Halle-Neustadt (Chemiearbeiterstadt), Germany, Europe
Year1963latitude: 51° 28'
longitude: 11° 55'
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Gerhard Kröber
Ernst Proske
Design organization
Inhabitants93,000 (1988)
Target population20,000
Town websitehttp://www.halle-neustadt.info/index.html
Town related links
Literature- Barth, Holger, Grammatik sozialistischer architkturen. Lesarten historischer Städtebauforschung zur DDR, Berlin 2001.
- Durth, Werner, Düwel, Jörn and Niels Gutschow, Architektur und Städtebau der DDR, Frankfurt am Main 1998.
- Düwel, Jörn, Baukunst voran! Architektur und Städtebau in der SBZ/DDR, Berlin 1995.
- Gutnov, A.E., The Ideal Communist City, New York 1971.
- Hunger, Matthias, Sozialistisches Wohnkonzept und Wohnungsbau in der DDR. Das Beispiel Halle-Neustadt, Hamburg 2003, 47-55.
- Paltuzki, Joachin, Architektur in der DDR, Berlin 2000, 280-289.
- Rietdorf, Werner, Neue Wohngebiete sozialistischer Länder. Entwicklunstendenzen. Progressive Beispiele Planungsgrundsätze, Berlin 1976.
- Topfstedt, Thomas, Städtebau in der DDR 1955-1971, Leipzig 1988.

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
During a conference about the chemical program of the GDR, the SED planned a new industrial complex and a residential settlement for factory workers for the expansion of the industrial production of the GDR. The Politbüro decided in September 1963 for the construction of the chemical workers residence ('Chemiearbeiterstadt') Halle-Neustadt, which was located between Passendor and Nietleben, to the west of the historical centre of Halle.

Urban plan and design
The urban plan for 20,000 inhabitants was made by the architectural workshop for city planning under the leadership of Gerhard Kr?ɬ?ber and Ernst Proske of the NSDAP. The design of Halle-West had a half circular shape, just like Schwedt. The first quarters consisted of four storey's high 'Plattenbau' housing-slabs, connected to a small amount of facilities. In 1972 however the plan was revised by the new chief architect Richard Paulick (1903-1979), because of an increase of 2,200 houses and 70,000 inhabitants. The plan gained an elongated form with a major axis and facilities were housed in facility buildings separated from the residences. At the southern side he planned a sports park with a stadium. The intentionally planned four-storey high housing-slabs were increased till more than eight storeys. The facades were plastered in different colours and the complexes were alternatively placed in lengthwise and cross direction, to realize more dense courtyards. Car parks were planned at the boarders of the city, far away from the residences, to make property of cars not very attractive. More attention was paid to the public transport system. A metro and a tramline linked the city to Halle and neighbouring municipalities and busses would drive to transport the inhabitants from the residences to the factory complex and the facility centre. Paulick experimented with new ideas about communal housing. He designed 'Grosswohneinheiten' (large housing complexes) with kitchens and several public services, like a family doctor, a children's doctor, a massage and an exposure room, a childcare, a laundry service, a shoe-cleaning service and a special service for cleaning tableware. The services were planned to make equalization between man and women possible. Women could only participate in society when they were liberated from domestic activities.

In July 1964 the first stone of the 'Socialist City of the Chemical Workers' was placed. The second and third districts, built in 1965 and 1966, presented the new direction of planning with larger housing-complexes of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants per district with a more compact facility centre in separated service buildings. The 'Grosswohneinheiten' were however not realized in the fourth and fifth housing complex, because of the high costs.

In the seventies a new direction was visible. Typical of this period were the curving elongated high-rise housing-complexes with a differentiation between open and closed structures. In the centre not only public buildings but also a gallery, ateliers, a cinema and a musician school were planned. Apart from the cinema these facilities were not realized. Also the tramway was never constructed. In 1988 the city reached an amount of 93,000 inhabitants

Present situation
After the reunification of East and West the inefficient factories were closed and inhabitants moved out. Halle-Neustadt's population was declined from 94,000 to an amount of 60,000 in the nineties and buildings became superfluous. The residents that stayed bought cars that they could not afford in the GDR period, but the infrastructure was not planned for this large amount of car property. It resulted in congestion and parking problems and the unoccupied houses attracted vandalism. The car problem was solved by turning green spaces into parking lots. The apartments were privatised and owned by various housing companies. These companies have successfully lobbied the federal government to fund the demolition of unneeded buildings, and more than two dozen high-rise buildings in Halle-Neustadt are scheduled for destruction. To attract more people the size of the already existing university is doubled and a new shopping mall with a multi-storey parking garage are built. But the population is still shrinking nowadays and it is unsure to what amount destruction has to continue.

source: Saskia Hulskes

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