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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.

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004 Perimeter City Competition, Jarfälla 2001

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status: competition
program: low cost housing
location: Jarfälla, Sweden
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser
date: January 2001

The site is a typical Scandinavian landscape preserved by the oldest Swedish Airport.
Traditional Swedish farms blur the threshold between cultivated and uncultivated terrain.
Old Swedish Farms incorporate the seasonal climates into specific architectural elements.
Each dwelling has its own personal panorama created through the circular lots.
Half paved dirt roads allow circulation of pedestrians and access traffic.
A non-hierarchical distribution creates a hybrid landscape condition of scattered dwellings.
Multi-use appliances adapt to the seasonal program.
In winter use the functions contract to a minimum program of interiority.
In summer use the functions expand to a maximum program of exteriority.

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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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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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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

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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164 New Garden City Oejendorf, Landscape City Urban Planning Study, Hamburg 2020 –

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status: urban planning study
program: housing, landscape, public open spaces, kindergarten, school, farming
location: Oejendorf, Hamburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Alina Uhlenbrock, Emmet Elliott, Tessa Gaunt, Leander Lentner
nature conservation and landscape planner: Planungemeinschaft Marienau, Bleckede
traffic planner: ARGUS Stadt und Verkehr Partnerschaft mbB, Hamburg
client: City of Hamburg
date: January 2020

The New Garden City Öjendorf is not a garden city, but a landscape city.

The space of fields framed with hedgerows, leading in gentle topography through oak avenues to the Öjendorf cemetery and Lake Öjendorf, contrasts in its original, beautiful, man-made, landscape character with the surrounding settlement space. The design attempts to create a symbiosis of landscape and development and to carefully refine the site.

The development is interpreted as a system of landscape halls that are habitats for people, animals and plants. A context for people is established via enfilades, while the thick floral walls form the habitat for animals. 

The field communities are developed as courtyard variants in relation to the landscape. The character of each ensemble is developed for the specific character of its field. A minimally invasive circulation system ties the twelve courtyard communities together, while each remains open to the landscape. Each flat, therefore, has views of the ecologically dense field edge. City and landscape city combine in view and movement.

The landscape city is the work of many. It relies on the commitment of its residents - in the planning, in the self-construction, in the maintenance and in the management. The design is not a final formal image, but a robust framework for living in the landscape.

Englische Linie

092 NUK II Competition, Ljubljana 2012

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status: project
program: New National and University Library
location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Wolfgang Zeh
date: March 2012

Library is a place of permanence and continuity. It is rooted in Roman remains. Its geometry is based on the universal orthogonal grid of Roman colonial planning. Yet it is a place of change, openness and progress. As a laboratory of knowledge it nurtures scholarship and community.

Here time is no longer linear but becomes simultaneous. Library melts time into a single presence. There is no antagonism of old and new, no ideological compulsion to destroy and overcome. Whether we rest on the shoulders of giants or whether giants stand in our way, the future will know. Library pays tribute to the rich urban fabric of Ljubljana and complements Plečnik's city with humility. It balances between civic grandeur and modesty. To be the New National Library and yet one among many buildings Library is just slightly detached from the city block, an almost stand-alone monument. Almost. Its distribution of building mass emphasizes Zoisova Street as an "University Boulevard" and adapts in scale towards French Revolution Square. Both entrances are marked with recesses and grand stairs. The gap between the city block and Library opens a pedestrian path to cross the courtyard. Access of vehicles for loading, the handicapped, and restricted parking is also permitted here.

Library expands the limits of typologies, it is an open plan building yet contains six distinguished public rooms. Free access shelves and restricted archive areas blend into a continuous space. Physically they are separated by glass walls. Horizontally the public rooms have no limits, the rooms are defined by their voids and their natural light.

