On 4 December 2023, the Conference of Culture Ministers passed its resolution based on the recommendation of the Advisory Board. Unfortunately, it is not in favour of our proposal. There are also no provisions in this tentative procedure. Many committed and tireless people, together with the State Monuments Office and many others from the Berlin administrations, had hoped for a positive vote in favour of the major proposal for Berlin’s post-war modernism. We very much regret that this has now not materialised. On the other hand, our second proposal, the Waldsiedlung Zehlendorf, has been approved by the Advisory Board and the Conference of Culture Ministers. Berlin will therefore have an addition to the tentative list.
Life in a Monument – A Double Exhibition by Bettina Cohnen and THE LINK
Talk with the artist Bettina Cohnen and the curators Hendrik Bohle and Jan Dimog.
What is it like to live and work in modernist monuments? What makes living in the Hansaviertel and Karl-Marx-Allee special? Why do both areas represent the once divided and now united Berlin? The photo artist Bettina Cohnen uses these questions as the basis for her portraits of the residents and their flats. She looks behind the mere image. “Life in a Monument” combines architectural-cultural mediation with a cross-district approach: we show the portraits from the Hansa Quarter in the Haus des Lehrers at Alexanderplatz, and the people photographed on Karl-Marx-Allee are in turn presented in the Hansa Library. Monuments and people in East and West are interwoven. The double exhibition is embedded in the programme of the Triennale der Moderne 2022, the supra-regional building culture festival on the visions of German architectural modernism.
Triennale der Moderne 2022: “Living. Work. Live.” https://triennale-der-moderne.de/
Bettina Cohnen is an internationally working photo artist with numerous solo and group exhibitions. She is a master student of Ulrich Eller, artist and professor for sound sculpture / sound installation. In her photographs, Cohnen stages people in their environment and, in the staging, searches for realities of life that are hidden behind the pure image.
The architect Hendrik Bohle and the journalist Jan Dimog are THE LINK https://thelink.berlin together.
They write books, curate exhibitions and publish about architecture on various digital platforms. Their contributions to the award-winning architecture guide series by DOM publishers are the Istanbul, United Arab Emirates, Kabul and Slovenia editions.
Hansa Quarter Cultural Warehouse
The exhibition in the Hansa Library from 19.09.2022 – 28.09.2022 shows design concepts from the 4th semester Bachelor of the Faculty of Architecture at the HTWK Leipzig. All designs were created during a seminar with Prof. Frank Schüler in the summer semester 2022.
On the area bordering the Hansa Quarter to the north, the students were to develop possible uses for a “Kulturspeicher”. A kind of public building, a place for exhibitions and events, was to be created. In addition, the storage of different collections should be possible.
In what form can this use be expressed? What is the relationship between this expression and the urban significance of the site? These questions were the focus of the task set. The distribution of the different uses was to be found depending on the concept, as well as their spatial references, differentiation and proportions within the building. The students were faced with the challenge of finding the right amount of building mass for this historically significant location.
Authors: Fanny Braun, Lennard Corbach, Christine Gruß, Mara Grau, Tanja Hartlich, Theo Jörgensen, Stefanie Kästner, Sophie Kerntopf, Leander Knof, Lukas Krimmenau, Jan Leßmann, Hanna Linina, Jan Ole Preußker , Leonhard Rump, David Unkrig, Christine Urbanowicz, Joana Wittling, Ibrahim Yahyaoui, Malte Zimmermann.
More info on Kulturspeicher on Instagram: htwk.leipzig.fsc
Info Radio Kultur 06 June 2022:
65 years ago, the International Building Exhibition Interbau opened and the Hansaviertel was presented to the world public. The redesign was based on the ideas of modernism and brought together the “Who’s Who” of the architectural scene. What can still be seen of it today?
A contribution by Corinne Orlowski in conversation with the Hansaviertel citizens’ association.
(in German language)
OFFEN FÜR KULTUR celebrates one year of Sunday programs at the Hansa Library!
From hula-hoop to book presentation and from silent movie theater to stick bread at the campfire, OFFEN FÜR KULTUR has played the Hansa Library over the past twelve months and invites you to music, dance and much more on June 26!
