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138 Albertussee Urban Design Competition, Düsseldorf 2017 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: urban design competition
program: housing, working
location: Düsseldorf
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Amelie Bimberg, Leonard Palm, Jonas Läufer
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Mark Kanters, Linda Consiglieri
client: Metro Group
date: October 2017

The peculiarity of the site is its production of contradictory phenomena. The nearby highway and industrial buildings create an audible world characterized by their unpleasant loudness while the left-over open spaces have fostered a bucolic wilderness, complete with an idyllic lake.

Through the insertion of a residential quarter, ‘Am Albertussee’ creates a new mixture of city and landscape. Here, the synthesis of two contrasting urban morphologies—the open modernist cityscape and the closed compact “European city”—combines the best of both concepts.
The scenic nature is emphasized by the flowing spaces of modernity, while the interior spaces of the solitary blocks protects the inhabitants from the noise of their surroundings.

The outdoor space is an inclusive permeable public space, serving both the residents and the greater population as a place for meeting and leisure. Not only does the transition between the pastoral south and the urban north mark relationship of nature and culture, but it gradually introduces inaccessibility protecting scenic biotope from and for the densely programmed public space.

Englische Linie

170 Fabric cooperative workshop, Lörrach 2020, ongoing – BeL & Marco Merz Marion Clauss & NL Architects & ifau & META & Studio Céline Baumann & ARGUS & Transsolar

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status: workshop
program: foundation headquarter, canteen, school, workshops, experimental housing
location: Lörrach - Brombach
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Julia Kaulen, Laura Fuchs, Leander Lentner with Marco Merz, Marion Clauss, Kamiel Klaasse, Philipp Stiebler, Susanne Heiss, Yana Kyuchukova
client: Schöpflin Stiftung
date: October 2020 - April 2021

The new Fabric-Areal is an ambiguous answer to the wishes formulated by 1600 narrators for the design of a new piece of Brombach.

Like the task, the result also contains the knowledge of many: It is characterized by the close collaboration of the four architectural firms. Most of the work was done on site and in the model, in dialog with the interdisciplinary advisory board and invited experts.

The urban design is situational and narrative, reacting to the landscape, industrial and village contexts of Brombach. The different sides of the context (residential development in the south, existing foundation site in the west, mobility hub in the north and Vacuform site in the east) are complemented and related to each other, creating a loose structure of seven playfully positioned buildings. These divide the site into a more open, landscaped section and a denser, more urban one.

The building volumes are individual characters that create a dense network of relationships between interior and exterior spaces; wide meadows and narrow alleys, representative openings and intimate niches. The heart of the site is articulated by an agora; an extension of the landscaped open space.

The hybrid buildings in timber construction are developed to remain open for future developments, energetically optimized and are occupied up to the roof area. Multiple-usable spaces, sharing potentials and communal living forms save space and resources, making the Fabric-Areal a sustainable piece of the city.

Englische Linie

083 Guest house Conversion Project, St. Eloois Winkel, Belgium 2011

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status: conversion project
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Maike Basista, Wolfgang Zeh
net floor area: 45 m2
client: Julie & Michel Vandenbroucke
costs: 100.000 €
date: July 2011

The Guest House project is based on BeL's personal experience as guests and temporary inhabitants of the Vandenbroucke residence.

Built fifteen years ago in the style of a fermette, the residence has been dramatically renovated by 51N4E. Their radical transformation opens the conventional plan to a multitude of functional programs. Gutting the existing house and adding an exterior space enclosed by a steel wall, the boundaries of exterior and interior are blurred completely. Domesticity is given a new significance, the fluid spaces offer a multitude of interpretations. In its ambiguity the house is an architectural manifesto and a home at the same time. It is a spatial portrait of the residents, an open house, happily awaiting guests.

With a guest program in mind particular functional limitations of the transformed residence become evident. Guests outside of the owner's personal realm intrude upon the latter's intimacy and have demands for their own privacy themselves. Two essential architectural shortcomings emerge from this programmatic friction.

The Guest House project enhances the functional performance of the house to meet the extra demands of a guest program. Additional space is generated within the existing building. The Guest House is not a detached or added annex but expands into the interior. It is extra space discovered inside of the building. It enables independence of individual users, supplying alternative spaces to be appropriated by guests and hosts.

The Guest House is a miniature house hidden within the existing building. It's a parallel realm of complementary space waiting to be occupied by either guest or host. It offers a diversity of rooms in a spatial continuum. It is small in scale, yet a whole new universe. Searching for the remaining voids left by 51N4E's transformation, the Guest House exhausts the building's volumetric capacity. With a minimum of alterations it strives for a maximum of space, retrieving surplus volume to residential use.

Challenging the visible and invisible thresholds of the occupants, the Guest House emphasizes their modes of dwelling and pushes the margins of cohabitation.

Englische Linie

079 Gärtnerhof Overmeyer Organic Farm, Seevetal 2014 – BeL & urban catalyst studio

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status: completed
program: organic farm with barn, stables, farmstead and farm shop
location: Seevetal
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Klaus Overmeyer, Maike Basista, Matthias Hoffmann, Luc Knödler, Philipp Schläger, Christiane Schmidt, Wolfgang Zeh
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
area: 2000 m2, 10 ha
clients: Kerstin & Uli Overmeyer, Seevetal
costs: 2.000.000 €
completion: March 2014

Agricultural engineers Ulrich and Kerstin Overmeyer have built a new biodynamic farm with a farm store, residential building, stable and barn on a ten-hectare plot in Emmelndorf. In front of the organic market garden on Emmelndorfer Straße, a large scattered fruit meadow and a wetland biotope have been created. "We want to make primary production tangible and make shopping a direct sensory experience," says Kerstin Overmeyer, explaining the concept. "We want to make sustainable management in harmony with nature tangible. Anyone who comes to us should immediately be immersed in our agriculture," adds her husband Uli Overmeyer.

The courtyard is composed by individual volumes, all with views of the garden landscape. The large volumes are constructed of timber and are themselves composed of smaller volumes with thresholds, intermediate and partial spaces that take up references to the neighboring buildings. The overall structure of Gärtnerhof becomes smaller and larger simultaniously. In the patchwork of facades there are different veneers made of re-used bricks. The spaces all communicate with one another across the yard; all annexable according to the seasonal and momentary needs of the residents and operators.

The Gärtnerhof is a cross between a garden and a farm; a charged island in the landscape. The garden is compaction, in the yard the garden experience is opened up and thus further condensed; it is a space of rural conjestion. The farm is so compact that life and work are immediately perceptible, that the operational processes are optimized. The farm has a closed energy cycle. Animals, houses, equipment, fruit, vegetables and people coexist in a dynamic, cultivated order, to the rhythm of the seasons, in accord with the laws of nature.

Englische Linie

045 Sparda Bank Competition, Bonn 2007

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status: competition
program: bank
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Thomas Schneider
gross floor area: 1.034 m2
cost: 2.648.632,00 €
client: Sparda-Bank West
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
date: January 2007

The scheme is based on Edward T. Halls theory of proxemics, a study on the individual's need for personal space. To guarantee privacy within an open space, confidential conversations need to be protected by minimum distances.
The proposal embraces the conflicting requirements of openness and privacy and encourages customers to ascend to the upper floors.

A low-ceilinged Rustico welcomes the customer on street level. The ground floor is open to the public 24 hours a day and houses several ATMs. During business hours an extra-wide spiral staircase opens to a spacious Piano Nobile. The structural system of the building consists of 13 slim columns and 5 waffle floor slabs. A service core contains ATMs, a staircase and an elevator.

Due to the cooperative heritage of the Sparda Bank the project indulges in humbleness.

Englische Linie

206 Plankerheide Urban Design Competition, Honourable Mention, Krefeld 2023 BeL & bauchplan ).(

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status: urban design competition
program: residential, educational, mobility infrastructure
location: Krefeld
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Emmet Elliott, Amelie Kulassek, Leon Weissheimer, Finn Marcelli
team bauchpla ).(: Fernando Nebot Gomez, Luisa Mowitz, Linn Amelung, Maria Winkler, Zhiqing Zhou
client: City of Krefled, NRW.Urban
date: June 2023

This project is structured around climate protection. It translates parameters of climate-friendly building into form. The structure is determined by fresh air movements, the drainage patterns and a regiment of minimal paving of the former agricultural landscape. The entire development is placed as a coherent figure in the landscape, against which it communicates and responds.

