Vaulted cellar Fidicin Street
Historical documentation of a listed underground facility
According to plans by the Bauwert Group, a new urban quarter with commercial and private use is to be built above the vaulted cellars of the former Bock beer brewery at Fidicinstrasse 3 in Berlin, which have been listed since 2017. The cellars, which are to be built over and partly demolished as a result, were converted during the Second World War and used by the National Socialists as an armaments factory. Due to the historical testimonial value of the 20 cellar vaults including their development such as corridors and staircases, D:4 is developing a comprehensive building history documentation with a special focus on the time as a Nazi production facility.
Layers of time under the earth
The development of the property dates back to the first half of the 19th century. The approximately 13,000 m² site is located in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. It is located north of Tempelhofer Feld behind the perimeter block development of Fidicinstrasse and Schwiebusser Strasse, which borders the site to the south. The history of the entire complex goes back to 1838 when Georg Leonard Hopf acquired the property on Tempelhofer Berg and had a brewery built, complete with fermentation cellars. However, the above-ground part burned down completely in 1842. Only the cellar vaults from this time are still preserved today and represent the oldest part of the complex.
Between 1860 and 1905, both above-ground and underground extensions were built as production capacity increased. These include the representative tap house built in 1905 to the design of master builders Lachmann and Zauber, which is one of the few surviving above-ground buildings. Until 1920, beer was produced and served here under changing owners. Since the cessation of beer production, the site established itself as a location for other manufacturing industries as well as a storage facility.
During World War II, the vaulted cellars were used as an underground factory of armaments. This use from 1944 by the AEG subsidiary Telefunken was preceded on the one hand by the transformation of Telefunken from a research to a manufacturing company in the service of the Nazi armaments industry, and on the other hand by the relocation of parts of the electric tube production to various underground locations. In 1944, under the code names "Lore II" and "Werkstatt Schmidt," the cellars in Fidicinstrasse were converted and expanded into an underground armaments factory with a focus on tube production. Cellar areas that were not built over were covered with a thick layer of concrete for bomb protection. This massive shattering ceiling over parts of the vault still bears witness today to the National Socialist takeover of the area.
As an experienced office in the field of monument preservation and restoration, D:4 has taken on the task of preparing comprehensive as-built documentation that meets the requirements of monument protection in close coordination with the monument protection authorities since 2021. This includes the basic investigation with research on literature, research status and historical plan material and documents as well as their processing. In addition, D:4 accompanies the work on the deformation-compliant measurement and prepares the photo documentation and component mapping as well as a 3D model. D:4 is also responsible for the monitoring of demolition work and the preparation of a catalog of measures to safeguard the historic substance during demolition and new construction work at Fidicinstraße 3/ Schwiebusser Str. 14-16.
> City Quarter Neue Bockbrauerei of the BAUWERT Group
> Article Tagesspiegel: Traces of forced labor in Berlin (12.08.2019)
> Lecture round from 20.5.2021 at Youtube with Thomas Irmer, Dr. Bernhard Kohlenbach, Dr. Christoph Rauhut and Dr. Christine Glauning