Children of today – in the city of tomorrow
As part of the World Heritage Initiative of the State Monuments Office (in cooperation with the associations and civic initiatives), a project group from the Hansaviertel has launched a website on which CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE OF TODAY provide information about their lives in the CITY OF TOMORROW – i.e. in the three candidate sites for the World Heritage Site Hansaviertel, Karl-Marx-Allee and Corbiusierhaus. In interviews and pictures, they tell how they think about life in and around these special places of residence and about the future.
Interviewed by Martha Kleinwechter, who is almost the same age, and photographed by Ben Werra, who is just as young and lives in the Hansaviertel, portraits were created in text and pictures – personal statements and insights into life in these world-famous places.
The project was financed by the World Heritage Initiative of the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin.
The application has been submitted!
Under the link: https://hansaviertel.berlin/unesco/antrag/
you will find all the documents prepared by the Supreme Authority for the Protection of Monuments/UNESCO World Heritage, which have been forwarded to the office of the Conference of Ministers of Culture for responsibility.
16 federal states have submitted about 32 tentative proposals. Over the next two years, all proposals will be evaluated and a vote cast for the German tentative list.
A really long procedure!
(The old Hansa Quarter – Shape and people by Bertram Janiszewski)
The first edition has been out of print for a long time.
After editing the text by Ruth Papst and obtaining the image rights, it was published shortly before Christmas.
Price: 27 Euro
Available at the “Verein und Wein”.
Open since the end of October:
Our store “Verein and Wine”, freshly renovated, with a new layout, with new furniture and very important: with new co-tenants. Because of Corona, promised rentals have fallen through.
With the spontaneous promise of Pinar and Bora Caliskan we were able to win a wine merchant for the store again. In addition to high-quality wines, there is also a clear wall of our club offers.
Since 2014, “Winehane” has been dedicated to the distribution of high-quality wines. “We know our winemakers, which allows us to offer wines full of character and of the highest quality.
After Corona, we will be happy to invite you to wine tastings and relax together with you on the bench. We look forward to seeing you!”
Opening hours: The to Thu 12-18 pm ,
Fri 12-20 h and Sat 10-14 h (Mon closed).
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
On 10 December 2018, the Hansaviertel e.V. citizens’ association held a workshop at the Academy of the Arts on behalf of Ephraim Gothe, City Councillor for Urban Development, Social Affairs and Health, under the title “denk mal pflegen – denk mal weiter”.
The Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. is concerned about the declining quality of the outdoor space. The outstanding areas in the interior are counteracted by the fallow edges of the Hansaviertel. Especially the area around the S-Bahn suffers from an urban planning that has not been thought through to the end.
Hansaplatz is also accepted as a centre by the citizens of the wider surroundings, but suffers particularly from unrenovated building components and urban development brownfields, which lead to socially difficult and unsafe areas.
The association would like to be located at Hansaplatz:
To preserve the GRIPS Theatre and give it opportunities for development.
Preserve the REWE supermarket in the Hansaviertel shopping centre and offer it development opportunities.
The AdK on Hanseatenweg was to receive additional archive space in the Hansaviertel.
A lighting concept is urgently required in the Hansaviertel, as are further compatible measures to increase security.
We would like the Hansaviertel to continue its experimental thinking as it did when the quarter was planned and built! We ask the players of the city for the Hansaviertel: “think, nurture and think, keep on thinking!
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On 21 January the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. celebrated its traditional New Year’s reception in the Hansabibliothek. Although there was still a construction site around, many members and guests had come there. Everyone was welcomed by the new director of the Hansa Library, Raimar Oestreich, who expressed his hope to be able to welcome the Bürgerverein again regularly in the rooms after the completion of the library. After all, the Bürgerverein had been founded on the premises of the Hansabibliothek!
As guests the association could welcome not only district councillor Sabine Weissler, but also Mittes mayor Stephan von Dassel.
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The renovation of the Hansa Library is a challenge for customers and employees alike. Because it is also open during construction work.