A structural system of waffle slabs supported on cores and cross-shaped columns allows large spans and a minimum of piled foundations. The impact on the archeological remains is minimized, the flexibility of the library space is maximized. Library is an open building, the entrance level is a 24h zone. Five reading rooms and the multi-functional hall are spread across the floors. They create zones of distinct character, each with individual spatial qualities. The user can retire to his place of choice. In the special collection he will be among Roman ruins, in the grand reading room underneath the sky. The multipurpose hall is situated on Level 0 and can be used independently from the library.

Library is a place of presence and identity. It is a physical space, it has weight but is still floating. It defines space but stimulates interpretation. Library is multi-folded space.

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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.

Englische Linie

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

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status: urban study
program: housing, commerce, industry
location: Basel
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Julia Kaulen, Hannah Rudolph
with Marco Merz, Marion Clauss, Leonard Schaffner, Céline Baumann, Merlin Bauer, Martina Kausch, Martin Josephy, Bárbara Maçães Costa
client: City of Basel
date: January 2020

The site lies in the transition zone between the Volta industrial area and the St. Johann residential district. A juxtaposition of different scales and building forms defines the site, whose identity emerges in the field of tension between impressive large buildings and small, individual urban building blocks. This juxtaposition is fruitful. Although the buildings and open spaces of the industrial plants follow exclusively logistical necessities, they form qualitative urban spaces which, when converted, result in multi-layered living environments. The urban structure of the design takes up the potential of this industrial context, interweaving the needs of a mixed living and working quarter with the expressive spaces of the industrial environment.

From three elementary typologies—the bar, courtyard building, and comb—a series of large conglomerates are born; creatures with a shifting open-closed character. One moment they appear as object-like solitaires, while the next they yield to the open spaces with a touching intimacy. These large entities are formed from groups of smaller individual typologies which vary in height between five and nine stories; optimized for the lighting of all interior and exterior spaces. A multitude of yards, courts and niches are formed by these large volumes, offering acoustic protection from the noise of the surroundings; each dwelling has at least one façade facing a protected area.

The hierarchy of these spaces—their zones of graduated privacy—can be grasped intuitively. Two vistas into the park in the northern part of the development signal accessibility without thresholds, while large yards—formed with the simple bar-type buildings and characterized by a high degree of collectivity—open to the street for commercial, artistic, educational, or communal uses. The courtyard building-type entrance courts provide a somewhat smaller communal space for residents, while the comb-type buildings, with their small pockets of semi-private space, stitch a small-scale residential character into the industrial-scale surroundings. 

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

107 7/8 house Prototype Single-Family House, IBA Hamburg 2014

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status: 1st completion 2016, 2nd unit in progress
program: prototype single-family house
location: Neugraben-Fischbek, Hamburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Conrad Paul Kersting, Aaron Schirrmann, Christiane Schmidt, Alia Mortada, Julia Kaulen
client: IBA Hamburg
date: April 2014

The 7/8 house is an extendable house, designed to accommodate different living arrangements. The internal structure produces a range of ‘houses’ from the 4/ 8 house (106 m2) to the 7/8 house (142 m2.) Within the finished shell, light ceilings and partition walls can be constructed of wood. This makes do-it-yourself changes possible: if another child comes, one of the air spaces is transformed into a new room over a long weekend. Once the children are out of the house, it can become smaller again and provide space for a second, independent ‘granny’ apartment. In this 4/8 + 3/8 house, the living area of the core house is 86 m2, and both units have their own garden access.

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

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

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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181 Stadtbad Krefeld Workshop, Krefeld 2021

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status: workshop
program: architectural study and workshop for the conversion of a public bathhouse into a small-business incubator
location: Krefeld
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Leander Lentner
client: GGK Grundstücksgesellschaft der Stadt Krefeld mbH und Co.
date: May 2021

In the Stadtbad Krefeld, everything is already there. Renewed with light interventions, it reveals itself an open, public incubation center for small businesses.
New spaces emerge through opening, adding or minimal subtractions; alterations all complimented with playful furnishing.
The formerly introverted building is—through a plethora of new entrances—made public.
There are cold, lukewarm and warm rooms; the diversity of climates serves a diversity of uses.
Rooms can be rented on a daily or monthly basis, with select by-the-hour rooms for special engagements.
The spaces are evenly divided into very small, small, middle, large and very large rooms—a fitting size for everyone.
Circulation spaces are shared and multi-functional; they foster run-ins and adjust themselves to the requirements of their users.
The gardens and the pools in block's interior create a magical atmosphere. The block becomes public, but this atmosphere is preserved.