The movement and open spaces represent air corridors, the cool air from the fields is passed on into the area. The green main structure of a boulevard, formed by straight lines and circle segments, forms a first order, from which green landscape pockets depart. The main structure oscillates along the existing landscape elements the adjacent cemetery and fields. This structure also translates fire regulation into the form of the urban design in order to minimize paving. Thus, our paved circulation requires only 6% of the developments area instead of the planned 15%. This saved 9% is dedicated to green spaces. On the boulevard there are buildings that open outwards. The structures are higher along the boulevard and lower towards the landscape, framing vistas. Towards the South, the structures are composed by conglomerating housing typologies.

Englische Linie

061 Eisenachstraße Conversion, Cologne 2009

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status: completed
program: conversion of a terrace house
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Wiebke Schlüter, Wolfgang Zeh
net floor area: 150 m2
client: N.N.
cost: 150.000 €
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
date: May 2009

The garden city estate of the Köln-Nippeser Bau- und Spargenossenschaft on Eisenachstrasse is one of the oldest cooperative housing estates in Cologne. Next to the large Nippes railroad repair works, the architect Heinrich Krings built around 60 inexpensive terraced houses for railroad workers' families between 1903 and 1905. The settlement won the gold medal for floor plan design at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris. As the last of the settlement houses to retain both street and garden-side facades, House number 38 is now listed for protection. The house suffered the misfortune of a lovelessly executed 90s renovation: three bathrooms were installed, rooms were divided, textured wallpaper and diagonally laid floor tiles covered the simple but robust original materials. By the time the new owners—a family with two children—purchased the house, this renovation had already worn out, but due to very high real estate prices, the remodeling budget was extremely limited.

For the new residents, the three separate units crammed into the existing building were re-integrated with selective interventions. The formerly semi-public stairwell was connected to the adjacent living and dining rooms, the kitchen was relocated to the street side, and the entrance hallway was demolished. A functional wall with integrated storage, work desk and through-way separates the kitchen from the newly created entrance hall. The dining room was given a door to the garden, and a fireplace area connects the dining room to the staircase. On the first floor, the demolition of the bathrooms made it possible to create space for a large living room adjacent to the children's rooms while the master bedroom with dressing room and a large family bathroom inhabit the second floor.

The entire house was remodeled with a dual strategy of brutalization and refinement. The new state is composed of the exposed fragments of all the previous ones: the visible shell of 1903, the framed extension of 1905, first improvements of the 50s, parts of the renovation of the 90s and contemporary interventions. All fragments are connected by a layer of beige paint, graduating their differences. The inset reading nook, fireplace bench, pass-through storage wall and shower niche, complete the programmatic expansion of the house. These new interventions follow the so-called ‘dental filling’ tactic: they fit seamlessly into existing conditions while revealing their independence materially.

Englische Linie

068 Radstation Competition, Mülheim an der Ruhr 2009

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status: competition - honorable mention
program: bicycle stand and kiosk
location: Mülheim an der Ruhr
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Sebastian Haufe, Philipp Schneider, Wolfgang Zeh
gross floor area: 90 m2
cost: 120.000 €
client: Stadt Mülheim an der Ruhr
date: May 2009

The new harbor square will be a lively, public space for city of Mülheim in the future. With its northern end, the bike station adopts the building line of the  adjacent residential buildings, forming the southern end of  the ‘Hafenplatz,’ the harbor square. The bike station is not a piece of street furniture, but a small public building. It is modeled on the urban loggias of the Italian Renaissance and the neoclassical drinking halls of 19th century Badish architecture. As a new building block in the urban fabric, the bike station establishes a connection with the larger public buildings on the banks of the Ruhr. The public bath, public hall and the city hall shape the character of Mülheim, their limestone facades and arcades defining a measured, dignified urbanity. The bike station continues these arcade spaces, a new interpretation of Hafenplatz.

The building is vertically divided into two zones. The ground floor houses the kiosk, bicycle parking and the transformer station. The transformer is clad in simple white steal, doubling as urban furniture. 34 bicycle parking spaces are created by the columns in the fully covered area, with twelve additional parking spaces possible along the edges. The walk-in kiosk has a sliding glass façade and mobile furniture, allowing for a variety of configurations. When the glass facade is open, a space without thresholds is created, the boundaries between public space, bicycle parking and the kiosk's lounge zone dissolve. The occupation of the loggia with multiple functions creates a covered public space which becomes an active part of the city through informal use.

The attic zone of the building has several functions. In urban space, it creates the necessary presence of a small public building, giving the eaves a height of 5.1 meters. The trusses form a light coffered ceiling, framing lamps and bringing a soft, diffuse carpet of light to the square in the evenings. The exterior facades of the attic offer a canvas for the artistic examination of the city. In a separate call for tenders, an artistic work in the tradition of the frieze can be commissioned here.

Englische Linie

159 Baufeld 84 Competition, 3rd prize, Hamburg 2019

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status: competition. 3rd prize
program: housing
location: Baakenhafen, HafenCity, Hamburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Julia Kaulen, Alina Uhlenbrock
client: Hamburger Wohnen eG & building cooperative „AMIGO“
date: August 2019

The transformation of the ‘hafen’ (harbor) into HafenCity is a challenge. Where once large-scale mono-functionality of harbor basins, crane facilities and quay sheds dominated, a small-scale mixed quarter is now emerging. This project seeks to weave these strands—of place, identity, function, construction, space and material—together. The industrial grandeur remains tangible; the openness of the formerly mono-functional large remains present in the small-scale mixed.

This begins with the structure of the building, a hybrid of skeleton and load-bearing bulkhead construction. This three-nave masonry pier structure is the unifying essence of the building, binding together space, material and façade. Its neutral spatial structure enables the construction of 30 different flat types with specific requirements for divisibility, switch-ability and, in some cases, very determinate dimensions. Changes in family or occupant structure throughout the entire house can thus be accommodated without structural interference. Thanks to short spans, composite timber ceilings and prefabricated elements are possible, reducing carbon-hungry materials and allowing for easy re- and deconstruction. On the facades, the structure is reinterpreted as functional ornamentation. This restrained narrative is contextual: it is a masonry building on the harbor. Was there before? Is it a converted warehouse building? The visible structure, the ordinariness of living and its prominent location make for a quietly peculiar building.

The terp-formed pedestal facing the Versmannstraße and the promenade along the wharf below result in the building’s two ground floors. The plan development follows, subtly differentiating the building into two volumes: an L-shaped structure—eight stories to the North and five to the South—sits atop the terp, while a four-story cube faces onto the promenade. Offset by half a story, but with an aligned parapet, they form a split-level building which is nevertheless legible as an independent body; first cut in, then exposed. The upper ground floor is hidden from the street by its neighbor—the communal entrance courtyard is reached through a passage—while the lower ground floor perforates the terp wall modestly, connecting it with the promenade. Here the 1,5-floor high ‘Quarter-pipe’ communal space is accessible from both sides, constituting the first of the buildings various communal spaces. Others include a play place at ground level, a communal kitchen/terrace and multiple roof gardens. These spaces, the two volumes, and the apartments themselves are united through a single external stair: the social heart of the building. The staircase creates an address and an identity, offering easy ascent through the split levels, casual interactions, and —from the 4th floor upwards—views onto the Hamburg harbor.

Englische Linie

144 Radladen Staub & Teer Bikeshop, Cologne 2018

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status: completed
program: bike shop
location: Severinstraße 49, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christian Kühnle
costs: 50.000 €
net floor area: 105 m2
completion: October 2018

Verzinkerpreis 2019, honorable mention: sustainability 

The staub&teer bike shop in Cologne is a sustainable project. The salesroom for gravel bikes and accessories of a Cologne bike factory had a fixed budget of €50,000 for 100 m2 of space. For this, the complete drywall construction, the electrical, lighting and sanitary installations, painting work and the sales equipment were to be carried out. The shop - perfectly located in the Roman Cardo street - had no spatial or atmospheric qualities, so only a strong overhaul of the space would make the shop a place of commerce.

The spatial or atmospheric upgrading of the room is achieved by installing a construction system from an alien context - a ready-made. The galvanized EURO formwork construction system serves as a wall, room divider, paneling, door, counter and shelf, and can be deconstructed without leaving any residue. The differently joined modular elements, fixed by means of clamps, form a sequence of rooms: the vestibule, the counter space, the cabinet of curiosities and the bicycle gallery are lined up, one after another.

The construction system was built by the shop operators themselves in 5 days, and fulfills the individual functions through various modifications. Perforated or galvanized steel sheets are set with magnets; flush with the outside as a presentation surface or flush with the inside as shelf backing. As bicycle holders, bent anchor rods were inserted into the anchor nuts inherent in the system. As product holders, stock insert-able hooks were inserted into the perforated panels. The universal formwork, purchased for 30.000 €, required no modification, and can thus be resold after a possible dismantling.

