Design recommendations for the front gardens in the historic Human Quarter An expert contribution to the design primer Humannviertel in Bremen

Historische Elemente in den Vorgärten des Humannviertels © 2016 Schoelkopf

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Historische Elemente in den Vorgärten des Humannviertels © 2016 Schoelkopf

On behalf of the Senator for the Environment, Building and Transport, a preservation statute is being drawn up for the "Humannviertel" planning area in Gröpelingen to preserve the area's distinctive character. The goals pursued with this will be conveyed in an "advisory building primer". This primer is also intended to contain recommendations for the design of the private front garden zone and to encourage owners, possibly with the support of funding from the urban conservation of historical monuments, to prepare their front gardens in a manner appropriate to the locality.

With approx. 730 apartments built between 1926 and 1931 in four construction phases, the Humannviertel is one of the largest coherent complexes developed from the emergency building programme of the Bremen state at the time. Stylistically, the housing estate is characterised by typification and urban planning reform efforts (sun, air and light). It is characterised as a terraced housing estate of early modernism with the small house typical of Bremen, which also has aspects of the garden city idea (widening of streets to form squares, houses with front gardens and house gardens for self-sufficiency). Its uniform design, the subtle variation in façade design and the transparent demarcation of public and private space are still recognizable today.

Today, according to the assessment of the Integrated Development Concept (IEK) Gröpelingen drawn up in 2014, the Bremen district of Gröpelingen proves to be a neighborhood with structural social problems. Nevertheless, unlike many other neighbourhoods, Gröpelingen has a large number of attractive, distinctive buildings, ensembles and open spaces from different phases of development. These qualities are threatened or already affected by devaluation tendencies and are also hardly known outside the district. These qualities, and in particular those of the Humann quarter, are to be developed as "settlement treasures" in order to strengthen the district and help it to be perceived more positively.

In addition to an examination of typical terraced house front gardens from the time when the Humann estate was built, a local survey and exemplary documentation of existing front garden elements was carried out for the area, which correspond to historical forms of design or which are equivalent in terms of design and can be judged as "typical for the location". Based on this, recommendations were formulated for the design of front gardens that are typical of the locality and have a positive effect on urban ecology, which can be adopted in a design guideline. They take into account the professional consideration of aspects of the history of garden art, the preservation of historical monuments, the importance of open space planning and urban development and the adaptation to today's requirements for use and economic efficiency and ecology. Finally, stipulations or must recommendations for the design of front gardens were proposed, which should be explained and communicated beyond the publication in the building bible.

The final formulations of the design recommendations for the Design Primer Human Quarter will have to be discussed critically, especially with regard to reasonableness and communicability to the owners and citizens of the Human Quarter, and will depend on the further accompanying process for the introduction of the Design Primer.

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Planning offices

free space forum schoelkopf

V i l l e n a Landschaftsarchitektur + Umweltplanung
Stefan Villena-Kirschner, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Freier Landschaftsarchitekt bdla

Project period
2016 - 2017

Senator für Umwelt, Bau und Verkehr Bremen


28239 Bremen

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Project type
Planning of garden memorial care, park maintenance works
Urban, open space development concepts