saai | Archive for Architecture and Engineering

Digital Collection Egon Eiermann

Vollberg private residence


Vollberg private residence

This house was built for the factory owner Günther Vollberg on a large piece of land accessible only by a narrow entrance in the upmarket Berlin district of Grunewald. The house is of considerable dimensions and can accommodate a family with four children as weil as domestic servants. With this generous commission, Eiermann was able to build radically upon ideas he had developed in earlier house projects-in particular the special structure of the single-storied building with several wings; a feature the architect had used in the 1936/37 construction of the Steingroever residence.

Three hallways lead from the central foyer to the three wings, which are divided up according to function: living and dining areas, places for washing and sleeping, and rooms for the staff, as weil as the garage. Each wing ends with a T-shaped crossbar. The choice of a uniform building material-yellowish brick-and the constant level of the roof ridge ensure that the overall shape of the house is not broken up.

The fusion of interiors and exteriors also takes on a radical form. Two courtyards with gardens are incorporated within the architecture, and are at the same time opened up to it by floor-to-ceiling rows of doors and windows. Eiermann created a flowing transition between nature and architecture by using the same yellowish brickwork for the outside and inside walls, and by extending the Solnhof limestone paving from the garden into the house. The final tauch was the addition of frames for climbing plants on the outside and special shelves for potted plants on the inside, creating walls of greenery.

Eiermann's choice of roof surface achieved an exciting contrast with the natural building materials. lt may have been due to the shortage of materials in wartime, but part of the architect's motivation may have been the fact that he was drawn to the new when he selected asbestos cement sheeting, putting himself among the ranks of modern architects-including Le Corbusier-who were able to exploit this artificial material to the full.

Arthur Mehlstäubler

"Egon Eiermann 1904-1970. Architect and Designer", Ed. Annemarie Jaeggi, Hatje Cantz: Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, p. 131

Project-specific information

Project Vollberg private residence
Persons involved
  • Egon Eiermann, Architektur
  • Günther Vollberg, Bauherr*in
  • Herta Hammerbacher, Landschaftsarchitekt*in
  • Rudolf Büchner, Mitarbeiter*in Eiermann
Project period 1938-1942

Object-specific information

Typology Einfamilienhaus, single-family dwellings

Site-specific information

Country Deutschland
City Berlin