Preservation of Historic Buildings and Monuments

Wilhelmsruh Substation

Hans-Heinrich-Müller-Prize 2004 Wilhelmsruh Substation

At the occasion of the 125th birthday of the former Bewag-chief architect on the 20th of April 2004 Bewag Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG offered for the first time the Hans-Heinrich-Müller prize in the framework of a student ideas competition. Under the patronage of the Berlin Landesdenkmalamt (Berlin Monument Authority), the competition was held on the heritage opening day in 2003 and was directed at students of the faculties of architecture and conservation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The goal was the development of ideas for what to do with the property of the Bewag Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG of the disused Wilhemsruh Substation at the Kopenhagener Straße 83-101 in the Berlin district of Pankow.

The Wilhelmsruh Substation was built in 1925-26 and served for 68 years as a station for the distribution of electricity. During the period of time it was on the net hardly any alteration have been done to the disposition of the building, and therefore the entire plant is in the condition of the time it was built in. Since 1993, the Wilhelmsruh Substation is listed at a monument ensemble. Apart from the conserved building, which is in excellent conditions, the complete traditional furbishing and remains of the original technical plant are also listed. It is an extraordinary monument of the Berlin monument landscape, due to its importance for the history of power generation, its high architectural aesthetic value as an industrial building of the Modern period and as one of the main works in the creations of Hans Heinrich Müller. As a part of the comprehensive electricity grid of the 1920s and entrance to the part of town Wilhelmsruh its is of significant importance for the city scape.

500 architecture students entered the competition for the Hans-Heinrich-Müller prize-2004. They developed revitalisation concepts with a wealth of ideas and creativity for the disused substation, that should give the industrial monument a new lease of life as a public school, beauty clinic, hotel, lifestyle department store or senior citizens residence. From the 172 competition entries handed in the jury chose four Hans-Heinrich-Müller prize winners and four plans were given honourable mention:

  • Prize (1000 Euro) Mixed use
    Magret Domko und Sylvio Heuer, Fachhochschule Rosenheim,
    Technische Fachhochschule Berlin, Prof. Paul Thiersch, chair
  • Prize (1000 Euro) Inter-religious Center for Culture and Meetings
    Achim Ladeburg und Julia Pickartz, Fachhochschule Potsdam,
    Prof. Manfred Ortner, chair
  • Prize (1000 Euro) Ideenwerk (Station for ideas)
    Guido Pannhausen, Fachhochschule Potsdam,
    Prof. Ludger Brands, chair
  • Prize (1000 Euro) Home for mentally handicapped
    Inka Steinhöfel, Universität der Künste Berlin,
    Prof. Adolf Krischanitz; chair
  • Honourable mention (500 Euro) Uni_Versum_Dance
    Maja Bolle und Iskra Pencheva, Technische Universität Dresden,
    Prof. Thomas Will, chair
  • Honourable mention (500 Euro) Children city
    Antje Fleischer, Technische Universität Dresden,
    Prof. Thomas Will, chair
  • Honourable mention (500 Euro) New middle of life, A house for the Stiftung Synanon
    Alexander Kuhnert, Universität der Künste Berlin,
    Prof. Adolf Krischanitz, chair
  • Honourable mention (500 Euro) Living and working station Wilhelmsruh
    Oliver Tanck, Universität Karlsruhe,
    Prof. Alban Janson, chair

The results of the competition are documented in the publication (German/English), edited at the jovis-Verlag:
Perspektiven junger Architektur. Hans-Heinrich-Müller-Preis 2004. Berlin 2004. ISBN 3-936314-28-4. 25,- €