20 November 2020

Haus Dr. Felix Baensch
Akademie der Künste concerned about Hans Scharoun building

The Akademie der Künste has been following with concern the fate of Haus Baensch in Berlin-Spandau, which was designed and built by its former president Hans Scharoun in 1934/35.

Along with Haus Schminke, Haus Mattern and Haus Moll, Haus Baensch is one of the most remarkable single-family homes built by the famous architect in the 1930s, noted among other things for their highly ingenious floor plan layouts and the interlocking of interior and exterior spaces. The garden of Haus Baensch was designed by the landscape architect Hermann Mattern in cooperation with Herta Hammerbacher and Karl Foerster, with whom Scharoun worked closely on several occasions. Mattern also has ties with the Akademie der Künste, as he was an associate member of the Architecture Section from 1965 until his death in 1971.

Although the private house in Spandau has been listed as a Berlin monument since 1971, parts of the house and large sections of the garden have been destroyed in recent years. No genuine effort has been made to cautiously adapt the historical fabric to contemporary needs, which the planning authorities initially supported. The alterations have far exceeded the approved construction work, and the building site has been shut down twice and ultimately sealed.

As the heir and administrator of Scharoun's important estate, the Akademie der Künste calls for respectful treatment of this cultural heritage. It appeals to all those involved to restore the listed building to its original state and to preserve it under all circumstances.