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051 ISO Adaptable Trade-Fair System 2009

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status: completed
program: adaptable trade-fair-system
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Adria Daraban, Max Schoeneich, Wolfgang Zeh
gross floor area: 3 - 200 m2
client: FRABA AG
date: 2009 - 2014

Evolving from DIN display system ISO provides improved flexibility, rapid assembly time and minimized payload. Presented on a worldwide campaign the ISO universal system has to comply with numerous international standards. ISO is nomadic architecture, it features lightweight elements, easy to carry and easy to assemble. Traditionally fabric is used to create shelters, ISO deploys a curtain/carpet made of customized injection molded polycarbonate snap-on tiles. ISO is a non-spatial concept. The elements can be applied in an infinite number of configurations on a multiplicity of trade fair lots. The possible organizational patterns are based on rules of proximity. Depending on the specific context the client can choose from a large array of possible set ups.

Iso is an attempt at nothingness. The spatial presence of the individual objects is reduced to the bare structural necessities. In an almost tribal simplicity, illumination is provided by lampposts. Tables and chairs have an intermediate height between chairs and bar stools to allow informal communication.

The grandeur of ISO's delicateness is a remedy to the barren environment of trade fairs. ISO is a satisfactory combination of austerity and pomp.

Englische Linie

052 Costeras Competition, Sardinia, Italy 2008 – BeL & Büro für Konstruktivismus

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status: competition
architecture: BeL & Büro für Konstruktivismus
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Sandra Bartoli, Silvan Linden, Adria Daraban
client: Regione Autonoma della Sardegna
date: September 2007

Marceddi, Torre Salinas, you click it on the browser and fall on planet Earth from the heights of the stratosphere. Flying in on forests, sea, lagune, zooming into spontaneous trails between groves and fields, unplanned open areas along the coast, hidden camping facilities, scruffy mountains, draught areas, stray animals, rivers, curves of silver, fishes, boulders, dust. The entire island is full of beauty, even in beautiful sad places such as Marceddì, or the desert-like splendour of the lagune in Torre Salinas. From these simple observations and the use of Google Earth we developed the idea to produce new aerial photos of the two places. These aerial images - rather paintings than plans - intend to be new realities, assumptions of a future landscape, parallel to the current situation.

We travel through Sardinia in search of our own modern Arcadia.
Everything starts with the landscape: cultural and natural landscape.
The landscape is Sardinia's asset.
The landscape rather than buildings will serve as a catalyst for identity and urbanization.
The landscape becomes richer: it grows instead of disappearing.
The landscape saturates in its qualities: it becomes greener, bluer, wetter, dryer, thicker, airier, etc.
The consequence is the bonding of foreign and native, work and free time, nature and culture, good and bad.
Tourists and Sardinians live together in the same place: minimal separation and no boundaries
Tourism in a real Sardinia: it's not a theme park. All material comes from the site.
Minimal impact with moderate alterations corresponds to feasible economic principles.

Everything starts with aerial composites of the existing.
A thorough analysis in detail leads to the recognition of the existing qualities.
The image and the landscape are not identical. But once having reworked the image we've already affected the landscape.
The image, and consequently the landscape, is quantifiable.
It is about reaching critical mass to understand the relation of the landscape and its use. (The point when a landscape becomes periphery, a tourist village a sprawled strip, etc.)
Local retouching: all material comes from the site.
The result of the work is a perfect aerial image, we have found Arcadia, an idealized landscape.

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

063 Kö-Bogen Urban Design Competition, Düsseldorf 2008 – BeL & Heide & von Beckerath

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status: urban design competition
program: city center redevelopment
architecture: BeL & Heide & von Beckerath & Locodrom Landschaftsarchitekten
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Jan Derveaux, Verena von Beckerath, Tim Heide, Wolfgang Zeh, Phillip Schneider
client: Stadt Düsseldorf
date: December 2008

The result of car-oriented city planning, Düsseldorfs Kö-Bogen’ area no longer satisfies the demands of a contemporary, publicly perceptible urban space. In particular, the intersection of Hochstraße, Berliner Allee, Schadowstraße and Hofgartenstraße, as well as the crossing streetcar lines, create a public space inadequate for the needs of a pedestrian-oriented city center: offers for cyclists and pedestrians are missing and Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz is isolated by parking ramps. It has been reduced to an underused, mono-functional theater square. This urban planning proposal follows a integrated, yet selectively targeted strategy to transform the site. The negatively perceived compression of urban dynamics, caused by the noise and exhaust of road traffic, and the barrier-forming traffic infrastructure, are reformed into an exciting, comfortable and livable urban space. The existing dynamics of the site are not negated, but absorbed. Nuisances and hazards are eliminated through the clever arrangement of new features and the re-appropriation of the old.

