In the Breiter Weg street in Magdeburg you will find the Grüne Zitadelle (english: Green Citadel) opposite the Amtsgericht (district court) and close by the Magdeburger Dom (Magdeburg Cathedral). It is the last building Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) had planned before his death. Beside the Hundertwasser School in Wittenberg it is the second Hundertwasser House in Saxony-Anhalt.
Breiter Weg and Grüne Zitadelle
The Breiter Weg (english: Broad Way) was once Magdeburg’s grand boulevard and main shopping street. After the destruction of Magdeburg’s baroque houses in the Second World War, the street was rebuilt as Karl-Marx-Strasse. In the place of the Hundertwasser House, however, the partially destroyed St. Nikolai Church still stood until 1959, and in the 1970s a prefabricated Plattenbau building was erected here. In 1995 the idea was born to have Hundertwasser redesign the Plattenbau, but in the end a new building was constructed for designing reasons. This was built from 2003 to 2005 under the direction of the architects Peter Pelikan and Heinz M. Springmann. The Grüne Zitadelle received its name from the artist himself. He decreed that after completion of the building, it was to convey a “feeling of aging”, with the exterior colour fading and the trees growing as a result of omitted facade renovations. On the ground floor of the building there are several shops, a café and a restaurant. The building also houses a theatre, an ART hotel and the “FriedensReich” Kindergarten. On the upper floors of the building there are 55 apartments as well as surgeries and offices.
Born in Vienna in 1928, the artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser created around 40 buildings worldwide, mostly in Austria and Germany, from the 1980s onwards. His understanding of architecture reflected his artistic work and his attitude as an environmental activist. Thus he regarded architecture as the 3rd skin of man, which every human being must be able to select and design according to his will, just like his 1st skin (the natural skin) and his 2nd skin (the clothing). His organic buildings avoid straight lines and sharp edges and are characterised by a variety of colourful shapes, non-repetitive design and natural elements. With the complementary concepts of “window right” (Fensterrecht) and “tree duty” (Baumpflicht) he endeavoured to create individual living spaces for people in harmony with nature. In his opinion, the high task of architecture was to lead man back to the paradise he thought he had lost. The artist’s legacy is carried on today by the non-profit private foundation Hundertwasser.
For the panorama there is an extended series of pictures in our archives, with which we can extend the panorama on the left by one block and on the right up to Magdeburg Cathedral. You can find a preview amongst the detailed pictures on the right.