to the time it was built, were saved in an immense financial and technical effort. Hundreds of windows were professionally repaired.


But all other constructive and design elements were also saved with the greatest commitment and attention to detail.


The interior of the building was restored and carefully modernized with the same care. The color inside and outside and the materiality have been restored. The replica from the 1950s is recognizable as an independent component and still fits well into the residential complex.


The client and architect, restorer and landscape architect worked closely with the city's monument protection authority.

The once neglected building is now inhabited again. It has regained its influence on the cityscape.

heine | reichold architekten [today H2 Architektur by Hendrik Heine] and the Wohnungswirtschaft Frankfurt/Oder thanks and recognition.

May this extremely successful example of a restructuring process set a precedent and strengthen the qualities of the city of Frankfurt on the Oder.

Laudator: Prof.-Dr. Thomas Drachenberg (state curator)


Deutsches Heim
Renovation and redesign of August-Bebel-Str. 29-32 / Maxim-Gorki-Str. 2-5 in Frankfurt (Oder)

Categories: Living, Free Space
Client: Wohnungswirtschaft Frankfurt (Oder)

Design: Hendrik Heine | Matthias Lanzendorf

Services: General planning Lph 2 – 8
Project partners: Unger planning office, Mayer and Partner electrical planning, Lanzendorf | Landscape architecture, Winfried Albert engineering office
Completion: 2019
Living space: approx. 3,300 m²
Residential units: 51

Recognition at the Brandenburg Monument Preservation Prize 2019
Shortlist for the Brandenburg Building Culture Prize 2019
Shortlist for the German Builders’ Prize 2020

Photos: Felix Löchner architectural photography

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