P2 (panel building)
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P2 is the abbreviation for a type of residential panel building of former East Germany. The P stands for parallel; referring to load-bearing walls arranged parallel to the wall surfaces, and the 2 denoting the arrangement of two stairways in a building. The first house of this type of industrial building was built in 1961 as an experimental building in Berlin-Lichtenberg. The house is located at Erich-Kuttner-Straße 9-15 in the Fennpfuhl district and now a listed building.
Stairs and arrangement of dwellings
Characteristic of this type of buildings is the arrangement of the apartments around a nearly square interior stairwell often equipped with a glass roof. The houses have five to eleven stories and there are usually two apartments per floor, but there are also houses of this type with three apartments per floor above and below the stairwell access.
As a standard design, the P2 is five or six stories high, with the ground floor being raised half a story above the ground. This allows natural light and ventilation to the basement, and the minimization of the excavation for the foundation of a building. Access to the building is therefore gained either via outside stairs and / or a half-staircase in the entrance area. The staircase and access area require a reduction of space for a ground floor apartment. A four-room and a one-bedroom apartment were therefore created instead of the symmetric three-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. The remaining room was turned into a hallway.
In P2-buildings with more than six stories, every third floor has a distribution hallway. The hallway is usually located on the entrance side of a building and serves as access to stairwells, elevators, waste discharge and storerooms. The apartments located above or below the distribution hallways are not accessed directly from the elevator, but via a staircase up or down respectively. Typically, the distribution hallways are arranged like this:
- P2/10 (with 10 stories): first, third, sixth and ninth floors
- P2/11 (with 11 stories): first, fourth, seventh and tenth floors (Seventh floor has an emergency exit passage connecting to a neighbouring building).
As a standard, apartments in P2-buildings have one to four rooms. In houses with special elements, such as trapezoidal shape, there are also 5-room apartments, in which two rooms have no right angles.
Originally there were no loggias on the raised ground floor; they were added later in the course of reconstruction work.
Kitchens and baths
The novelty of the bathrooms and kitchens is optimisation of space by always locating them inside and next to each other utilising the same supply shaft for water, sewage and ventilation. Bathrooms being fully equipped sanitary room modules (toilet, sink, tub, faucets for bathroom and washing machine connection, vertical supply and disposal lines for kitchen) part of the installation; they were lifted into the shell construction in one piece. Only the connection to the pipes at ground level was necessary for installation. The walls to the service shaft were made of different materials, ranging from press board over plaster walls full to massive concrete elements.
The designers forewent the kitchen-diner, which required longways format and separates the family; to reduce living space will therefore reduce expenses. The design idea was to integrate women more effectively into the family by opening the kitchen to the living room and to encourage men to participate in the household. The kitchens were initially connected to the living rooms by large service hatches in the form of built-in furniture. After massive criticism about the kitchen not being isolated enough from the living room; acknowledgement of the stipulation lead to later builds incorporated concrete walls with a small hatch window. In the last series produced, the kitchen was completely separated from the living room by a wall; daylight only fell into the kitchen through the door or service hatch.
- Finished parts in the load level to 5.0 t
- Grid 6 m × 6 m
- Building depth (standard) 12 m
- Storey height from 2.60 to 2.80 m
- Number of floors: 5 to 11 - with retail and office floors and 14
- Susanne Hopf, Natalja Meier: Plattenbau Privat. 60 Interieurs. Nicolai, Berlin 2004. ISBN 3-89479-130-6 (Panel Private. 60 interiors.)
- Roland Sink: neues leben – neues wohnen - Der Muster- und Experimentalbau P 2 in Berlin-Lichtenberg. In: Der Bär von Berlin, Jahrbuch des Vereins für die Geschichte Berlins, 54.2005, S. 153-166. ISSN 0522-0033 (new life - new live - The model and experimental building P 2 in Berlin-Lichtenberg. In: The Bear of Berlin, Yearbook of the Association for the History of Berlin,) 54.2005, p. 153-166. ISSN 0522-0033