Q3A Panel house

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Q3A-frontal view
Rear view

Q3A is an abbreviation for a type of three, four and five storey prefabricated building constructed in the GDR in the 1950s and 1960s. The letter "Q" in the word stands for "Querwandbau."


In a Q3A panel house, the walls are constructed of concrete blocks and the ceiling consists of several different elements. The most visible difference between the Q3A panel house and other East Germany buildings of its time, was the flat roof. Q3A homes are equipped with a furnace for heating, and a balcony for use by tenants was also provided in approximately half the cases. In later years, these houses were retrofitted with additional balconies.

The concrete blocks and ceiling elements of the first houses were manufactured at an industrial plant in the Berlin Ostseestrasse. Later types were designed at Blockbuilding IW57 and IW58. These were produced in much smaller numbers even after the roof was redesigned.

Shortly after the first houses were erected in 1957 all Q3A-block buildings in what was then East Berlin, followed cross wall construction methods. The QX-series buildings, which were mostly 4-storey, were not constructed from blocks, but from cheaper concrete strip. This change was evident in the Hans-hole area where, as the first new large-scale settlement in East Berlin after the Second World War, a number of QX-houses were build alongside some Q3A buildings. It is worth noting, that while the GDR primarily built Q3A-block buildings, the QX-series was constructed on a relatively limited basis, and as such, the QX-series can be regarded as a sample series.

From 1959 to 1983 there were the even more frequently built homes in the transverse wall-panel construction (QP or QP64 for the main application year 1964). They were built with five, eight or ten floors and in contrast to the two previous series. The Q then meet building codes with a lift. This is the first type of house in an industrial panel-way . The individual plate members form a complete wall of a room. The most striking and visible feature of many houses of the QP series are the colors, usually white or yellow tiles for cladding the exterior walls. The first buildings of this series originated in Berlin, between Strausberg and the Alexanderplatz, in the western half of the former Stalin Avenue and also at the Hans-hole area.

In the early 1970s came the - five-, six-or eleven-story series - with approximately 900,000 apartment units most frequently realized housing 70 series added. As part of the Sonderbauprogramms Berlin, capital of the GDR, East Berlin, was also building types P2 and WHH GT 18. This is one of the first types of large panel construction actually realized.



  • Basic principle: light concrete blocks from
  • Mass of the finished parts: a maximum of 0.8 t
  • Distance of the inner transverse walls: 2.40 m and 3.60 m
  • Building depth: 10.0 m
  • Balcony arrangement: pairs
  • Roof shape: flat sloping roof with cold bituminous roofing membranes
  • Balcony arrangement: if present, in pairs at the longitudinal side
  • Built in Berlin: 1957-1969 28,600 housing units
    • following variants: IW64 (type of Brandenburg)


  • Rationale: Light concrete from strip
  • Mass of the finished parts: a maximum of 1.0 t
  • Roof shape: flat ventilated cold pitched roof
  • Balcony arrangement: in pairs and individually on the long side
  • Built in Berlin: 1959-1964 3300 housing units
    • following variant: Type Magdeburg


  • Basic principle: light concrete panels from
  • Mass of the finished parts: a maximum of 5.0 t
  • Types: QP59, QP61, Qp62, QP64, QP71, QP71R
  • Roof shape: butterfly-shaped roof with cold bekriechbarem Drempelraum
  • Balcony arrangement: on both Stirnseitem, but also depending on type on the long side
  • Built in Berlin: 1959-1983 35,000 housing units


Further reading[edit]