protection and restoration of a summer-house. Heynstrasse 8, Berlin-Pankow, 2000

destroyed summer-house in 1998

experts of the documentation

Poster as pdf-file


1. introduction
2. the garden court -- historical development
3. the condition in 1998
4. description of the measures
5. literature

1. Introduction

The dwelling house, built in 1893 by the manufacturer Fritz Heyn forms an ensemble with its following garden court, this according to the reports published in 1993 to the monument quality, "manifest the living relationships and the representation need of a solid middle-class factory-owner family" of that time (see: Werner, 1994, p.114).
The report also points to the meanings of the garden court next to the apartment of the family Heyn, which is still its original state. This is described as an "extremely rare example of the garden design for dwelling houses at the ending 19th century" (ibid.). In the meantime the property and building were classified as a historical monument.
A central component of the court plant represents the existing summer house which certainly is in its effortful design also as a testimony of the workmanship of great importance.
The documentation on hand is a stock-taking of the strongly damaged wood building.
The photographic documentation and the record of in detail measured plans served the monument nursing safeguarding and formed the basis for the reconstruction true to the original.

2. the garden court -- historical development

Pankow is at the end of the 19th century still a small, largely rurally marked suburb of Berlin. The wickerwork chair manufacturer Fritz Heyn (1849-1928) as a successful businessman and a member of the aldermen enjoys a high social reputation. The Heynstrasse was let out in 1891 and later was named to him. He buildt in 1893 according to the plans of the architect Ernst Fröhlich a representative block of rented apartments, into the Belétage retracts the family Heyn itself (today Panke museum).The building consists of a four-storey front-facing house with a three-storied side wing. The larger portion of the property remains undeveloped and is subdivided into three successive areas:
The frontyard, the economy court and the private garden court. This was used by the family Heyn and also designed. It corresponds to the historicist design ideal of that time in its geometric, representative form. As a "living space in the open" it is a place of numerous family events. Groth, a carpenter, the son-in-law of Fritz Heyn, set up a summer house with the plant of the court at the same time. The richly ornamented wood construction takes a central role for the garden from the beginning and became a popular meeting place. The numerous family photos with the motive of the summer house give an idea of the value which it had for its solid middle-class owners.
Except for smaller changes the garden court remains unchanged in its basic structure during the following years. A storehouse is set up to 1978/79 on the southern property on the neighborhood. The base of the hall is approx. 60 cm above the garden level. For this reason the summer house at its back was filled up by approximately half a meter of soil which will contribute for a faster fall of the wood building in the following period.
Altogether the necessity of the rehabilitation to the original shape of the complete plant is recognizable today, obviously.
A detailed description is found in the diploma work "garden court Heynstraße 8" written in 1994 by A. Werner.
Despite an intensive source enquiry of the author, no references to the cooperation of a landscape architect or the emergence year were, however, found with the plant.

3. the condition in 1998

A photo documentation made by H. Mundt in order of the Landesdenkmalamt, shows the building in January 1999. The pictorial material was completed by photographs of Büro Zimmermann.
In 1999 the summer house was altogether in a desolate condition. Numerous construction elements, partly load-bearing, were affected by rottenness, the damages were repaired only unsatisfactorily. Primarily the rear was damaged considerably, what among others on the mentioned deposit of soil had to be led back by the building of the neighboring hall. Due to the rainfall this rasons caused the complete construction had rearly sunk by approx. 40 cm. The complete construction was founded about the load-bearing posts on a circulating wood joist framework.This was along the outer edge by a bedrock, about 20 cm deep, which served the protection from lateral humidity. The joists nevertheless were in a rotten condition and completly destroyed in parts.The long-term stability of the summer house was no longer secure. Except for the relatively intact wing assembly, the roof also was in a bad condition.The roof was covered by an ivy vegetation and it was primarily missing for more care measures. A window frame of the neighboring hall in the past falling down had presumably knocked a hole in the roof. The harming place was repaired provisionally. The stooks covered on historical photos were no longer existant. During the inventory measures merely a strongly weathered piece of wood could be safeguarded. Since the roof did not effectively protect the rain, the wooden floor of the summer house also was strongly rotted and broken into pieces. Hallway boards and sub-construction in large parts were in a condition of an advanced decomposition. The broken parts were safeguarded provisionally. The window glazed formerly on the western side was destroyed except for a few rungs.
The sides and the front of the summer house were nevertheless altogether in a comparatively good condition. The saw works on the window falls and roof consoles were still available. Just occasional colour traces were got by an interim paint of the summer house. It had to be, however, suspected in the comparison with the historical photos, that the building didn't have any color touch originally (see also Werner 1994, p. 80).

4. description of the measures

Since no original plans or drawings of the summer house are available until today's time, an exact record of detailed measures of the building was made in the context of the inventory.
The plans contain cuts and details in their original form in the scales from 1:25 to 1:1..
Some no longer available components could be reconstructed by the comparison with historic photographs. Changes carried out afterwards remained, however, unconsidered.
For the reconstruction of the building an improvement in the constructive connection was worked out at the foundation. A double wood joist framework is founded to maintain a circulating strip foundation. To do a sufficient ventilating of the hallway floor, the sommer house was increased by 12 centimeters and the interior increased with a threshold. The base stripe covered with a circulating sheet-zinc serves as guard.
On the basis of the prepared plans a detail faithfully reconstruction of the building could be carried out. The works were done by the carpenter K. Donner, Berlin.
At first the summer house was taken to pieces and safeguarded into its single numbered components. Depending on the founded preservation condition the original components then could be reused or newly built if necessary.

5. literature

WERNER, Anke: Gartenhof Heynstrasse 8 – Gartendenkmalpflegerisches Wiederherstellungskonzept für den Gartenhof des Hauses Heynstraße 8 in Berlin Pankow, Berlin 1994
THÜMMLER, Lars-Holger: Berlin-Pankow – wie es früher war, Berlin 1996

Restoration of the summer-house and the spring, summer 2002

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copyright © 1997-2003 Florian Zimmermann