By removing the traffic from the overpass and routing it underground, or integrating it into the surrounding city, a new piece of public infrastructure is created.  The ‘Tausendfüßler’ (centipede) creates a high-quality outdoor space with weather protection unparalleled in Europe, creating a distinctive new feature for Düsseldorf. The new space is an amplifier and transformer of adjacent uses. Connected to ground level by six new vertical accesses, the Tausendfüßler creates a two-level horizontal sequence of different programs. This space connects the Hofgarten, Berliner Allee and Immermannstraße with a marketplace, outdoor theater, cafes and play areas for children and adults.

Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz will now be connected at ground level with the new open spaces surrounding it. The surface of the new urban space will consist of exposed aggregate concrete slabs in four light, slightly varying shades of gray. The slabs form a generous polygonal units with surfaces treated to give them the shimmering mica effect typical of gneiss. Two low points are both water fountains, square drainage and light sources for the parking garages below. The subway station is connected to the ground surface by an opening including a staircase and is related to the other public spaces.

Living in the center of the city, in close proximity to the cultural center and the Hofgarten, is a central component of the design concept. Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, which is given a new presence, is enlivened by residential use and enhanced in its function as a public space. To this end, two new structures replace the former buildings at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz and Tuchtinsel, while a third new structure completes the constellation. The structures each consist of a 25 m high base and a 54 m high tower. The northwestern building is connected to the elevated streetcar station, while the southern building spans the Tausendfüßler. To the north, the buildings’ 6 m high arcades open directly onto the square, concentrating commercial and public uses. Here, the apartment buildings’ lower floors participate directly in the urbanity of the square (children's laughter, latte macchiato, ice rink in winter, water games in summer), while apartments on the upper floors bring with them a view over the city. For the residents, the Hofgarten is perceived as a front yard.

Englische Linie

141 Ehrenveedel Competition, Cologne 2017

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status: competition
program: housing, workshops, retail
location: Ehrenfeld, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, David Leber, Malte Wilms
client: Aurelis Real Estate
date: November 2017

The neighborhood of Ehrenfeld, with its characteristic mixture of small-scale residential/mixed-use development and large-scale industrial areas, is developing to serve future needs. However, in today’s economy, continuing the small-scale development of the area is just as impossible as preserving fragments of the site’s former freight depot. The project thus places a special demand on the architecture for the creation of a site-specific identity: the uniqueness of the place must not be lost in anonymity. The site, with topography rising toward the South, is traversed lengthwise by three axes: a neighborhood access road to the North, a bike-pedestrian through-way, and a green corridor sloping down from the train tracks to the South. Neighborhood alleyways connect these axes cross-wise, allowing for a central residential courtyard, while the zoning plan calls for the integration of commercial uses along the Northern neighborhood street.

These conditions—the interaction of different social spaces, topography, required noise protection, and planned building volumes—call for a mixture of building typologies to compliment the various open spaces and maintain the mixed-scale character of the neighborhood. Buildings A, B and C are therefore not only different from one another, but are further subdivided to finely tune relationships between public, semi-public and private areas.

Along the neighborhood street in the north, the buildings are arranged directly adjacent to the street space, creating a threshold-free connection to the public space. The neighborhood alleys to the east and west are activated by the entrances to the residential units of Buildings A and B, while low-threshold front areas of the ground floor flats create a transition from the public to the private sphere. The topography creates clearly defined transitions to the flat inner courtyard, which sits 1,5m above the ground-floor units to the North and West. Building B solves this challenge with a plinth, —at about the same level as the courtyard—accessible from the North via a staircase and from the South at ground level. Building A, on the other hand, mediates the height distinction through a series of double and split level units, all containing internal stairs. This strategy is picked up by building C, which is entered directly from the pedestrian and bicycle path, and features private gardens arranged another 1,5m up green slope to the South.

The ensemble is bound together by a canon of industrial façade materials and the central courtyard, the social heart of the area. With direct access for all residents, a gradation of secondary public thoroughfares and semi-public inner block areas, it invites communal use. Elevated off the street and lightly shielded from the bike path by trees, the courtyard features a water-bound sand surface, making it an explicitly informal grandchild to the open industrial yards of the past. The yard is protected from the sound of passing trains by the high wall of building C, while the terraces of buildings A and plinth of building B are just high enough to provide the yard with informal seating. The three buildings—with their ample balconies, roof gardens and arcades—work together, forming a protected, lively atmosphere

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

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.

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.