Since opening, the bike shop has become a social meeting place—given its universality and the energy of the operators—serving this role in addition to that of a sales room: https://www.instagram.com/staubundteer/

Englische Linie

013 Rationator Single-Family House, Overath 2003

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status: completed
program: single family house
location: Overath
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Sascha Glasl, Eveline Jürgens
net floor area: 200 m2
cost: 250.000 €
client: Jan und Beata Ruppert, Dortmund
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
date: May 2004

www.rationator.org

Overath is a small town on the periphery of Cologne's suburbia. Rationator is a detached house for a family with 3 children.
Sited on a stretched building plot along the bank of the Agger River, the house is threatened by floods up to 2,5 m above ground level. Thus the design anticipates possible flooding with a choice of flood resistant materials and construction techniques.
The clients represent the typical family who dream of their own house, but have a limited budget. Rationator acknowledges this predisposition with a choice of communication strategies and profound typological exercises.

Englische Linie

194 Post-/VoBa Areal Competition, Honourable Mention, Sindelfingen 2022 – BeL & Molestina & studio grüngrau

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status: urban design competition
program: multi-use community and cultural centre
location: Sindelfingen
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Amelie Kulassek, Alina Uhlenbrock, Tobias Schwuchow
team Molestina: Juan Pablo Molestina, Steffen Schmidt, Julia Deventer
team grüngrau: Thomas Fenner, Binyang Xie
client: City of Sindelfingen
date: April 2022

Diagrammatically formulated, this solitaire bundles the entire interior program along Mercedes Street and raises it, thus obtaining a coherent, permeable green space which connects all adjacent streets. This minimizes pavement and maximizes potential areas for vegetation and social interaction. The building is a 38.5m high and 25.4m deep, functional hybrid. It is set back towards Mercedesstraße, tangent to the property line at Gartenstraße and at Poststraße it keeps maximum distance to the opposite development; a respectful neighbour. As a high point, the building is clearly perceptible from every side due to its precise positioning, without triggering conflicts with the buildings opposite. On the contrary, it creates new urban contexts and gives expression to its public purpose.
 
The entire area lies at the center of a "shared space" formed by the surrounding streets of Mercedesstrasse/Gartenstrasse/Unter Torgasse and Poststrasse. The boundaries of this urban space are fluid, pedestrians and cyclists enjoy absolute priority, and the speed of all vehicles is reduced to a minimum.
 
The 5.8m high first floor of the 11-storey structure has a special significance. Its structural footprint is minimal and its height maximal to allow permeability in all directions. Each side forms special subspaces; the quiet entrance hall of the apartments is located on Poststrasse, while the more public Mercedesstraße is lined by a colonnade with accompanying trees. Here, tables of the café of the Kultur- und Bürger*innenzentrum can be placed in the morning sun. This space leads southwards into the urban loggia, where a cantilever created by the sloped seating of the civic hall above forms a public, covered outdoor space. In addition to its function as the entrance area of the cultural and civic centre, this space doubles as a lively forum for cultural and social activities at the intersection of Mercedesstrasse and Gartenstrasse. To the West, between the building and Unterer Torgasse, the public green space provides shade, calm and room to relax.

Englische Linie

074 van Dyck Coffee Roastery, Cologne 2010 – BeL & nondesign

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status: completed
program: coffee roastery
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Wolfgang Zeh
brand design: nondesign, Jörg Waschat
cost: 150.000,- €
net floor area: 185 m2
completion: July 2010

AIT-Award 2012

The van Dyck roasting plant is located at Körnerstraße 43 in Cologne-Ehrenfeld, a district characterized by its development during the industrial revolution. Its dense, orthogonal street network is lined by Rhenish three-window houses. Workers and petty bourgeois lived here, while in the block interiors, artisanal businesses and companies such as Audi, 4711, Helios, Herbrand and the chocolate factory Kwatta maintained production facilities. Since the Second World War, many immigrant workers moved to neighborhood, and recent development has been characterized by gentrification. While Ehrenfeld's industrial and artisanal importance is steadily declining, the gastronomic offer is steadily growing.

The design concept of the newly founded coffee roastery Van Dyck hearkens back to the industrial founding of the neighborhood without nostalgia. The technical production processes of a coffee roaster become the central design element; the experience of production becomes a gastronomic idea. With the roasting machine as a tabernacle in the visual axis of the room and the packing table serving as connecting element to the shop window, the guests participate intensively in the production of the coffee. The visit becomes a tasting; coffee and food are served at the packing table. The privilege of participating in the roasters' lunch break—behind the scenes of a legendary production plant—determines the perception of van Dyck.

An automotive enthusiast's greatest happiness is a visit to the "hallowed halls," the production facilities of his beloved make. Coffee lovers worldwide can now enjoy daily van Dyck coffee on Körnerstrasse.

Englische Linie

117 Clouth Housing Competition, Cologne 2015

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Clouth urban re-development Nippes, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Christiane Schmidt, Wolfgang Zeh
client: Wüstenrot Haus und Städtebau GmbH
date: May 2015

Ja, das möchste: Eine Villa im Grünen mit großer Terrasse,
vorn die Ostsee, hinten die Friedrichstraße;
mit schöner Aussicht, ländlich-mondän,
vom Badezimmer ist die Zugspitze zu sehn -
aber abends zum Kino hast Dus nicht weit.

(aus Theobald Tiger alias Kurt Tucholsky, Das Ideal, Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung 31.7.27)

To the north lies the urban street; to the south, a garden within nature. Here, one finds conditions out of Tucholski's "The Ideal."

The transition from the private to communal areas is finely graded, inviting contact between neighbors. To create a semi-public space along the facade, the ground floor moves back slightly. Each entrance hall is flanked by a finely tiled bench, helping the house to participate in the life of the sidewalk. The two-side oriented apartments have a continuous window strip towards the urban side, where a small balcony enables a connection, while a pergola creates balconies and loggias for all apartments along the garden side.

The building offers a variety of housing, from 2 to 5 ½ room apartments. These are distributed in a balanced mixture over all floors and provide for a wide range of living needs at various scales. The residents can use the floor plan flexibly; small spaces are arranged around a neutral distributor space, which can be both kitchen and living room. In the apartments from 2 ½ rooms or more, the user can decide freely about having a bedroom to the street or towards the garden. Some large apartments can be divided. Due to the flexibility of the ground plans, many alternative housing forms--such as cooperative housing, live/work housing or multi-generational living--are possible under one roof.

 

Englische Linie

167 Cultuurfabriek Izegem Competition, 1st prize, Belgium 2020

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status: competition, 1st prize
program: library, archive, theatre, bar, Art’Iz arts academy
location: Izegem, Belgium
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christian Kühnle, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Tessa Gaunt, Emmet Elliott
structural engineer: Imagine Structure, Frankfurt am Main
energy consultant: Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Stuttgart
acoustic consultant: Karl Goebels, Leverkusen
project partner Belgium: Bureau Bouwtechniek, Antwerp
client: city of Izegem
date: February 2020

The Strobbe printing press is an important part of Izegem's architectural identity. This building is thus seen not merely as a resource for sustainability, but also as an important example of a proud industrial building tradition. The essence of this building is the starting point for the ‘Cultuurfabriek’—the ‘Volkshuizen’ of Izegem. It is a house which belongs to everyone - a symbol of the city’s re-appropriation.

The Cultuurfabriek unites the previously separated institutions of archive, library and academy within the large body of the Strobbe printing house. The result is more than the sum of its parts, for the overlap of institutions creates a unique social entity in its own rite. Through the large, shared event space, restaurant/bar/cafe and small exhibition space, both the peculiarities of the individual institutions and their thematic harmony are experienced together.

The transformation of the Strobbe printing press into a culture hub is achieved with only minor interventions and additions: the building is understood as a large open structure in which existing qualities are discovered and enhanced. The structural beauty of the space is exposed, the size and essence of the rooms made tangible, while a few new large installations organize and upgrade the space. These space-making additions are infrastructural in nature, always accessible, and contain secondary rooms underneath or inside. These additions serve as actors in open space, concentrating and provoking action.

Towards the goal of sustainability, the building is regarded as a complete system in which all individual parts contribute to the success of the whole. The conversion of the existing building saves resources, the grey energy bound in the building is reused, and superimposition of program allows for a minimum of new construction. Preservation goes before demolition, strengthening before replacement.