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053 Start-Up Garage Competition, Essen 2008 – BeL & Sascha Glasl

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status: project
program: flexible working spaces
architecture: BeL & Sascha Glasl
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Sascha Glasl
gross floor area: 221 m2
cost: 30.000,- € + sponsoring
client: Entwicklungs-Gesellschaft Zeche Zollverein Essen
date: September 2007

1893 Henry Ford builds his first car, the Quadricycle in a garage
1939 Bill Hewlett and David Packard found the company "HP" in a garage
1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak build the "Apple I" in Job's garage
1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin found the company "Google" in a garage

Great ideas are born in everyday places: in the bathtub, on the train, flying a kite, or in garages. Today, people work everywhere: in cafes, on trains, on the street or at the kitchen table. Throughout history, great ideas have also come from places of aura: the Medici court, Monte Verità, Montmatré and Warhol's Factory. Start Up Garage mixes the mundane with the auratic.

Working as a solo entrepreneur is possible anytime and anywhere, no need to build a new space for it, the world is already there. What the solo entrepreneur lacks are others who are like her, and a space with the same spirit. Start Up Garage is 221 m2 and can be used by several sole entrepreneurs with 6-month stipends. Start-up Garage consists of 12 stock-issue carport modules and fosters different uses by connecting and separating different spaces with a variety of garage doors: latticed, insulated with door, closed insulated and non-insulated. Each room is lit by a translucent polycarbonate roof, while the transverse openings of the modules closed with PVC curtains. Sufficient sound insulation and climate protection is ensured despite the high degree of transparency. The traditionally dank space of the garage is filled with a diffuse, heavenly light.

Englische Linie

187 Bottwarwiesen Urban Design Competition, Oberstenfeld 2021 – BeL & Studio Vulkan

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status: urban design competition
program: multi-use; housing, kindergarden, allotment gardening, retail, education, industry, community space
location: Oberstenfeld
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Julia Kaulen, Alina Uhlenbrock, Laura Fuchs, Amelie Kulassek
team Studio Vulkan: Dominik Bueckers Florian Strauss, Fanny Brandauer
client: Gemeinde Oberstenfeld
date: September 2021

Oberstenfeld grows and is woven more tightly through the means of the existing structure. The main elements are the streets, which doubling as living space offer a scenic sequence of everyday actions.

In this way, they continue the quality of the historic local street: a gently curved space with busy first floors, inhabited upper floors, slow cars, people crossing, cyclists, fountains, small squares and a flowing transition with glimpses of courtyards, small gardens and residential paths.

Open space and development of the Bottwar meadows are conceived in synthesis. The Bottwar space is the heart of the area and links major public uses together - people live and work by the Bottwar. All building sites are only a few steps away from it and all residential paths look and lead onto to the wide banks of the stream.

The site is minimally paved and developed as a kind of model settlement for the principle of the sponge city - preventing temperature peaks and keeping raw materials on site.

The four new neighborhoods in the fabric are inherently mixed - similar to the existing structure of the town center. The housing typologies are developed as local types from Oberstenfeld's independent building culture and connect to the scale of the small town.

Existing industrial buildings are integrated into each neighborhood. The halls are converted in a low-threshold manner, used communally and interweave the 100-year industrial history of the Bottwar meadows with the future.

