© OMA

Lützowstrasse Housing

For this development, IBA has projected public assisted housing for a narrow triangular site in the South Tiergarten quarter, which was bounded on the south by Lützowstrasse, one of Berlin’s traditional but war damaged streets, to the north by Lützowufer, a tree-lined thoroughfare bordering the idyllic Landwehr canal, beyond which views to the park could be obtained; to the east it bordered on a 19th century pumping station, and to the west is converged towards a small triangular park, facing Lützowplatz (as present a messy traffic intersection).

The site’s most challenging problem was that it contained in the middle, five rows of 3½ storey private dwellings (euphemistically called Stadthäuser: ‘townhouses’) running at right angles to Lützowstrasse itself (along their own private ‘streets’ and ‘gardens’), which had yet to be built, and the detailed design of which was not disclosed. Apart from leaving a very narrow site, they existed without a context, as the periphery bounded by the existing streets had been reserved for the competition. It remained therefore the task of the competitors to provide the ‘townhouses’ with a context that would mediate between them and the street, as well as establish the new project’s own integrity and relation to the vicinity.