Following his philosophy that good architecture should not only serve the upper class but be affordable for everybody, Hannes Meyer designed five Access Balcony Housing Blocks for the Törten Settlement in Dessau. Unlike Walter Gropius, who designed the earlier sections, Meyer based his extension on an orthagonal street grid to ensure equal lighting for every apartment. Each housing block is aligned east-west, the northern façade facing the street with its access balconies. A glazed staircase, which has been altered in later years, grants access to the three levels and contrasts the horizontal adjustment. Wooden boxes for coal and bicycles form a base course underneath the first level balcony. Each apartment faces south with a big living room window and smaller openings for inferior rooms and kitchen. The housing blocks were built functionally with traditional brickwork and exposed concrete ceilings. In 1990, the blocks were refurbished; it is now possible to visit a model apartment.
The exterior of the housing blocks can be visited 24/7. Guided tours (with a visit of a model apartment) start at the Dessau Steel House from Tuesday to Sunday at 15.00.
How to get there?
Dessau is located in Saxony-Anhalt, between the cities of Leipzig (52 km south) and Magdeburg (65 km north) and can be reached by train or highway A9.
From the city centre, take the bus or tram to get to Dessau Törten:
Bus #12, bus stop: Meisenweg.
Tram #1, tram stop: Damaschkestraße.
Addresses: Mittelbreite # 6+14, Peterholzstraße # 40, 48 + 56