27 Oct 2021
Guided Tour of Dessau-Törten Housing Estate
with Monika Markgraf (Research Associate, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation)
by Barbara Steiner (Director & CEO, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation) and Florian Strob (Research Associate, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation)
>> Bauhaus Building, Aula
Panel 1: City Building Elements
Moderation: Florian Strob
>> Bauhaus Building, Aula
4 – 4:30 pm
Keynote: Hilberseimer and the Hall: Constructive Modernity and Urban Facility
Christine Mengin (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
In line with the Neues Bauen’s interest in the economic, technical, and social aspects of architecture, Hilberseimer gave decisive importance to the hall as building type, emphasizing the utilitarian value of this technically innovative object and urban facility. The lecture aims to trace the importance of the hall in Hilberseimer’s thinking, from his 1914 project of a Markthalle to its integration in the City-Bebauung urban utopia in 1930.
4:40 – 5:15 pm
A Generic Low-Rise – the Hilberseimer Model House for Kleine Kienheide
Andreas Buss (University of Kassel)
The extension of the Dessau-Törten Housing Estate planned for 1930 bears the signature of Ludwig Hilberseimer. The mixed construction method of multi-storey and low-rise buildings propagated by him was implemented here for the first time, although not completely. Thus, the complementary low-rise development in the form envisioned by the Bauhaus remained on paper. However, it was well developed, as evidenced by designs by students and teachers in the Building Department. Some of them, including Ludwig Hilberseimers terraced house, were ready for construction. The so-called L-type was intended for realization on the test site in Kleine Kienheide. The model house has now been reconstructed in drawings for the first time and compared with its predecessors and derivatives. Newly discovered sources substantiate the intended materialization. In addition, the advanced concept of a small kitchen can be identified.
5:20 – 5:50 pm
Domesticating the Unit: Ludwig Hilberseimer's Housing and the Chicago Grid
Robin Schuldenfrei (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)
Hilberseimer’s projects for city development envisioned a future based on the gridded unit, from the individual dwelling cell to the skyscraper to the urban grid. Considering the relationship between an elementary cell and the urban organism as a whole, Hilberseimer relegated the domestic tower block to a secondary position, in favor of identical single family houses – with their seemingly infinite reproducibility – which, he posited, was the real place for mass production and economies of scale.
This lecture will explore how Hilberseimer, in the years leading up to WWII and in the post-war period, was engaged in processes of reproduction, in which the constituent element of habitation was based on the unit. It will consider the means by which he worked – in, on, and around – America’s urban grid, only to displace it.
6 – 6:30 pm
Infrastructures of Living: The Housing Typologies of Ludwig Hilberseimer
Philipp Oswalt (University of Kassel)
Starting with his utopian design Wohnstadt of 1923, Ludwig Hilberseimer developed his own housing typology (in the sense of the inner structure of the flat) based on the idea of a cabin system, which he continued to develop until the end of his work at the Bauhaus in 1933. In this typology, fundamental ideas of use, circulation, building construction, lighting, ventilation and addability are combined to form a spatial model. In exile in the USA, Hilberseimer increasingly focused on urban planning to regional planning issues, although he continued to refer to his typology developed in Germany for the question of housing organization. A special feature of Hilberseimers work on the flat type is his focus on combinability and addability, which enables him to generate different building typologies and structural forms based on a single flat type.
6:30 – 7 pm
>> Bauhaus canteen