Dreipfuhl housing area

In the first years of the occupation, the Allied soldiers were accommodated in barracks as well as in German residential properties. Their mission, which had originally been intended to last just a few years, did not call for any special residential buildings. It was only after the rise of the Cold War that Allied leaders decided on a long-term deployment and began constructing their own buildings.

With the development of the residential areas on Huettenweg in the early 1950s, and in Düppel in the late 1960s, multi-story residential blocks were constructed for the majority of the ordinary soldiers and their families.

In contrast to the block-like buildings on Huettenweg, the Dreipfuhl housing area presented a more upscale appearance and was designed in a much more spacious format. This facility, built in 1956/57, was reserved for officers. As was typical in the military, rank determined a US armed services member’s accommodation. The one-story bungalows along the Dreipfuhl were reserved for the higher and highest ranking officers whereas two-story duplexes with double carports on Ripleystrasse were developed for lower-level staff officers.

The Federal Republic of Germany financed the construction of residential facilities for the Allied troops in West Berlin through a special budget set aside for occupation costs. That is why the apartments returned to the German government following the withdrawal of their American tenants in 1994. They were then preferentially distributed to German government employees.

The site

Ever since the 1910s, the horseshoe-shaped road has hugged the edges of the natural, up to seven meter deep depression dating back to the Ice Age. The pool was developed as a rainwater retention basin in 1928. The buildings of the American housing development represent a closed area with its own architectural language, which differs significantly from that of Dahlem’s villa atmosphere. Regarded as avant-garde at the time, the bungalow style became increasingly popular in Germany in the 1960s and 70s. The development was modelled on American suburban subdivisions. Today, the typical wide driveways and the flowing boundaries between public and private space remain visible.

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