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008 Under the Pavement: the Beach Urban Intervention, Cologne 2003 – BeL & Merlin E. Bauer

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status: completed
program: urban intervention
location: various urban spaces in Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Merlin E. Bauer
cost: 4.000 €
date: since summer 2002

Kölner Architekturpreis 2003 – urban intervention

www.am-strand.org

Under the Pavement - the Beach is a paradigmatic utilization of public space.
Aimed to resurrect the urban realm from the decay of civic culture Under the Pavement - the Beach uses public space for temporary gatherings.
A multitude of hosts pick locations for specific instant programs, the mobile Strandbox unit provides the necessary infrastructure including coolboxes, a pirate radio transmitter, luggage space for dishes, etc.

 

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137 Hallen Kalk Urban Design Workshop, 1st prize, Cologne 2017 – BeL & Studio Vulkan & Prof. Dr. Guido Spars

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status: urban design workshop, 1st prize
program: multi-use: school, kindergarten, workshops, community areas, housing, offices, public open spaces
location: Cologne
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Amelie Bimberg, Jonas Läufer, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Jakob Wolters
team Studio Vulkan: Robin Winogrond, Helen Yu
project development: Prof. Dr. Guido Spars
client: City of Cologne
date: July 2017

South of Kalk’s main street is a place where large empty spaces lie half asleep. ‘Die Hallen Kalk’ (The Kalk Halls) are a series of very large, monumental, industrial spaces which—with little exception—have long remained closed to the public.

This is about to change: the industrial halls will become communal halls; the site will be mixed in with the street. To create a diversity of urban spaces, a diversity of strategies is applied. These strategies emerge from the qualities of the existing structure itself, and therefore—while diverse—are united in maintaining the original character of the Halls. The existing usages thus generate a sophisticated structure for implementing the new usages.

The Kalk halls under 3,500 m2 each receive distinct uses: a market hall, school hall, festival hall, studio hall, dance hall, craftsmen's hall, adventure hall, play hall, BMX park and residential courtyard. The juxtaposition of these large units creates a mesh of uses which give the surrounding spaces an urban liveliness. The larger spaces—up to 10,000 m2—are more ambiguous. Here, the different uses lie over and within each other, staggered or simultaneous, fostering unexpected human interactions. Through removal of the skylight glazing, Hall 70 is transformed into a large plaza. Here the schoolyard, sports areas, kindergarten, planting area, greenhouse and refectory/restaurant mingle to form an impressive and multi-layered space. The unique blend of spatial definition and open sky, combined with its sheer size, makes Hall 70 into a significant Kalk landmark. Architectural sublimity and cultural openness constitute here a new cornerstone for a developing neighborhood.

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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.

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

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

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.

Englische Linie

035 Kaufhaus Breuer Conversion, Eschweiler 2006

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status: completed
program: conversion of a department store into apartments and offices
location: Grabenstraße 38, 52249 Eschweiler
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Eveline Jürgens, Thomas Schneider
net floor area: 1.465 m2
cost: 1.200.000 €
client: Anna Maria und Andrea Breuer, Cologne
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
HVACR: energieplan, Cologne
date: June 2006

Eschweiler Architekturpreis 2007
BDA Preis Aachen 2007
Architekturpreis NRW Auszeichnung 2007
NRW wohnt! Wohnen an ungewöhnlichen Orten Preis 2008
Deutscher Bauherrenpreis 2009
BDA Preis Nike für besonderes soziales Engagement, Shortlist

After converting the 1950's department store into a modern residential and commercial building the only remaining retail spaces were located on the ground floor. The first floor is home to a public recreational room where children whose parents are shopping can be cared for by senior citizens; this space can also be reconfigured to form an office or a surgery. The target groups for the two residential floors are elderly and handicapped people who live in the city and wish to enjoy the advantages of unassisted living.

In the second and third floors there are eight apartments in all, which can be used individually or as a residential cooperative. In order to retain the openness of the former department store, the floor plans are divided only by the addition of core sanitary modules and moveable wall elements. Each apartment has a fully-glazed inner courtyard. The composite thermal insulation system, necessary to keep energy levels low, includes a newly developed light-plaster, which responds to sunlight with the aid of inset glass beads.

