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Committee Decisions

32 COM 8B.32

Examination of nomination of natural, mixed and cultural proprerties to the World Heritage List - Berlin Modernism Housing Est (GERMANY)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1,

2. Inscribes the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates, Germany, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv);

3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

The set of housing estates in the Berlin Modern Style provides outstanding testimony to the implementation of housing policies during the period 1910 - 1933 and especially during the Weimar Republic, when the city of Berlin was characterized by its political, social, cultural and technical progressiveness. The housing estates reflect, with the highest degree of quality, the combination of urbanism, architecture, garden design and aesthetic research typical of early 20th century modernism, as well as the application of new hygienic and social standards. Some of the most prominent leading architects of German modernism were involved in the design and construction of the properties; they developed innovative urban, building and flat typologies, technical solutions and aesthetic achievements.

Criterion (ii): The six Berlin housing estates provide an outstanding expression of a broad housing reform movement that made a decisive contribution to improving housing and living conditions in Berlin. Their quality of urban, architectural and garden design, as well as the housing standards developed during the period, served as guidelines for social housing constructed since then, both in and outside Germany.

Criterion (iv): The six Berlin housing estates are exceptional examples of new urban and architectural typologies, designed in the search for improved social living conditions. Fresh design solutions and technical and aesthetic innovations were incorporated by the leading modern architects who participated in their design and construction.

The six properties were selected out of the ensemble of housing estates of the period existing in the city, on the basis of their historical, architectural, artistic and social significance and the fact that, due to their location, they suffered little damage during World War II. Even though minor reconstruction and interior changes were carried out in the post war period, restoration works within the framework of the protection law of 1975 and their current state of conservation achieve a high standard of integrity and authenticity.

Adequate protection is ensured by the legislation in place, especially by the Berlin Law on the Preservation of Historic Places and Monuments (1995). The properties, buildings and open spaces, are in a good state of conservation. The management system, including policies, structures and plans, proves to be adequate and includes all concerned stakeholders.

4. Recommends that the State Party:

  • a) approve and implement the Management Plan included in the nomination dossier, in order to ensure the optimisation of the management system and the common management of the six properties;
  • b) consider the possibility of including provisions related to possible changes of use and privatisation in the management plan, in order to ensure the proper protection of the nominated properties;
  • c) consider the possibility of nominating the housing estates constructed in Frankfurt during the Weimar Republic period, in order to complete the German contribution to the development of housing ensembles during the first half of the 20th century