Abandoned since 1992, the castle-esque sanatorium served to isolate tuberculous patients from the general public and provide them with plenty of fresh air away from the pollution of Berlin city. The building was built between 1900-1905 and was one of several buildings designed by Ludwig Hoffmann in the Buch area. Now, however, it has fallen victim to forgotten Berlin, as many places did after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The grounds themselves were very open with several fallen down fences and unlocked gates, however, the sanitorium was near impossible to enter. Steel grates covered every possible entrance, secured from the inside with metal straps and brackets. Where there’s a will there’s a way, driven by our passion and thirsty for more after exploring the neighbouring building – we found a way in. All I can say is, if you are afraid of heights as high as four-storey (remember we’re talking alt-bau here!), it may not be the way in for you.
Paint peels in every corner and doors moan in the wind, only the graffiti suggests anyone was here in the last twenty years. During the Third Reich, the Nazis implemented a euthanasia program called ‘Action T4’ which involved systematically killing anyone who was mentally or physically disabled. This saw the tuberculous patients of Waldhaus Buch executed and the sanatorium abandoned. It was used as an orthopaedic hospital in later years, although many buildings still remained empty.
Unfortunately, the buildings are no longer suitable to be used as a modern day clinic due to health restrictions so there are plans to convert the buildings into apartments. Some of the buildings on the site have already been converted into housing which you can see from the road or as you enter. As for the beautiful abandoned sanatorium, a further 500 apartments are to be made. There have been discussions about what to do with the grand hallway, as you can see the layout of the building is focused around many long corridors (my favourite for photographing!) so also difficult architecturally.
We found some old papers from 1965 scattered across the floor and many old pieces of furniture, even a saucepan lid randomly placed. It seems that the workmen currently don’t enter the building and are just focusing on renewing the roof. According to the building plans the electrics and sewage systems have already been worked on.
Remember to always take great care not to destroy or vandalise these buildings. Many of them are listed buildings with great historical significance. Leave it how you found it for the next urban explorer to enjoy just as much.
Not a living soul was seen on the grounds or inside. Although there were plenty of creeks and moans to have you looking over your shoulder every five minutes. There are plenty of signs saying there is security present and evidence of workmen on the site.
Get the S2 from Friedrichstraße Station to Buch. Trains are frequent and once you get there it is a twelve-minute walk from the station, you can follow the map below. There is an entrance that is easy to enter next to some residential housing although I would advise against it, I have learned that Germany is the birthplace of ‘nosey neighbours’, instead head to the red gates and wait for no cars, the gate should be open.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ever tresspassed on this property nor do I condone doing so.
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