Englische Linie

155 Bergedorf-West Urban and Architectural Concept Development, Hamburg-Bergedorf 2019

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status: workshop
program: densification, housing, mobility hubs, retail, offices, workshops, gardens
location: Hamburg-Bergedorf
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Alina Uhlenbrock, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton 
client: Gemeinnützige Baugenossenschaft Bergedorf-Bille eG, Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen, Amt für Landesplanung und Stadtentwicklung, Bezirksamt Hamburg-Bergedorf
date: June 2019

After years of consolidation on the inner edge of Hamburg's periphery, 16,000 new neighbors are expected in Bergedorf-West. This densified, new charged Bergedorf is investigated through parameters given by the existing urban-suburban structure.

The existing indifferent spaces will be transformed into new urban spaces, each of which will exaggerate its specific qualities and connect to the others via a network of well-defined open spaces. The aim is to be both more differentiated and grander than before.

Four spatial figures reinforce the latent spatial configuration by means of new construction: These juxtapose spatial typologies from the city, suburbs and village. The space is not drowned in newness. Types are read from the existing spaces and inscribed more definitely, volumetrically. Each new word giving a fresh meaning to its context. Life in Bergedorf becomes at once more urban and more scenic.

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

072 Grundbau und Siedler Self-Build Housing, IBA Hamburg 2013

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status: completed
program: self-build housing
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Wolfgang Zeh, Leonard Wertgen, Fréderic Schnee
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
HVACR: Energie und Technik, Sittensen
client: Primus AG
gross floor area: 1.352 m2
cost: 1.200.000 €, 830 €/m2 BGF
completion: March 2013

Deutscher Architekturpreis 2013, honorable mention
Universal Design Award 2013 , Universal Design Consumer Favorite 2013

construction manual for settlers
>>> DOWNLOAD HERE


Grundbau und Siedler explores how lower income groups can become home owners. This project was originally developed in the framework of the IBA Hamburg 2013 for the urban district of Wilhelmsburg. The dominant typology in this area is the allotment garden hut, in the 1970s large social housing complexes were also erected there. Although the theme of these developments was "urbanity through density", they are neither densely built nor do they succeed in producing any sense of urbanity.

The project by BeL stretches the typology of the hut to multi-storey housing – a skeleton provides the basic frame, its different stories can be individually filled out, both spatially and over a period of time, by the residents themselves employing self-build methods. The future home-owners buy a package consisting of a plot within a basic, concrete-built skeleton, all the building materials needed to develop their plot, and a handbook giving detailed instructions on all the steps necessary for the development work.

In warmer climatic zones Le Corbusier's Domino House principle from 1914 has proved its value as a successful construction system for informal housing developments. Aashwa´i in Cairo, Polykatoikia in Athens, Gececondu in Istanbul, and Favela in Sao Paulo confirm the superiority of the Domino construction principle – and not just from the viewpoint of costs. It is a shelf that provides ideal conditions for a mix of functions; a surplus of space creates a flexible basis to be appropriated by future extensions, conversions and adaptations. The open basic structure allows flexibility over a long period of time.

Applying the Domino principle in Germany today requires specialized materials and details in order to satisfy the demands made by highly developed post-industrial societies regarding comfort, economy and ecology. The Grundbau or skeleton has a single staircase serving three units on each floor, the structure is five-storeys high and offers twelve sites for settlers. Each of the upper four stories has three units, whereas the ground floor contains the settlers' private workshops, car parking spaces, the public utilities connection room and the approach to the open staircase.

