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June 2000

The Borstei

The Borstei

The Borstei has been a mecca for generations of architectural students, but you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy and admire this model housing estate from the 1920s. If you are in the Dantebad area, take the time to pay a visit to the Borstei, which stretches over a few blocks of Dachauerstrasse. With its high walls punctuated by only a few gates, recalling a fortress or a fortified town, the estate, which comprises 70 buildings, may seem somewhat uninviting from the outside. Once inside, though, cobblestone streets, courtyards, luscious gardens, beautiful murals as well as numerous sculptures and fountains make this a pleasant place to linger. The architect, Bernhard Borst, built the complex from 1924 to 1929, creating a timeless model for urban living. What made the Borstei unique when it was built — self-sufficiency on account of its own heating plant, infrastructure, craftsmen, shops and social institutions; its simple, harmonious architectural style with a love for details, using nothing but the best materials; and the inclusion of public gardens — continues to do so today, making it a much-admired showpiece of Munich architecture.

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