The fact that the old Hansa Library, which currently has around 45,000 media units, over 90,000 visitors and 200,000 loans a year, free Internet workstations and automatic return machines at the entrance, is being renovated in a way that is appropriate for the preservation of historical monuments is due to the “Hansaviertel Berlin – stadt von morgen” project from the “National Projects of Urban Development 2015” programme. Sabine Weissler, District Councillor for Further Education, Culture, Environment, Nature, Roads and Green Spaces, is pleased that in a joint effort of the Hansaviertel Citizens’ Association, the Mitte District Authority and the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, the federal government has succeeded in acquiring funds for the preservation of the building fabric: “The Hansabibliothek is not only an architectural gem with a high quality of living in the Hansaviertel, but also a lively cultural meeting place that enjoys great acceptance.
The construction work will be carried out in several stages. The 1st phase of the renovation begins in autumn 2017 with gardening and landscaping work inside and outside the library as well as scaffolding for the building. From September to December, further repairs will be carried out through roof waterproofing and plumbing work as well as masonry work.
In two further construction phases in 2018 and 2019, the windows will be sealed, the sanitation system renovated and the cellar drained. This will also make it possible to move a technical room into the basement, which will benefit the children’s library. The toilets will be converted for barrier-free access. The furniture can also be refurbished with funds from the State Monument Office.
The restoration work was planned by adb Architekten, an office specialising in monument preservation and building research. The engineering office Wohn-Wert-Plan is responsible for project management. Thanks to the renovation, the library will fulfil its function in the future, says Mittes Kulturstadträtin Sabine Weissler (Grüne).
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Art in public space is currently a far-reaching and widely practiced way of gaining visibility and attention for urban space. On the recommendation of the Art Advisory Committee of the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe, the Department of Art and Culture of the Mitte district of Berlin will develop a pilot project for art in urban space in cooperation with the Department of Art in Urban Space and the Building Department of the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe and implement it as an example at Hansaplatz in the Mitte district.
The pilot project is intended to develop a model character for the state of Berlin. Participation and equal access should be at the centre of this overall project in the development, implementation and use of the artistic works. The aim is to explore the possibilities and limits of such participation formats, taking into account the wishes of residents of Hansaplatz.
The Senate Administration for Culture and Europe is providing funds for the entire city from the budget heading “Artistic Design in Urban Space”.
The time has come in 2019: a total of five temporary works of art will be on display at Hansaplatz in the course of the year. Last year, 15 artists were invited to explore the site, its history, residents and users and to develop artistic concepts. On 14 December 2018, the jury for the art competition recommended the designs of the artists Ulf Aminde, Esra Ersen, Folke Köbberling, Jan Köchermann and Kristina Leko & David Smithson for realisation.
(From the press release of the Bezirksamt Mitte)
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On 18 June 2018, the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Tiergarten celebrated the end of renovation work on the Kaiser Friedrich Memorial Church with a devotion and a reception. A total of 1.3 million euros were invested, mainly for the tower renovation: for the load-bearing reinforced concrete construction, for the spiral staircase made of reinforced concrete, for the exposed concrete facade, for the church windows, for roof panels and for the nave.
The funds for the urgently needed renovation came primarily from the federal and state governments, which were granted as part of the federal programme “National Urban Development Projects”. The Stiftung Deutscher Denkmalschutz contributed 100,000 euros. Community members donated. The Evangelische Landeskirche and the Kirchenkreis Stadtmitte supported the project with donations.
The fact that these came to the Hansaviertel is also due to the commitment of the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. (Hansaviertel Citizens Association).
This photo at the door to the church tower reminds of “old” times!
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The Hansa Library is one of the most popular libraries in the Mitte district. The building, an architectural gem from the 1950s, was designed by Werner Düttmann in 1956/57 and is now a listed building. But it is threatened with closure.
The Hansa Library was built as part of the Interbau in 1957. Its construction was commissioned to the then Government Building Councillor Werner Düttmann, who a short time later also designed the nearby Academy of Arts. While a shopping centre with a cinema (now the GRIPS Theatre) was built at the northern exit of the Hansaplatz underground station, a cultural centre for the new quarter was to be created with the library at the southern end of the station. The building, with its atrium-like courtyard in the middle, was based on the idea of building a house that would be in direct exchange with its surroundings. The covered connecting corridor between the underground station and the library leads directly to the glass door of the main entrance. The courtyard, designed by Düttmann as a reading garden, is directly connected to the reading area inside by retractable windows.