Englische Linie

086  Galileum Competition, 4th Prize, Solingen 2011

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status: competition, 4th prize
program: conversion of a gasometer into a planetarium
location: Solingen
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Wolfgang Zeh
client: Galileum Solingen
date: March 2011

The human has always been moved to explore the cosmos; it is one of the oldest cultural fixations of civilization. As she contemplates the universe, the individual is searching for the deepest grounds of her existence. Here the intellect is developed; by curiously looking into the universe, man became a thinking being. In our conceptions of the heavenly bodies—their mechanics and their mathematics—thought meets the sublime. World-harmonic longings, hypotheses about the God-givenness of Nature, assumptions about physical determinism; man constructs the world, a self in search of knowledge.

The spherical gas container is not a building but a technical unit. It is constructed, not designed. Its austere beauty is based on its monumental construction, unintentionally (and thus more so) impressive.

The new Galileum Solingen is not a building but an instrument for communicating and exploring the universe. The grandeur of the technical cultural asset meets the grandeur of astronomical science. This is an ideal combination. It makes one shiver.

Adding the new to the old creates a symbiotic structure, both preserving the dignity of the existing structure and lending charisma to its new function as an observatory and planetarium. The result consists of two essential components, the sphere and the bar. Brushing eachother in the foyer, the bar provides subtle access to the planetarium—a half-spherical volume supported by spokes, off-center within the sphere of the gas container. The impressive interior volume of the container is opened—at the top by an oculus, and at ground level by the removal of the old steel shell—and becomes the Galileum's entrance way.

The way to the stars goes first through the underworld. Where the access road and the footpath meet, a flight of steps cut into the ground leads into the concrete foundations of the old container. One leaves the landscape, sinking into the post-industrial Hades of the gas-tank foundation. A free-standing steel spiral staircase offers a way out, up towards the light of the occulus. Rising, one is immersed in the moving monumentality of the dome. The path eventually winds around the interior wall of the dome, past the planetarium and to the entrance door of the Galileum, which is cut into the shell. In the foyer, the sphere lightly penetrates the space, offering, through another cut in the shell, access to the planetarium. But an external stair tower offers more height, leading from the foyer to the observation platform. Here, one is with the stars.

Englische Linie

043 CNL Competition, Prague, Czech Republic 2006

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status: competition
program: Czech National Library
location: Prague, Czech Republic
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Eveline Jürgens, Thomas Schneider, Lynn Kukelies
net floor area: 53.826 m2
client: National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
date: September 2006

The building of the New National Library marks the western edge of Letenská plain. Even though building mass is added to the area, the wide and open terrain is preserved as a multifunctional urban space. Corresponding to the monumental dimensions of the urban context, the New National Library rests as a simplistic volume on the extended gravel surface of Letenská plain. Oriented parallel to the open area, the building has a square footprint of 97,20m2 based on an 8,10 m square grid. To the north, an open plaza provides the main entrance for pedestrians. To the east, the library café, which also serves as an entrance, features a terrace looking onto the infinite gravel surface of Letenská plain.

The New National Library is a hybrid typology between utilitarian functionality and public grandeur. Sixty percent of the floor area is used solely for storage, with twenty percent of the floor area is open to the public. The presence of 10 million books creates a monumentality by sheer number, similar to baroque libraries, where visitors and employees are completely surrounded by books. With generic typologies such as supermarkets as a model the scheme juxtaposes the programmatic necessities of separating magazine and public spaces with the baroque approach of universal presence. The enormous size and complexity of a National Library reflects into simplistic spatial matrix.

In plan the 97,20 m deep open space is structured by supportive cylinders and voids in the floor. The voids connect spatially to the lower floors, which are mainly used as magazine spaces. The cylinders also provide controlled natural light through circular patios. Four cores contain vertical circulation, fire escapes, public and freight elevators with car capacity. Upper floors have 6,75 m clearance, lower floors 2,33 m. The neutrality of the system allows for a wide array of possible layouts. Essentially the ground floor contains public services, the first floor reading rooms, the second floor administration and public services. Restaurant and auditorium are also on the second floor.

Each upper floor is accompanied by a secondary lower floor (inverted mezzanine) that provides storage space for the public.

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145 Gartenstadt Erfurt Competition, Erfurt 2018

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Erfurt
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Malte Wilms, Alina Uhlenbrock
client: KoWo Erfurt
date: February 2018

In the historic garden city, the residential courtyard is the spatial image used: buildings enclose a common space as a garden. In reference to this spatial image of social togetherness, a differentiated courtyard structure is created in Erfurt: individual buildings stand at the edge of the plot, leaving a common center free. The existing link between the Muskauer Platz neighborhood and the Gera floodplain is not cut off by the courtyard structure, but spatially charged. The openings between form transitions, from the residential area through the garden courtyard and into the Gera floodplain. The threshold spaces reference the gates of the historic garden city: four for foot and bike, one for foot, bike car, and fire brigade. In keeping with the courtyard type, all buildings are accessed from the garden, with additional entrances from the outside to avoid creating a backside.

The communal garden of approx. 3500 m² is used as a meeting point, offering not only a place to relax but also the opportunity to garden and harvest. The loose grove of fruit trees and the flowering meadows create a free, serene atmosphere. A garden house near the raised beds and the lawn creates a spatial anchor point, providing space for garden tools and movable furniture. Here, vegetables are cleaned, honey is extracted and juice is pressed together in autumn. The chosen plants attract insects and animals, thus reinforcing the character of the large, shared garden: consciously different from floodplain and actively cultivated by all 340 residents. 

To fulfill the systematization requirements of a garden city, the design consists of small series-buildings. While the outdoor space is a large form, the buildings are of medium size. In all five houses, the same flat types are grouped together; horizontally and—in the case of the larger ones, vertically—thus creating maximum repetition in the buildings. The garden houses are designed contextually; developed from the site, each with its own garden interpretation. The entire complex forms an encyclopedia of garden types and corresponding dwellings. The black pine house looks out into the forest and forms the main gateway to the courtyard. Bikes and cars are parked under the house, while the apartments above take on the quality of tree houses floating above the garden. To the North, staggered row houses feature extroverted gardens facing onto the floodplain, exemplifying private garden life. The conservatory house celebrates communal spaces with a framed roof terrace and a double facade. This envelope creates a buffer where exotic plants can grow year-round. The courtyard houses have the most radical reference to the garden, with living rooms at ground level, opening onto the introverted courtyard. Finally, the flower house crowns the yard. It is designed as a large cluster house of connectable individual flats, all with views into the park. The communal roof garden makes it a green beacon, while at the ground floor, a kiosk serves the park ice cream and lemonade.

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131.2 Quartier Spielbudenplatz: Museum, Hostel Competition, Hamburg-St. Pauli 2016-2020 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: competition
program: museum, hostel
location: St. Pauli, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Alia Mortada, Julia Kaulen, Michel Kleinbrahm, Jonas Läufer, Wolfgang Zeh
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Kirsten Hüsig, Laura Riano Lopez, Pieter Bannenberg, Guilia Pastore, Jasna Kajevic
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Bayerische Hausbau GmbH & Co. KG., Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte
date: August 2016

The small Plot 2 features a compact, interconnected structure of communal cultural uses. Thus, the complex relationships of opening, demarcation, insight and separation give form to this urban building block. On Spielbudenplatz stands the small museum with a massive façade, crowned by a skate park. Its glass pedestal contains a café and a club, which extends into the basement. From here, a staircase connects the clubs concert space with the townhouse-style hostel next door.

The museum façade acts as a sound barrier, protecting the alley behind and the building itself from the noise of Spielbudenplatz. Operable windows are hidden in the trapezoids of the soundproof wall, and skylights are concealed in the volcanoes of the skate park. A bridge spans the alley, connecting the skate park to the adjacent 3D building of Plot 1. Here skaters spend the afternoon in the evening sun, enjoying the view over the Reeperbahn while a service entrance from the hostel supplies drinks.

The club has two function rooms: a day club on the level of Spielbudenplatz with a stage in the shop window and a subterranean club with a basilica-like layout under the alley. You descend into the club via a central staircase - with cloakroom and box office in what would be the organ loft. From the club, a service staircase leads up to the hostel, where visiting performers can lodge. The hostel is a narrow, eight-story townhouse on the alley with three small double rooms and a slightly larger private room on each floor. The rooms face the alley, each with a façade basket for airing clothes and storing travellers' belongings. A two-story restaurant, which also serves as the reception, opens onto the alley. Here, guests can spend their days and evenings before ascending to their rooms.

