CourtyardPerimeter block, cornerPerimeter block, courtyardPerimeter block, infillSlab, corridor
Hinrich & Inken Baller | Berlin, Germany | 1984
Image of Fraenkeluf...
Corner building at Fraenkelufer & Admiralstrasse, this infill block is seen prominently from the canal bridge crossing. photos 1987

ArchitectHinrich & Inken Baller
AddressFraenkelufer just west of Admiralstrasse, Luisenstadt
Building TypeCourtyard
Perimeter block, corner
Perimeter block, courtyard
Perimeter block, infill
Slab, corridor
Number of Dwellings32
Date Built1984
Dwelling Types1,2 & 3 BR flats
No. Floors7-8
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
concrete, brick, stucco, metal & wood windows
Construction TypeR-C frame
Ancillary Services

The Ballers enjoy a reputation as advocates of historic preservation policies in Berlin because of their highly publicized restoration of the damaged Bruno Taut apartments along Knottbusser Damm in Kreuzberg of 1980. This work continued the additions made to several blocks along Fraenkelufer fronting the Landwehrkanal.

While these blocks in Kreuzberg had survived the war with little damage, subsequent redevelopment directed toward replacing these blocks with high-rise apartments and a park along the canal had resulted in some destruction to buildings both at the perimeter and interior of the block. The Ballers proposed two new additions to restore and complete the perimeter that would also act as gateways to an interior garden. A third infill building was made to the perimeter at the corner of Fraenkelufer and Admiralstrasse. This building has a distinctive corner tower along Fraenkelufer where a bridge crosses the canal. On the interior of the block, a row of articulated, point access blocks have been placed against existing factory buildings along the north edge of the garden forming an undulating wall of apartments rendered in an exuberant, spatially dynamic style. A long corridor, skylighted at the building lobbies, provides access to four 1 & 2 bedroom flats per floor. The new additions align with the height and mass of existing buildings. The plans and exterior details, however, are examples of a distinctive organic formalism unlike the historic buildings of Kreuzberg but suggestive of stylistic tendencies latent in German Expressionism in the early decades of the century and especially the work of Hans Scharoun and his Berlin housing at Charlottenburg, 1960 and the Romeo and Julia project in Stuttgart of about the same time. The resulting apartments may be unconventional but all have high ceilings, extensive glass and interiors that open to large balconies overlooking the gardens to the south that have bay windows and other accessories that give the buildings a distinct identity that is matched by the spatial variety of the individual living units.

Architectural Review, Sept. 1984, pp. 30-35.

Kleihues, J.P. (ed), International Building Exhibition Berlin, 1987, Rizzoli, N.Y., 1986, pp. 265.

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