The settlers acquire a complete kit of building components to erect a typical settler's house. This kit contains all the construction material. A detailed handbook describes the steps that they can carry out themselves, as well as indicating those areas of work that must be approved by a specialist. The organization of the floor plans is independent of the load-bearing structure and the neighboring stories. All versions of the typical floor plan in the settlers' kit address different housing needs (the number of persons, lifestyle etc.) and changes of function over time (a growing family, the advent of old age, change of user). A set of functionally neutral spaces is offered with an abundant number of doors. Consequently, the users can employ whatever function they wish. All the rooms are connected to each other; each room has openings to its neighbors. The large number of doors allows the rooms to be grouped as required. For instance: one family may want a large bathroom with a view, whereas another may use this room as a child's bedroom. Each dwelling has two service shafts that are positioned at the intersection of the partition walls and can serve three rooms.

The settlers decide what the rooms will be used for. Flexibility results from use and not through adaptation. Functionally indeterminate spaces in a floor plan without corridors require the settlers to interpret and conquer their own space. In the 1:50 scale configuration model (contained in the building kit) the settlers can examine which ways of using the spaces work best for them. Those who wish so can ignore the recommendations and the material offered in the building kit and can improvise. Settlers can reject the guidelines within their own plot, everyone has the right to make their own mistakes and improvements. The Grundbau contains everything needed to build and operate a unit; the settlers can use the workshop spaces on the ground floor from day one and can run their own construction site from there. The Grundbau has railings making scaffolding unnecessary, the settlers can carry out their work from the 70-cm wide strip of balcony.

Englische Linie

119 T’Huis Publication, Breda, Netherlands 2015

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status: contribution to "Building Upon"
program: fictional extension of an existing cafe by John Körmeling
location: Breda, Netherlands
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann
client: Architectura et Amicitia (Aeta)
date: June 2015

T'Huis in Breda by John Körmeling is a beautiful building. It is a pavilion in the park, largely constructed of glass with very delicate profiles and a very thin roof. You can enjoy coffee or tea on the terrace shaded by marquees. The marquees are red - like the terrace and the furniture, the artist uses a striking contrast; the park becomes greener seen from the red and thus more beautiful. T'Huis is proportioned using a golden ratio in ground plan and elevation. It is labeled with fluorescent letters, presenting the things offered here: ice cream, coffee, tea, sausage, cake and french fries.

The extension of T'Huis deals with the delicateness of the building. Any extension appears to be rude regarding the entity of the building's design. We know so many tea pavilions full of features: patio heaters or terrace glazing keeping smokers warm in winter; attached party tents opening after 5 o'clock for night use. Our extension also improves the functionality of the tea pavilion. It provides a small canopy and an additional door. The existing pavilion's toilet can now be used before or after the opening times of T'Huis. The door separating the cafè from the toilets is sealed. Now a machine on the outside of the pavilion grants the entrance. The canopy is tall so that it is visible all around the park and labelled with the service (WC) found here.

Englische Linie

153 Neuländer Quarree Competition, 1st prize for A2/A4, Hamburg-Harburg 2019

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status: competition. 1st prize for A2/A4
program: housing, retail, daycare facility for children
location: Hamburg-Harburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Sebastian Haufe, Julia Kaulen, Alina Uhlenbrock
client: CG group
date: March 2019

The Neuländer Quarree is a decisive building block in the urban transformation of Harburg's inland port. While the typical port traffic, logistics and commercial structures will continue to exist in the long term, residential and leisure uses are beginning to move in, requiring protection—particularly from noise. The urban master plan successfully meets this challenge with the perimeter block development of the building sites, but requires careful architectural interpretation of site-specific qualities. Harburg's inland harbor possess an identity-forming heterogeneity; the autonomous juxtaposition of sometimes dramatically different spaces, scales and building typologies give the area a rough, disorderly charm. Yet disorder is by no means random. The individual buildings each have their own order—corresponding to their individual industrial processes—and they hold together, not through monotony, but through a shared vocabulary of infrastructural elements and a common landscape: large swaths of sky, inland waterways and the resulting presence of water fowl.