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118 Quartier Spielbudenplatz Urban Design Competition, 1st prize, Hamburg-St.Pauli 2015 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: in progress
program: multi-use; housing, hotel, shopping, entertainment etc.
location: St. Pauli, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Paula Frasch, Matthias Hoffmann, Conrad Kersting, Christiane Schmidt, Wolfgang Zeh
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Kirsten Huesig, Barbora Hlavackova, Laura Riano Lopez, Laura Nazzari, Guilia Pastore
client: Bayerische Hausbau GmbH & Co. KG, Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte
date: August 2015

St. Pauli is a neighborhood of Hamburg known for its red-light district and for its coexistence of extremes. ‘Der Kiez’ is a unique biotope for sub-cultures, one of the rare strongholds in the resistance against Disneyfication. The tenants here struggled for years to save the Esso Häuser from demolition, but after a forced eviction in December 2013, the protest's focus switched towards securing the return of tenants to a new building. Under the auspices of the so-called PlanBude an intense participation process with the citizens of St. Pauli took place. The PlanBude formulated the St. Pauli Code by conducting interviews and collecting over 2000 suggestions, wherein residents used drawings, clay models and letters to express their hopes and fantasies. This extraordinary bottom-up process formed the basis for an urban planning competition to develop the now vacant plot of slightly over 6.000 m² on the Reeperbahn.

The St. Pauli code in short:
1. Diversity instead of uniformity
2. Small-scaledness
3. Affordable instead expensive
4. Originality and tolerance
5. Appropriation and vitality
6. Experiment and subculture
7. Public space without consumerism

Is it possible to safeguard (or even catalyze) the specific character of St. Pauli in anything new?

The urban plan is based on a strategy of small parcels, ´Kleinteilig', in order to guarantee diversity. The overall plot will be subdivided in five properties, assorted according to their usage. This so-called Realteilung is deployed both as a social and an economic tool. Specific residential typologies are separated and organized into a series of individual buildings. Within each building, identical units are simply stacked; this lack of internal complexity keeps construction costs—and thus apartments—affordable. At the same time, the homogeneity within each building meets the heterogeneity of the entire complex on the streets.

This results in an urban complexity exemplified by the ground floor. It features 42 doors, providing access for residents and a cocktail of public functions. This sparking potential exchanges within the city; interactions are an instrument of tolerance. This street life is also diversified and organized through several tactics. Residential buildings are placed along the quieter Kastananienallee side of the development, while the hotel is placed on the much livelier Spielbudenplatz. To increase density and deal with zoning regulations, a new street is added to the site, greatly increasing the public perimeter of the block. Through an offsetting of the building mass at the street’s entrance, it creates a public space protected from the noise and reveling of the Reeperbahn. To this space, a collection of communal roofs, a shared courtyard, and a public balcony are added, completing an armada of places where the sub-cultures of St. Pauli, young creatives, hotel guests, residents of the apartments, families and the elderly can all mix and mingle.

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131.1 Quartier Spielbudenplatz: Hotel Competition, 1st prize, Hamburg-St. Pauli 2016-2020 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: in-progress
program: hotel, retail
location: St. Pauli, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Alia Mortada, Julia Kaulen, Michel Kleinbrahm, Jonas Läufer, Wolfgang Zeh
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Kirsten Hüsig, Laura Riano Lopez, Pieter Bannenberg, Guilia Pastore, Jasna Kajevic
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Bayerische Hausbau GmbH & Co. KG., Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte
date: August 2016

Following the example of the 1920s Haus Vaterland in Berlin, Plot 1 is an implosion of urban life that welcomes and delights residents of Hamburg and tourists alike. St. Pauli is formed by a variety of actors, a diverse cast of characters all of whom meet on the street. The hotel and 3D building stand on Spielbudenplatz, a colorful hybrid structure which becomes a street unto itself. It has two ground floors - one at ground level and one on the ‘Stadtbalkon’ - both with countless doors. These two floors—like the street they embrace—are dedicated to characters of St. Pauli, offering them new places for encounters, for meeting, and to linger. The balcony is a distinct throughway connected with the street by stairs at both ends: it is a street and a square in the air.

The hotel itself combines three different hotel types: the Grand hotel, the artist hotel, and the hotel tower. The foyer on the ground floor of the hotel forms a passage from Spielbudenplatz to the alley. Small retail / craft shops and a bakery are located here, enlivening this semi-public space. A double staircase leads upstairs to the lobby of the hotel, which connects the ground floor to the stadtbalkon. The façade facing Spielbudenplatz unites the different types into a multifaceted design that is reminiscent of the Esso houses as well as various famous hotels. The rooms are different in the three parts of the hotel. There is a room here for everyone.

Each hotel volume features a different public roof function. Crowning the lowest, western volume is Park Fiction 2.0: an open space for all Hamburgers. A stair leads from the park to the garden restaurant which inhabits the seventh floor of the tower and spills out onto the roof of the central hotel building; it offers a panoramic view over Spielbudenplatz, St. Pauli the roofs of Hamburg. The eastern façade of the tower provides the necessary elevation for a climbing wall, the faceted geometry of which gives the street face of the tower its distinctive form. The climbing wall is accessed from the roof of the adjoining 3D building.

The 3D building is a rectangular Leaning Tower of Pisa; a solitary building enclosed by columns and containing a winding vertical walkway. The tower extends the public space vertically. A freely accessible staircase begins in the alley, rising towards the city balcony to the East and then continues upwards towards the South in front of the hotel. From there you climb through a series of programmable public levels and overlook the alley from bridge to the skate park, before a final turn takes you up to the public climbing gym.

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135 Schloss Türnich Competition, Masterplan Castle, Grounds and Village, Türnich 2017 – BeL & baukuh & smeets

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status: competition
program: permaculture farm, farm shop, hotel, lecture rooms, co-working, office, restaurants, workshops, apartments, community housing, gardens
location: Türnich
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Michel Kleinbrahm, Jakob Wolters
team baukuh: Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Andrea Zanderigo, Paula Frasch, Chiara Catapano
team smeets: Jan Peter Stiller
client: city of Kerpen, Count and family of Hoensbroech
date: February 2017

Schloss Türnich is a unique spatial structure made from architectural and landscape elements. Together, they form a system of particular pieces: the castle, the moat, the French garden, the English landscape park, the mill, the forrest, the avenue and the agricultural land. The elements are not necessarily connected to each other and old connections are often interrupted by new elements.

This generous distribution of partially disjointed scenes - a recurring phenomenon throughout the history of the castle - is the main feature of the situation. The changes in the castle complex should therefore do justice to the special nature of the place. The connection between the castle, the village and the surrounding agricultural land should be achieved subtly via indirect connections; maintaining the autonomy of the subspaces and underlining their special atmospheres.

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139 Postfassade Facade Competition, Honourable Mention, Cologne 2017

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status: facade competition, honourable mention
program: housing, boarding house, co-working space / vertical village principle
location: Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Amelie Bimberg, Jonas Läufer, Leonard Palm, Wolfgang Zeh
client: CG Group
date: August 2017

With their Post Office 3, Cologne, Joachim and Margot Schürmann monumentally, finely and humanely inserted an infrastructural building into the city. The BDA prize-wining Post Office 3 is a very serious work of architecture. In the tradition of great architects, the Schürmanns produced a whole in which all its considerations—from urban positioning to material dimensioning—interlock perfectly. In the 35 years since its design, however, the digital revolution has radically changed the industrial needs of the post. Conversion of the city block-sized building to living quarters therefore makes sense, but cannot be approached as a typical industrial building conversion. To preserve the spirit of Post Office 3 as it is adapted for a second cycle of use, requires the humble work of apprehension and analysis. The internal logic of the building, its principles and rules, must serve as the basis for its metamorphosis. 

One can see in its size, proportion and volumetric articulation, a reference to the palazzo of the Italian Renaissance at work in the Schürmanns design. They structured the building both vertically (in the base zone, middle zone and roof) and horizontally (in an overarching axial symmetry with emphases center and corner) according to classical rules. They then filled the exterior load-bearing skeleton of the post office with window bands and masonry bands, combining their pre-modern principles of structure and proportion with modern, precise construction. Consistent detailing is a principle of all good architecture; a labor which here resulted in concrete structures, masonry, metalwork and glasswork of outstanding quality. This uniquely modern glasswork (for the walkways along the street, the interior courtyard ring, and staircase to the roof) taken in tandem with the open terraces and stairs of the corners, expresses the final principle of the design: the life of the building is made visible. Joachim and Margot Schürmann have translated the movements of the people into architectural form.