However, the further use of the house as a library is currently in question. According to the SPD, the Hansabibliothek and Bruno-Lösche Bibliothek are to be merged in Perleberger Straße to save money. The site of the former Schultheiss brewery is under discussion as a new library location, where a new shopping centre will be built and rooms could be rented. It is controversial whether the district can actually save money. After all, the Hansabiliothek belongs to the district itself and generates a plus.
Despite major protests against the closure plans, which included an online petition for over 2,300 signatures in just seven days, the SPD continues to stick to its plans. A corresponding application is to be made after the summer break in the BVV. Should this find a majority, the Hansaviertel will not only lose a library building valued throughout Berlin, but also an essential building block of the Interbau 57, for whose farm heritage an application for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage was only recently signed.
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After the anniversary celebration on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Hansaviertel, the Bürgerverein can draw a positive balance. “We are very satisfied”, says Matthias Rudolph, Chairman of the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V., who celebrated the 60th anniversary of the event on Hansaplatz together with the GRIPS Theatre.
Around 3,000 visitors found their way to the square despite the bad weather. Up to 40 visitors took part in the AG guided tours offered by the association. The film screenings in the Hansa Library and the discussion events on the fairground were particularly well received.
Chairman of the Bürgerverein Rudolph emphasized that the association was able to present itself at the international symposium “Rethinking Modernity” at the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg, which took place at the same time. Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick, who moderated the festival, outed himself as an “enthusiastic Hansaviertel fan”. Quoting the poet Paul Valéry, Kosslick said: “The Hansaviertel sings.” Anja Kraus, speaker of the GRIPS-Theater, found: “It was beautiful, again and again it was great, how one gets the Hansaplatz alive”.
Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) calls the Hansaviertel “something spectacular in our city” and an “architectural and political statement”. “I believe that the Hansaviertel, with all its advantages and disadvantages over the decades and with everything that still has to be achieved in the years to come, is a very important, further testimony, not only to the past, but also a draft for the future, on which one can orient oneself.
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The new season at the GRIPS Theatre is a special one. The theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary. As the artistic director of the Children and Youth Theatre, Philipp Harpain, said, four world premieres and one German premiere are on the programme for the anniversary season.
A special highlight will be the anniversary celebration, which is planned together with the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V., and the festival “On the Child Side” in June 2019.
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The Hansaviertel receives 2.5 million euros from the Federal Programme “National Urban Development Projects” for measures on listed buildings and open spaces.
The “National Urban Development Projects” programme is broadly diversified in terms of content in order to take account of urban development projects with different objectives. On 18 November 2015, the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety, Florian Pronold, the District Mayor of Mitte, Christian Hanke, and the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel symbolically presented a plaque. This year, 46 “National urban development projects” will receive around 150 million euros in funding from the programme of the same name of the Federal Ministry of Building. An interdisciplinary jury of experts chaired by Parliamentary State Secretary Florian Pronold made the selection. In Berlin, the Hansaviertel Berlin is being funded with 2.5 million euros for measures on listed buildings and open spaces. The “National Urban Development Projects” programme promotes the careful revaluation and strengthening of the urban development and architectural qualities of the district. This requires investment measures in listed buildings and open spaces as well as the creation of accessibility and energy-saving measures. The intensive participation of local residents also plays an important role in this project. Only through a sustainable and forward-looking approach to further development can the Hansaviertel continue to be a place for art, culture, church, living, recreation and architecture in the future.
The projects in detail are:
Hansa Library: The listed building designed by Werner Düttmann in 1957 will be renovated so that it will continue to function as a place for culture, information, education and communication in the future.
Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche: The listed Protestant church was designed in 1957 by architect Ludwig Lemmer on the foundations of the previous building, which was destroyed in 1943. The filigree bell tower and the nave were renovated.
Academy of Arts forecourt: The aim is the careful renovation of the forecourt including the sensitive, monumental integration of barrier-free access to the main and side entrances.