The Neuländer Quarree develops its qualities from this balance of autonomy and dependence. The unadorned romanticism of the harbor is reinforced through and engagement with found building types. To this end, conglomeration serves as a principle of orchestration, coordinating a concert of the ordinary, the bulky, the simple, and the magnificent. The individual structures of the quarter are united by the master plan in an orderly manner, and the small blocks create dwellings which deal with the challenges of alignment and noise. However, to participate in aesthetic qualities of their immediate surroundings, the blocks are opened up and re-interpreted as assemblages of smaller parts. These parts are understood as house types which take up an active relationship to their context, evoking memories of familiar residential buildings. The resulting collage is overwritten by a material similarity; the formal structure of corrugation applied in different materials: sheet metal, GRP, ceramics, and precast concrete. These elements are complemented by generous, fowl-safe glass, giving all flats views into the landscape.

The first conglomerate, A1, is composed of three apartment buildings around a small square, one symmetrical, one staggered, and one round. An elevated plinth containing a fully-glazed restaurant and multi-story bike garage connects the symmetrical building to the north with the staggered building to the south. The staged building, in turn, merges into the round building to the west, completing the three sides of the square. The second conglomerate, A2, is formed from a deep-row building and a villa, both sitting on a plinth. The plinth contains 5,6-meter-high studio or commercial units and a generous lobby, serving as address and communal space for the development. The final conglomerate, A4, is more composite, featuring a homogeneous inner courtyard formed by corner, terrace and apartment buildings. The inner courtyard is the garden of the day-care center, which is situated in a ring around it, while the corner and terrace apartments claim expansive views of the harbor.

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

126 Nord-Süd Achse Competition & Workshop, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, 2016 – BeL & NL Architects & Inside Outside

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status: competition and workshop contribution
program: multi-use; housing, retail, recreation, education, industry, allotment gardening
location: Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Alia Mortada
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Gen Yamamoto, Kirsten Hüsig, Jasna Kajevic, Sylvie Hagens, Jose Lacruz, Alison McNeil, Gianluca Lattar, Laura Riano Lopez, Lea Caubert
team Inside Outside: Petra Blaisse, Jana Crepon, Mikel Orbegozo
client: IBA Hamburg GmbH
date: June/November 2016

The area between Vogelhüttendeich, Rotenhäuserstraße, Jaffe-David-Kanal and Aßmannkanal has special qualities: it is a landscape in the city. Wilhelmsburg, the Elbe island, originally sparsely populated with its hydraulic engineering can still be experienced here. The canals and many allotments give the area a scenic atmosphere. The pier with its beer garden at Vogelhüttendeich is a place in front of the city but not yet in the countryside. To the west lies the Reiherstieg district, the epitome of a dense, culturally mixed neighbourhood. Here the blocks stand sharply defined as bodies in the landscape, forming a closed space of intensive urban life. In the commercial area south of the planning area, garden elements of a suburban idyll can be found. This temporal, spatial and typological fusion of the landscape with urban and industrial fragments is fundamental to the design.

In Wilhelmsburg, landscape and city meet like living and working. Different typologies stand side by side without constraint, they use and reinforce the qualities of the area, individually or in context. The encounter of different building types with diverse open spaces creates a multitude of independent subspaces. We create urban density through architectural typology. Within a plot, the individual buildings are coherent and create urban space in their specific design.

Englische Linie

058 Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar Exhibition Design, Weimar 2009 – BeL & Meyer Voggenreiter Projekte

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status: completed
program: exhibition design
location: Neues Museum, Bauhaus Museum, Goethe Museum, Schiller Museum, Weimar
architecture: BeL & meyer voggenreiter projekte
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Adria Daraban, Claudia Hoffmann, Philipp Schneider, Meyer Voggenreiter, Wolfgang Zeh
graphic design exhibition, catalogue, internet: Goldwiege, Weimar
graphic design panorama Bauhaus museum: Are We Designer, Cologne
net floor area: 3.400 m2
client: Klassik Stiftung Weimar
date: April 2009

To occasion the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Bauhaus, the Foundation of Weimar Classicism is organizing a large Bauhaus exhibition: 4 locations, 3400 m2, 1200 objects, one exhibition, one city: ‘Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar’ (The Bauhaus is from Weimar), April 1 - July 5, 2009. The exhibition architecture includes both the interior of the four museums - Bauhaus, Goethe, Schiller and Neues Museum - and connects the 4 exhibition locations to one another.

