6 min reading time
Story 107 – 1900 – People Processes

Work and living space from a single source

Numerous workers' housing units built in Vöhringen

To a much greater extent than in Ulm, Wieland built apartments and houses for workers and employees in Vöhringen around 1900. Entire Wieland settlements were thus created on "greenfield sites", providing many families with a home close to their workplace over decades.

With the growth of the Voehringen plant at the end of the 19th century, the population of the formerly small town also grew dramatically. Between 1900 and 1910 alone, the population increased by around 50% to 2170 people. For Wieland it became more and more difficult to recruit suitable workers from the surrounding rural areas – company apartments and houses were intended to help.

Unlike in Ulm, there was enough space around the site in Voehringen, and the first company apartments were built as early as 1873. The subject was approached consistently and on a grand scale from the turn of the century onwards. Between 1903 and 1910 no less than three Wieland housing estates were built on Frauenstrasse and Illerzeller Strasse. In 1913 there were 106 apartments in 48 houses available. Particularly popular were the semi-detached houses, whose apartments consisted of three rooms, each with a small garden. A simple but effective architectural refinement was achieved by placing the entrance and garden of each unit on the opposite side of the respective neighbouring house.

As in Ulm, very moderate rents were demanded in Voehringen, or apartments were offered for sale at attractive conditions. Wieland provided favourable loans for this purpose. These were continued to be granted to employees for the purchase of real estate when the construction of Wieland apartments was discontinued after the First World War. Only after the Second World War did Wieland build 44 more company-owned apartments in Vöhringen under its own management.

The apartments built close to the plant created a win-win situation for all parties involved: Wieland could - and in combination with other outstanding social benefits – gain sufficient manpower. And the employees found well-designed, liveable housing in the immediate vicinity of their workplace. Many families lived for several generations in one of the Wieland housing estates whose houses were modernised and renovated over time – including the installation of bathrooms. The former Wieland apartments still characterise the townscape of Vöhringen today. However, they no longer belong to the factory and were sold in 1999.

Post card 1924

What purpose the postcard from 1924 served is not known. What is certain is that it shows special houses for Wieland employees.

Extract floor plan of Wieland workers‘ houses 1909

Not too big, but functionally cut and with their own gardens: Plan for Wieland workers' houses from 1909.

Workers houses

Good thinking: In these houses on Illerzeller Straße, the entrances are on opposite sides of the semi-detached houses.

Location plan workers houses

First-class location: The plan from 1901 clearly shows how close to the plant the first Wieland settlements in Vöhringen were. And that they occupied (even) more land than the factory.
(Copyright Staatsarchiv Augsburg: BA Illertissen/2108)