These features form the basis for the new façade concept: transparent solidity. The façade becomes a climatic and acoustic space for habitation, allowing for the preservation of the buildings exquisite detailing (designed to fulfill 30-year-old energy requirements). A loggia is closed off with glass blocks and single-glazed reversible windows, extending the compact living spaces of the interior and inviting residents to vary connection to the outdoor space. From a distance, the classical solidity of the building’s preserved volumes is reinforced by the shiny surfaces of its materials, while from close-up, the façade reveals its multi-layeredness and new residential content. The new division of the flats in the floor plan is perceptible in the subtle rhythm of the reversible windows while the newly added upper floors introduce a slight syncopation to the western façade. The clear, slightly turquoise glass blocks fit effortlessly into the building’s dimensions and together with glazed brick parapets they introduce light blue and light green into the pallet of beige, grey and white. The tiled floor of the loggia adds a warm pink to the mix, without overpowering the façade. This new colorful residential character is repeated in the inner courtyard, where generous tiled terraces adopt the brick parapet, stepping back with each floor and providing all units with direct access to the sky.

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131.4 Quartier Spielbudenplatz: Subsidized Housing Competition, Hamburg 2016-2020 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: competition
program: subsidized housing
location: St. Pauli, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Alia Mortada, Julia Kaulen, Michel Kleinbrahm, Jonas Läufer, Wolfgang Zeh
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Kirsten Hüsig, Laura Riano Lopez, Pieter Bannenberg, Guilia Pastore, Jasna Kajevic
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Bayerische Hausbau GmbH & Co. KG., Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte
date: August 2016

Plot 4 is composed of two residential buildings facing onto the alleyway with access to the common courtyard. The first of these sits at the corner of the new alleyway and the ‘Kastanienallee’ along the South of the site. It is a two-volume ‘Doppelhaus’ composed of a Milanese-style corner building and residential tower. The second is a retirement community home which faces the alleyway with a series of ornamental balconies.

The two parts of the ‘Doppelhaus’ are offset by one stair landing, creating a split-level semi-detached house joined through an exterior security staircase. In the Milanese corner building, the lift leads directly to the arcade, which provides access to three 3.5-room flats. The flats have an open floor plan, allowing for various forms of cohabitation. The tower features three 1,5-room apartments per level, each have a 5 m2 loggia and deep-set windowsill with expansive views over the Hamburg harbor. These two communities come together at the roof garden of the corner house, which is accessible to all residents.

The five-story retirement home forms another unique community: four small flats per story share a common living room and a large balcony overlooking the alley. This creates social networking and exchange not only among the residents, but between the residents and the adjoining public space. The façade is horizontally structured, defined by precast concrete elements and 'tattooed' flower pots for flats and living rooms. The ground floor has a small shop and restaurant as flexible commercial space, further tying the building to the alleyway.

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133 Kooperative Kleinstadt IBA Thüringen Cooperative Workshop, Apolda 2017

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status: cooperative workshop
program: school, workshops, housing
location: Apolda
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Michel Kleinbrahm, Jakob Wolters
client: City of Apolda, IBA Thüringen
date: March 2017

Cooperative Small Town 2050

"Neither the village nor the big city makes any serious effort to fulfill the demand that has always existed for us: to develop everything individually and in such a way as to be as organic as possible, or leading of a self-sustaining life."
Heinrich Tessenow: Handwerk und Kleinstadt, Berlin, 1919, p. 15

"Since [the small town] can indeed, to a great extent, form a world for itself and seek to develop independence, the freedom of all other worldly circles is self-evident to it, and as the small town strives for its own personal existence, it recognizes immediately, from within itself, the conditions of personal freedom, and thereby, in the large-worldly or large-political sense, the ability to take interest and action again."
Heinrich Tessenow: Handwerk und Kleinstadt, Berlin, 1919, p. 62

Germany is characterized by contradictory developments; in the big cities there is a housing shortage, while rural regions are drying up. This is more evident in Thuringia than in other federal states; while the cities of Erfurt, Weimar and Jena are growing, the other municipalities are predicted to experience a dramatic population decline over the coming decades (see Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2015). In Apolda however, its structural, social and economic distinction from the big cities is not seen as a disadvantage, but as a basic requirement for sustainable development. The Cooperative Small Town 2050 envisions the balanced small town of the future, focusing on regulative practices in the areas of energy, food production, and labor. Apolda thus serves as a model for a federal state consisting primarily of villages, small and medium-sized towns.

This Cooperative Town is framed as a ‘work in progress.’ It does not follow a master plan, but develops according to a charter with cooperatively agreed goals, decided on by the Future Council. The council is interdisciplinary by nature, bringing together interested citizens and potential citizens of Apolda. They are responsible for developing regenerative systems of transport, food, energy, work and education; which projects are implemented in which order thus depends on the towns citizens. The diversity of the measures, their distribution in the area and their networking are therefore decisive.

The Future Councils meet regularly in the charter space on the RST site, where a multidisciplinary technical school focuses on the development of cradle-to-cradle. The school consists of workshops, experimental fields, exhibition and seminar rooms, library, studios, co-working, work yard, warehouse, start-up labs, the charter meeting room, café, beer garden, combined heat and power plant, market and housing. The school is a microcosm of the model town. Here, craftsmen, artists and scientists learn, live and work together on the questions of the future, testing and modeling autonomous systems. The school grounds are not a fenced enclave, but part of the city; a new service road crosses the campus, connecting all the school's public spaces and opening them up to the surrounding town. The pupils thus research and live in community with the townspeople, integrated into the society they serve.  

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026 Walden Installation, Düsseldorf 2004

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status: completed, temporary installation
location: Waage Orte eV., Düsseldorf
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser
cost: 150 €
client: Orte e.V.
dates: 25.06. - 07.07. 2004

The freight station in the Düsseldorf district of Derendorf has not been in its original use for several years, but has been occupied by a variety of temporary, alternative uses. This process of conversion will be completed in early 2005 with the demolition of all existing structures and the construction of new buildings for living and working.

Among the existing structures, at the site entrance, is a truck scale consisting of a concrete area for trucks inlaid at ground level and a small building for the scale apparatus. This building will be used by Orte e.V. as an exhibition and event venue for one summer. On 25.6. 2004, the 105th birthday of architect Hans Schwippert, BeL opened the exhibition entitled "Walden".

"Walden, or Life in the Woods" is the most famous work by Henry David Thoreau. As an account of his experiences, it describes the years from 1845 to 1847, during which Thoreau, a teacher and surveyor, built a log cabin not far from his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, on Walden Lake and lived there as a hermit.

The truck scale belonged to the Swiss shipping company Danzas. After Louis Danzas fought for Napoleon at Waterloo, he began working for the Michel l'Eveque transportation company in St.-Louis in 1815. He became a partner in 1840 and lent the company his name soon after.

"Walden" includes three makeshift furniture made of poplar plywood and staples. All dimensions of the furniture comply with the DIN formats of the German Institute for Standardization. A couch, a chair and a table make the building habitable.

 

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122 NEUBAU 15th Architecture Biennale, Venice 2016

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status: completed
program: cities of assembly
location: Arsenale, Venice
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Michel Kleinbrahm, Matthias Hoffmann, Christiane Schmidt, Gina Rauschtenberger, Leonard Palm, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Alia Mortada, Julia Kaulen, Wolfgang Zeh, Achim Nagel, Roman Krükel, Paula Frasch, Jonas Läufer, Sofya Panova, Christian Kühnle, Moritz Dornseifer, Mihails Staluns, David Taffner, Yasemin Bulut, Stefanie Oßenkamp, Nicola Schmalt, Thomas Bohne, Philipp Kentgens, Laura Fuchs, Lara Fieguth, Norman Schroeder, Katja Göser, Judith Neyses, Amelie Kulassek, Sinam Hawro Yakoob, Kaja Gerstein, Johanna Willert, Valentin Lindenlauf, Henriette Riecke, Eva Neumann, Tom Walther, Jan Rothstein, Lavinia Hoeck, Nina Ismar, Ruslan Dimov, Tobias Fink, Anton Schwingen, Franz Klein-Wiele, Janina Pahlke, Veit Landwehr, Tom May, Jürgen Bernhardt, Edith Bernhardt, Peter Schomann, Guillaume Deforet, Bernhard Stratmann, Klaus-Dieter Münchhofen, James Roderick O'Donovan, Lilith Bernhardt


with the support of: PRIMUS developments GmbH, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, IBA Hamburg GmbH, Stadt München, Bauwelt Delmes Heitmann, Peter Behrens School of Arts, RWTH Aachen University, Preisser, Dow International, Schuckertz Modellbau, Bundesarchiv, Daniela Westphal-Reichow, Georg Westermann Verlag, Verlag Ernst Wasmuth
client: la Biennale di Venezia
date: May 2016

NEUBAU - on Königsberger Straße and Aleppoer Weg

Germany is an immigration country, in the metropolitan regions there is a housing shortage. By 2026 this shortage will amount to around four million affordable dwellings. In a large model NEUBAU shows four speculative self-build cities which represent a further development of the project Grundbau und Siedler that was implemented at the IBA in Hamburg. A comparison to the major reconstruction work after 1945 reveals similarities and differences over a period of ten years. We call the urban districts "city of assembly". They are co-productions; between the poles of self-determination and planning a wide variety of spaces is developed for community, production, trade, and private use. 50% of the residents have a migration background, these are districts for everyone.