Revitalisation of the area around Hansaplatz: For Hansaplatz as the centre of the quarter, a utilisation and development concept is being worked out with the citizens* to enhance the spatial and design situation of the square and its immediate surroundings.
The SPD member of the Bundestag Eva Högl, whose constituency also includes the Hansaviertel, said: “The award is an appreciation for the work done, but also an opportunity to upgrade the quarter”.
Pronold commented on the jury’s decision for the Hansaviertel that the strong local civic commitment had been an important criterion for the selection. “Urban development”, he said, “is not just an investment in concrete”.
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When the “Window of remembrance” (in the Hansaplatz underground station on the library side) was opened to the public in January 2014, it was a moving moment for those who initiated and implemented the project. Now, four years later, the moment was no less moving to inaugurate the revised “Window of remembrance”.
This was done by the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. on July 9, 2018, together with a group of American Jews who were in Berlin as part of the “Germany Close up” exchange program sponsored by the federal government, many citizens of the Hansaviertel, with representatives of the BVG and the Proft company that installed the window. The revision was made possible by financial means granted to the Bürgerverein by the LOTTO Foundation.
Not far from Hansaplatz, in Levetzowstraße, once stood one of Berlin’s largest synagogues. In 1941 the Nazis turned it into a collection camp for Berlin Jews who were to be deported to the extermination camps. It is estimated that there were over 32,000 people. Tatjana Ruge researched 1,030 names of Jewish residents in the Hansaviertel. The inscription board with the names of these inhabitants, which Katja van Dyck-Taras designed, visualizes the tragic procession of the 1,030 Jewish inhabitants of the Hansaviertel.
The “Window of remembrance”, a glass pane on which a foil was stuck in 2014, now consists of two 5 mm thick panes. This is laminated safety glass, in the middle of which the names of the 1,030 Jewish residents were printed.
Sabine Röhm, pastor of the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Tiergarten, said in her inauguration speech: “If your child asks you tomorrow… then tell him what happened. Give him your values, your faith and your traditions. Give him your story, your memories and those of your people, so that they may live on from generation to generation. Do not conceal anything. Tell also the terrible that has happened. Do not put a page before your mouth” (from the 1st Testament, the 5th book of Moses).
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On 8 January 2018 the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. received the Ferdinand-von-Quast medal from the hands of Senator of Culture Klaus Lederer. This medal has been awarded since the 750th anniversary of the city of Berlin in 1987. It is named after Ferdinand von Quast, the architect and employee of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was born in Neuruppin in 1807 and died in Berlin in 1877. In July 1843, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV appointed von Quast as curator of the monuments in Prussia.
The winners are many private house owners, but also the architectural historian Julius Posener, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, the painter Manfred Butzmann, many civic associations, the Association of Architects and Engineers.
In 2018, the Bürgerverein Hansaviertel e.V. and the Rockband Rammstein received the award for the careful renovation of a large industrial hall in Pankow. The stage and concert equipment will be stored in this hall, as well as the band’s offices. The senate praised the area surrounding the hall for having been saved from further deterioration.
Barbara and Hans-Dieter Jaeschke received the Quast Medal for the renovation and conversion of the Prenzlauer Berg public swimming pool in Oderberger Straße. This monument to the bathing and hygiene culture of the imperial era was inaugurated in 1902 according to the plans of Ludwig Hoffmann, a municipal building inspector. It was shut down in 1986 and stood empty for decades. Barbara Jaeschke, head of the language school located directly next to the swimming pool, and her husband took over the building in 2012. It was converted into an extension of the school, a hotel and an event venue. And now you can swim there again.
The Bürgerverein, founded in 2004, is committed to the preservation of the Hansaviertel, which was built in 1957 as part of the International Building Exhibition and as the flagship of West Berlin. In the 90s, the Senate Building Administration was convinced that the Hansaviertel had to be densified in order to lead it back onto the tracks of “European” urban development. The fact that this did not happen can also be attributed to the commitment of the residents and their association. Above all, however, they made the general public and politicians aware that the Hansaviertel is a gem of Berlin and belongs on the World Heritage list.
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