Schüngelberg Estate, Gelsenkirchen-Buer

Renewal of a Garden City Workers’ Estate

In the IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park residential projects, roughly 2,500 new apartments were built and another 3,000 existing apartments were refurbished. Participation by local residents played a major role. Roughly 75 percent of the new apartment buildings were state-subsidised as social rental apartments. Between 1988 and 1998, the historic estate housing of the Schüngelberg estate was refurbished.

Workers’ estates were built during a time of industrial growth. Accordingly, the Schüngelberg estate was built for mining workers in Gelsenkirchen between 1897 and 1919. Surrounded by the mine, heap, wastewater canal and mine railway, the estate location had been pronounced dead in the 1970s. However, it was saved from demolition. The refurbishment of 308 miners’ apartments to standards for historic monuments, combined with construction of additional new apartments finally gave the district a new perspective. The new kindergarten building and creation of a new centre for the estate with a square, shops and meeting places contributed significantly to this. A new terraced house construction takes up the characteristics of the historic mining estate, preserving its distinctive character.

The refurbishment was carried out with cautious consideration of the residents’ wishes and needs. For example, a Turkish employee of WohnBund-Beratung NRWNRW Nordrhein-Westfalen, a consulting agency for residential cooperatives, played an important role in the communication with the mostly Turkish tenants. The inclusion of the former slag heap, Rungenberg, in the design links the estate to the landscape. The adjacent Lanferbach stream, formerly an open wastewater canal, was restored to an almost original natural condition, transforming it from a landscape fracture to a landscape feature. Thanks to a seepage and retention concept, rainwater from the estate is no longer fed to the sewage system, but to the stream as a natural drain. The Schüngelberg estate is considered one of the showpieces of IBA Emscher Park.

Further IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung