Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alvar Aalto in Germany

Site No. 45: Hansaviertel Residential Building in Berlin / Germany (1955-1957)

My flight to Berlin
Finally after a long absence I am back with a new Aalto site and a new country, Germany. After Finland, Germany is the country with the second most buildings designed by Alvar Aalto and it is also my nativ or nowadays second home country. A business trip brought me to the capital Berlin which is one of the four Aalto cities in Germany. Even though my stay wasn't very long I had the chance to visit the Hansaviertel Residential Building located in Klopstockstraße 30-32 errected in the mid-1950s in West-Berlin. But here are now first some impressons from German capital Berlin:

U-Train 9 at Hansaplatz station

The easiest way to get to the Hansaviertel is by U-Train 9 untill the stop "Hansaplatz". The underground station is located right next to the building. Leave the station in the direction of Kloppstockstraße / Hansabücherei. When leaving the underground station turn right and you will already see the white Hansaviertel Residencial Building.

Here are now some pictures from the building seen from the street. Even though it is just a a residencial building like any other and kept in a very simple way still when having a closer look you can see so many details which make this building unique like all the other Aalto buildings I have visited so far. Unfortunatelly it was not possible to visit the inside of the building.

A speciality of this building is the painting on the ceiling in the entrance area. According to the information given at the spot this painting was drawed by Aalto himself and he also supervised the choice of the exact color and the painting process itself. During renovation work in later years the painting however as overpainted by white color and it was in 2007 that the painting was recovered. The painting shows clear elements of Aalto's savoy vase which is currently produced by Iitala.

Some information about the building and especially about the painting in German provided by the embassy of Finland who has financed this exhibition.