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096 Gumprechtstraße Conversion, Cologne-Ehrenfeld, 2014

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status: completed
program: conversion of a landmark blacksmith workshop into a living/working space
location: Ehrenfeld, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Bahar Bayrak and Harry Schmid
date: June 2014

Kölner Architekturpreis 2014, Honourable Mention

Ehrenfeld is a quarter of Cologne where living and working are traditionally combined. Typical for this area are small workshops in the backyards of street front houses. In this project, one of these small industrial halls, a protected former blacksmith's workshop from 1902, is converted into a living and working space for a small family and their business.The building consists of a small two-storey office house and a 10 by 25 m sawtooth-roof hall. The relatively small rooms of the office house are converted into an intimate living area for the family with bedrooms and a central open kitchen. The big hall is used as a free open space that can be used for working and living. At special occasions it can be converted into a showroom for the company's products: BMX bikes.

The protected building, which was in a very bad condition as a result of being out of use for decades, was completely restored in terms of structure, insulation and surfaces. Original and new architectonic elements and surfaces blend together to produce a timeless atmosphere, neither old nor new.

The main spatial intervention consists of cutting out a new patio from the volume of the industrial hall. One space is converted into two: an interior and an exterior space.
The interior space that used to have an almost claustrophobic atmosphere, the only connection to the outside being translucent skylights, is combined with an exterior space of light and air that can be used as an outdoor living room.

The two spaces are connected via a big sliding door that can be opened over the full width of ten meters. Thus, the separation of the rooms blurs in summer – living and working can take place inside and outside - whereas in winter you can watch the rain and snow fall into the patio from inside.

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163 Dragoner Areal Urban Development Workshop, Berlin 2020 – BeL, Robertneun & Studio Vulkan

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status: urban development workshop
program: multi-use: housing, ateliers, community areas, public open spaces, kindergarten, town hall, commercial
location: Berlin
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Anna Bayer, Hannah Rudolph
team Robertneun: Nils Buschmann, Tom Friedrich, Maria Seidel, Max Mütsch, David Troost, Niklas Klein
team Studio Vulkan: Dominik Bückers, Alizée Bonnel, Valentin Keller, Johanna Joecker
client: City of Berlin
date: February 2020

The ‘Dragoner Areal’ inspires a strategy of preservation and continuation. Its spatial and atmospheric density, richness and diversity lend this strategy its starting point, goal and content. This diversity is a product of a duality: a friction between the site’s 19th century army barracks and the Wilhelminian urban texture which has grown up around them. In between the rigid geometry of the barracks and the amalgamated interior of the Berlin block, a disorderly, yet lively hinterland of subordinate outbuildings has developed. To create a truly mixed-use urban quarter, the integration of these existing commercial and cultural uses is paired with a clarification of the barracks’ inherent architectural characteristics. By taking up its already in-progress transformation, this monument of the past becomes the living heart of future development.

The frayed sequence of courtyards along the block interior are strengthened, capped or enlarged to form a series of more definite courtyards and living ensembles. Public functions are re-oriented or added—supporting and introducing block life—while the reclaimed order of the barracks’ structure introduces clear entrances, sightlines and throughways. This structure is therefore maintained, with special attention given to the re-fortification of the three traditionally open spaces: the central parade ground and the two practice fields. This is achieved not by reconstructing the missing wings and head buildings, but by replacing them with a diverse cast of more contemporary structures. Residents and users have then direct access two the two practice fields, which—restored to their original proportions—now serve as an urban garden and work yard, and the parade ground—now partially re-appropriated into a central plaza. 

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103 Briesestraße Conversion, Berlin 2013

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status: project
program: low cost housing, conversion of a parking garage into housing
location: Briesestraße, Berlin
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Aaron Schirrmann, Christiane Schmidt, Wolfgang Zeh
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Senatsbaudirektion Berlin, Stadt und Land Wohnungsbau-Gesellschaft, Berlin
date: December 2013

The Conversion of the Breisestraße Car Park – A model for Berlin

The conversion of a multi-story car park cautiously densifies the neighborhood with minimal capital, offering room for a community of 91 people. Construction costs of 828 € / m2 NF allow the tenant to pay a monthly rent of only 6.50 € / m2, ensuring equitable housing opportunities. The project is a model for Berlin; the Briesestraße Car Park serves as prototypical scheme, applicable to all d'Humpy system car parks.

All measures to improve the substance of the car park are carried out following the principle of least intervention. The removal of prefabricated ceiling elements enables light to flood in from above into private courtyards, allowing all flats to receive light from two sides. With minimal effort, the car park is thus transformed into a series of courtyard houses, each offering a range of apartment types formed within the ceiling panel grid.

A differentiated open walkway winds itself as a Rue Intérieure through the house with continuous natural light and visual connection to the outside world. Not only does this street provide bike, skateboard and scooter-friendly entry to the interior private courtyard houses, but it enables communal occupation, appropriation and adaptation through a series of common areas: guest rooms, workshops, kiosks, bike rooms, etc. After beginning near the multi-purpose hall on the ground floor, the Rue Intérieure, winds its way up the ramps through the building, culminating in the in the roof terrace, where residents can meet, play, relax and grill.

Englische Linie

161 Am Mühlkanal Urban Design Workshop, Salach 2019

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status: urban development workshop
program: conversion, housing, workshops, offices, retail, public spaces
location: Salach
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Hannah Rudolph
client: Gemeinde Salach, IBA-GmbH StadtRegion Stuttgart
date: December 2019

With the Mühlkanal quarter, Salach is developing a unique piece of the city and a special piece of the landscape. The space between the railway and the river Fils - both the infrastructural elements which have allowed the city to grow - is now itself joining that city. The industrial ensemble and the floodplain thus emerge as charged urban spaces. The 1,000 employees of the Schachenmayr, Mann & Cie company almost 100 years ago will now become approx. 1,000 people (approx. 700 residents, 300 jobs) who live and work in the Mühlkanal quarter.

The conversion and extension of the protected buildings establish an ensemble, both culturally and socially outstanding. The four buildings of industrial culture - each exemplary of the techniques, structure and design of its time - are carefully converted and minimally supplemented. These structures are only suitable for living in a few areas, and thus require a special programmatic mix, developed in relation to each structure. Each of the four buildings receives a loose focus: work/studio space, small-scale production shops, a market/event hall and culture/education. In the existing buildings, people continue to produce and work, but also research, trade, educate themselves, meet and relax. To create an urban fabric, however, more is needed; the generous areas for working are supplemented by diverse typologies for living.

The new buildings are added to the existing ones as new rooms in a spatial sequence; a continuation of the sites industrial logic. The saw tooth halls are connected to the factory building via the workshop, offering expandable residential studios of various sizes on two double floors and a building of cluster apartments. The long row of three wool-sorting buildings to the north is extended by one building. The resulting comb-like structure functions as mobility house for cars and bicycles, and features South-facing terraced apartments, forming the Northern edge of a lively residential street. The Southern edge is then created by three groups of back-to-back row houses. These row houses are arranged according to size, creating small plazas along the street to the north before condensing into residential paths leading southward into the landscape. Flanking these paths, small residential towers frame views toward the river. One step over the new mill canal and you are standing in the wild river landscape along the Fils. New gardens and meadows can be found here, seating steps can be discovered along the bank, and in the thicket of the otherwise inaccessible biotope, one finds the secluded refurbished Hattie-Barreis hut, now a picturesque beer garden.

Englische Linie

070 Big Plate Competition, Oslo, Norway 2009

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status: competition
program: National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design at Vestbanen
location: Oslo, Norway
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Kristina Eickmeier, Wolfgang Zeh
gross floor area: 36.000 m2
client: Statsbygg, Oslo
date: June 2009

Vestbanen is a void waiting to be charged. The modest size of the remaining landmarked station buildings is as absurdly disproportionate to the scale of the site as it is to the importance of the National Museum. To incorporate the large building masses into this delicate context, museum and office functions are assigned to two separate volumes. They share the same urban density but can be developed and realized individually. The museum is a horizontal slab, the office building a diverse vertical volume. Both typologies are derived from the immediate physical and historical context. Both pay tribute to the neighboring urban fabric and the landmarked station buildings.

