28.10.2014

Housing at the old city wall of Berlin

This house in the center of Berlin, opposite the old medieval city walls has been created as a complex spatial structure and as a labyrinth of light, as a new, fresh wind. That greets, enriches and brings the new. Atypical but nevertheless revitalizing and integrating.

The complicated plot geometry, the light situation, the building code requirements and the perceptions of the landmark building commission as well as the desire of the owner and investor for maximum utilization of space proved to be a particular challenge. How can the density and individuality, security, and naturally grown fragmentation of the medieval structure with courtyards and alleys, as they once were, be transformed into a different, contemporary language?

At this place, where time left so many scars, shouldn’t there be a house that’s been developed not only to fill voids but also to leave voids? The result is an individually from the inside out developed building complex with a complex structure whose parts individually stretch to the light, for air and into the space, yet withdraw into hidden privacy. The interaction of introversion and extroversion, looking in and looking out, interior and exterior spaces, light and shadow play, create their own complex cosmos. The construction leaves interstitial space and places that offer retreat and relaxation to the over stimulated big city life, as well as shelter or a meeting room, if you like.

The house lives with the light and changes due to the light at any given day time or season. It is constructed with light in mind and that is always noticeable. The white, fine-grained and seamlessly plastered walls abandon the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces and let the individual buildings seem basic, abstract and sculptural by the way of the sharp edges of the building corners. They reinforce the effect of light and provide an ideal reflective surface.

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Henry Koerner Hall

Patios and terraces, pool and water surfaces change at any time of day or season specific areas of the house and thereby contribute significantly to the increase in living quality . This will not only allow joy and fun but also strengthen the awareness and the senses.

The six-storey front building houses a parking garage in the basement, above five apartments two of which are organized as maisonettes . Two townhouses, five and three floors , designed as independent vertical units additionally accessed via a courtyard on the 1st floor. All apartments have been designed and customized individually. They differ fundamentally from each other yet form a unity .

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