The inter-museum connection is made via so-called ‘text hedges.’ The text hedges—self-supporting constructions made of two 4 mm thick laser-cut steel sheets—feature quotations from Walter Gropius, which thematically introduce the exhibition. In front of the museums, the text hedges use existing flowerbeds, baroque balustrades and postmodern sandstone walls as substructures, adding a layer of exaggeration to Weimar's closed, harmonious urban space. The motif of the bourgeois quote—welcomed in Weimar—is, through human-sized lettering and radical content, brought to completion.  

The Bauhaus wanted nothing less than a new human: industrial mass production as the means to a glistening future... a future which has existed for more than 40 years now. The exhibition architecture is made of a single universal system, used in each museum. Made of aluminum square tubing and white Resoplan panels, this system is all-encompassing. It is made for the exhibition, the trade fair, the supermarket, the store fittings, the everyday life, the Gesamtkunstwerk, theater, photography, text, festivals, etc. The exhibition experience can then also be comprehensive: sleeping, eating, relaxing, looking, contemplating, watching film, seeing theater, teaching, arriving, leaving, returning…

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152 Alternative Histories Exhibition, London, Brussels, Dublin 2019-2021

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status: contribution to the exhibition “Alternative Histories”
program: model
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser,
Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Alina Uhlenbrock, Laura Fuchs
client: Drawing Matter, The Architecture Foundation,
Marius Grootveld, Jantje Engels
date: March 2019

BeL (*2000), Anne-Julchen Bernhardt (*1971) and Jörg Leeser (*1967): On Walter Pichler's Sketch for the Underground City, 1960-64, Model, 2019, metal, concrete, plaster, paint, foam, wood, pastel calk, wood glue, paper, coal, styrofoam, plastic, play dough, sandpaper and plasticine.

The selected drawing – a light-hearted but somewhat nervous sketch bearing the title “Sketch for the Underground City” – belongs to an early body of work by Walter Pichler.
Working on abstract, hypothetical cities and buildings, Pichler questions the relationship of oppositional systems and investigates into positive and negative space, the designed and the found object, movement in space and movement of space. He is fascinated with infrastructure, spatial networks and the architecture of transition.

Over the course of four years he produced several series of drawings and objects, as the first seem to be mostly investigative and only occasionally presentation drawings, the latter are artifacts of meticulous craftsmanship in metal, concrete and plaster. Resting in time as singular entities, they obtain an almost transcendental aura; their painstakingly precise and slow process of making is inscribed into their abstract yet detailed manifestation. Form, space, light, material and surface are taken into the realm of fetish objects, the Sublime hovers within and around them.

The enigmatic objects are called Compact Building, Underground Building, Mouth of an Underground City, Core of an Underground City, Building over Infrastructure and Underground Building with extendable core. There is no record of an object titled the Underground City, the selected drawing solemnly bears that name.

Our model is neither abstract nor enigmatic but concrete. It is a model not an object. Its simple stereometric volumes are directly taken from Pichler's sketch. As a feasibility study it explores possible levels of detail Pichler's sublime objects would have faced, if they had been taken as representative model in an architectural process. The model is in search of the inherent beauty of the ordinary, it emphatically embraces the everyday, where the Sublime is just around the corner. Still, the Underground City remains the Other Space, pink cavities crouch underneath the surface.

pictures 11–17: Walter Pichler: “Skulpturen, Gebäude, Projekte”,
Residenz Verlag, Salzburg, Wien, 1992

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

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.

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132 Bremsstraße Housing, Cologne 2018