Assimilating to the scale of the station buildings in height, the museum fosters the dignity of the landmarks without dwarfing them. Its magnitude as a National Museum is developed in the horizontal plane. Its vast footprint stems from the typologies of shipyards as well as train stations. It is modest in height but exuberant in depth. The new museum occupies the entire site, there is no figure ground relationship. There is no museum object but an all-embracing museum volume. The expansive footprint invigorates the existing public exteriors. There is an abundance of public space in the context. Triangular sculpture gardens charge the existing public spaces in front of the museum entrances.

The National Museum will stimulate intense urban density on the site. All public functions are at ground level. The public permeates into the museum through the open ground floor façade. The flatness of the new museum is horizontal monumentality. It is a deep space illuminated by controlled natural light. The friendly gallery maze is an open system to be appropriated by the public in time.

A universal enfilade system provides total flexibility and unlimited but controlled access. The low hierarchy of the spaces fosters incidental use and self-determination. The Lofted Archive is an indestructible container. It serves as a machine to preserve the cultural achievements of a society, which need to be stored and maintained. Serviced by functional cores and illuminated by light shafts, it's a heavy-duty workspace, forklift accessible.

Englische Linie

099 AL29UC Conversion, Cologne 2014

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status: completed
program: conversion of a 29th floor penthouse into a photographer's office
location: Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Conrad Kersting, Christiane Schmidt
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt
client: private
date: September 2014

At 134m high, the Uni-Center in Cologne is one of the largest residential high-rises in Europe. In addition to 1000 apartments, it has several offices and service areas. One of these, the 250 m2 penthouse atop the lowest wing of the building (29 stories) had been divided into 5 office units. With the addition of a few structurally strategic elements, dividing walls could be removed, unifying the penthouse space. With the exception of the neutral gray bathroom and technical room, the office is now composed of a fully glazed large room with a single core of exposed concrete. The glass facade was completely replaced by energy-efficient elements and provided with a large sliding system which opens East onto the roof garden. 

The conversion deals with perspective as a symbolic form. An approximately 90 cm high platform takes up most of the space. Under the platform there is space for the large number of cables which dominated the room before the renovation; these are now combined with the existing core and hidden discretely behind the bookcases which run along the edge of the platform. This simple move divides the room into two spaces: a low-lying zone along the facade and a wide, open area above. Below is the library, storage, and tea kitchen, while above are the permanent workspaces, meeting tables and a sitting area. The floor of the platform is covered with a specially designed and manufactured carpet, which—in reference to oriental patterns—contains ornamental elements such as the floor plan of the Uni-Center, the coat of arms of the building owner’s birthplace, and maritime motifs from the Gaudi tile used in the tea kitchen.

In raising the floor 90 cm, a breathtaking panoramic view extends over the balustrade of the roof garden—at a considerable 115 m—to the horizon. The world is at your feet.

Englische Linie

180 New District Center Bergedorf-West Competition, 3rd prize, Hamburg 2020

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status: urban planning competition, 3rd prize
program: housing, retail, public open spaces
location: Bergedorf-West, Hamburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Katharina Volgger, Alina Uhlenbrock, Tessa Gaunt, Emmet Elliott
client: City of Hamburg
date: January 2021

Bergedorf West gets a new square and an old park. Life in the settlement in the southeast of Hamburg becomes more beautiful, articulated and charged with meaning through the two urban spaces. The two open spaces are formed by an ensemble of volumes, which balance the juxtaposition of their contrasting qualities.

The previous Werner-Neben-Platz is in the wrong place - on the edge of the urban activity. It thus becomes Werner-Neben-Park, its paving is removed and reshaped into a sand-grass-shrub landscape. Now the water can seep away here; one sits in the midst of the beautiful old trees, the children play in their shade. The house in the Werner Neben-Park is the new district center. It is an intensive prelude to the beginning of the green corridor through Bergedorf West, which connects all the social facilities of the district. The Fritz-Manke-Weg passes through here, and the programs are connected via the open space.

The new Werner-Neben-Platz is moved 60m to the South, where it remains car-free, bundling all necessities and movement of daily life. Staking out a square is a fundamental act of founding a city. The spatial sequence of movement through the district begins and ends here in a powerful dramaturgy: Exit from the S-Bahn - view into the urban landscape - then with the bridge over the Friedrich-Frank-Bogen, through the Billehochhaus and onto the square. One arrives here on the first floor, greeted with a broad overview of the plaza. The space is framed by an ensemble of 5(.5) volumes: a loggia/city balcony attached to the to the identity-creating Billehochhaus on the long South side, the Tennisterrassen in the West, Haus Janus in the North, and the Seniorenturm and Haus für Mobile in the East.

Englische Linie

178 Siedlung Rotbuch Competition, Zürich 2020 – BeL & Marco Merz Marion Clauss

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Zürich - Unterstrass
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Julia Kaulen, Leander Lentner with Marco Merz, Marion Clauss, Olivia Schmidt
client: Stiftung Einfach Wohnen
date: December 2020

The new Rotbuch-settlement is composed of an unequal double; two house ‚characters‘ that complement the colorful image of the neighborhood.

The larger, angled townhouse is oriented towards the street and forms a generous green corner against the intersection, while the smaller garden-house joins the group of second-row-houses placed in the topography. Together, these characters mediate between the scales of the surroundings, continue the open building structure and seek a self-evident presence in the midst of the beautiful vegetation.

The townhouse is developed as a dense package of rooms with common spaces of various scale and use. Floor communities of different micro apartment sizes (1-, 2-, and 3-rooms), intentionally located next to each other create mixed-age, mixed-living-model communities around South-facing, shared living rooms. The living spaces emerge from within the structure of the building; open spaces supplemented only by the adjoining smart-closet bathrooms.

The garden-house leaves space for the large existing Larch and has a clear, simple structure and layout. Kindergarten and Day-care share the first floor along the garden with morning sun, while above are two maisonette-cluster apartments with a communal terrace.

The heart of the new ensemble is the collective courtyard between the two buildings. High-crowned trees shade the gravel square. Connecting the two access roads, it offers space for communal activities and meetings, becoming the center of gravity for the settlement.

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121 Mauenheim Ideas Competition, Cologne 2015

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status: ideas competition "Zukunft Wohnen"
program: densification of housing areas
location: Mauenheim, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Michel Kleinbrahm, Leonard Palm, Gina Rauschtenberger, Christiane Schmidt
client: Stadt Köln, Wohnungs- und Baugenossenschaft Mieterschutz eG
date: November 2015

Re-densification of this block at ‘Mauenheimer Gürtel’ is enabled by the site’s good connection to public transit, the existing retail and supply infrastructure of the neighboring ‘Nippes’ district and, in particular, the proximity of recreational space.

First, the interior of the block is enlivened with the insertion of slim ‘entrance’ slabs into the block at the North and South. The first floors of these slabs are open with 3.50 m clear height; bicycles can be parked here, and the block community gains meeting room and a workroom. Further interventions to the existing building are minimized, with only one apartment converted to ensure an escape route, while new apartments are supported above the existing building with an independent structure, giving the whole block 3-4 extra floors of living. The new building is designed as a timber modular construction, with each apartment consisting of five prefabricated modules. These modules can be transported by truck, while the support structure is delivered largely finished. Lifted over the existing building by crane, the erection of the structure takes only a few days.

The apartments themselves are planned as open-use, accessible 100 m2 four-room apartments. The rooms can be easily divided, creating a 7-room apartment from four modules. The very homogeneous existing building (almost only 1- to 2-room apartments) is thus complemented and hybridized by a differentiated and flexible resident population of families, student and senior living communities.

Englische Linie

005 DIN Adaptable Trade Fair System, 2003

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status: completed
program: trade-fair stand
location: various
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser
net floor area: 60 m2
cost: 73.500 €
date: April 2003 – April 2009

Bauweltpreis 2003, honourable mention

DIN transforms the client's 2-dimensional Corporate Identity into 3-dimensional space.
DIN questions and celebrates German engineering as a "white hole" of sublime emptiness.
Obsessive compliance to the DIN stationary system generates a surreal Wagnerian totality.
Subtle ambiguities of scale and texture reveal inconsistencies of the assumed perfection.
Wall, floor and ceiling consist of a single solid surface material; furniture is made of PU-foam.
Hyperbolic commitment to the presumably perfect order reveals the fragility of certainty.
Overweight managers lower their massive bodies onto the delicate chairs.
The apparent minimalist space is charged with a multitude of possible readings. The real physical space of DIN appears to be an inhabitable computer rendering.

Englische Linie

162 Volta Nord Urban Design Competition, Basel 2020 – BeL & Marco Merz Marion Clauss & Studio Céline Baumann