Englische Linie

124 Liebe deine Stadt Museum Cologne 2015

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status: completed
program: pavilion for the campaign "Liebe deine Stadt - trotzdem! 2005-2015" by Merlin Bauer
location: Willy-Millowitsch-Platz, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Gina Rauschtenberger
client: Merlin Bauer
date: November 2015

Kölner Architekturpreis 2017, honorable mention

The pavilion for the anniversary campaign "LIEBE DEINE STADT - TROTZDEM! / 2005 - 2015" (Love your City – Regardless!) by artist Merlin Bauer is a simple, mobile building. Here, the three campaign motifs "FRUST", "TROST" and "HOFFNUNG" (Frustration, Solace and Hope) are presented as light boxes alongside their corresponding editions, printed for the anniversary campaign. In keeping with the multi-layered nature of the "Love Your City" project, the pavilion engages with several levels of urban society, public space and architecture.

While in its ostensible function as a sales booth, the pavilion occupies a typological proximity to market stalls and kiosks, it also expresses its role as public building. It refers subtly to Friedrich Schinkel’s Neue Museum (now the Alte Museum) in Berlin. Built in 1825, it established the typology of museum architecture in Germany with its monumental open portico of 18 Ionic columns. The pavilion adopts this gesture, forming an urban loggia with 19 pairs of slender steel columns.

In the urban space, it is casually placed at the edge of intense pedestrian flows a certain width ensures both good visibility and creates a "square" in front of the pavilion's facade.  The three-axis symmetry of the pavilion’s body and illuminated "Love your city" lettering give the building a monumental solemnity, which is immediately countered by the delicacy of the construction and the restraint of its color scheme. The covered areas to the side of the actual retail space can be used to linger, shelter from rain, or to view the museum display case. Here, too, the simultaneous but subtle perception of its scale’s alienation creates the moment of irritation inherent to the entire project.

The pavilion can be dismantled and set up in any location, both outdoors and indoors. It does not require foundations, and the construction system of wood, steel and aluminum is optimized for quick assembly and disassembly times. Adjustable feet ensure precise alignment of the building, and the building can be burglar-proofed by means of wire-glazed windows that can be pulled out of the display cases.

www.liebe-deine-stadt.de

Englische Linie

111 Raderthal Urban Design Competition, Cologne 2014

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Raderthalgürtel, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Paula Frasch, Matthias Hoffmann, Christiane Schmidt
client: PARETO GmbH
date: September 2014

Even after a century of development, Cologne’s ring road or ‚Gürtel’ contains large reserves for the potential development and expansion of Cologne. To integrate this expansion into the overarching urbanism of the ‘Gürtel,’ a precise urban morphological analysis of all sections of the Cologne Belt was conducted. The resulting catalogue of urban building blocks forms the ground out of which the proposal--‘Der Raderthalgürtel’--grows. The section of the ring in question is one of the youngest on the Cologne Belt. The 1970s construction of the ‘Deutsche Welle’ and ‘Deutschlandfunk’ high-rise buildings produced diffusely urbanized and intensified the area, which was still partly agricultural and partly industrial.

At 220 meters in length, the ‘Große Siedlungshaus’ is the horizontal counterweight to these high-rises, while the compact physical presence of such a large structure compliments and furthers the urban diversity of the greater ring road. Row houses with roof terraces face south onto the Gürtel, reflecting the characteristic 19th century reform urbanism of neighboring Klettenberg and Sülz. To the North, the Siedlungshaus presents a façade with seven towers and seven gates leading to seven interior courtyards. These courtyards are shielded from street noise by the row houses, but because of their low stature, still receive generous amounts of sunlight. The adjacency of the large ring road with the small housing typologies generates an interplay of private and public space for all ages. Semi-private niches face to the North while a series of Jane Jacobs-esque stoops lead South onto to ring road sidewalk. The uniformly distributed through-ways gently describe interior yards in which ‘en passant’ supervision of children comes naturally.   

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. 

Englische Linie

177 Zukunft Leonhardsvorstadt Urban Planning Game, Stuttgart 2021 – BeL & Studio Malta

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status: project
program: participatory design game for the IBA’27 StadtRegion Stuttgart, example for a good communal life (pre-planning)
location: Leonhardsvorstadt, Stuttgart
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Laura Fuchs, Leander Lentner
team Studio Malta: Marta Toscano, Aaron Schirrmann, Aida Nejad and team Belius: Andreas Foidl, Andreas Krüger
client: IBA’27 StadtRegion Stuttgart
date: August 2020- Oktober 2020

Many changes are in store for Leonhardsvorstadt. The two parking garages are to be replaced by new buildings. New apartments can be built; a new center can emerge with spaces for the community and for the neighborhood, with a film and media house creating a cultural focus point for the city.
The entire Leonhardsvorstadt should benefit from this tailwind: the residents, those who work and shop here, the guests, the young and the old, but before the planning of the Neue Mitte begins with a competition, the people in the neighborhood are being asked for their input. What do they hope for the future, how do they imagine living, working, staying in Leonhardsvorstadt?
Bring your ideas, tell us about the history of this special part of Stuttgart. Let us know what you like about the neighborhood, what you miss, what you like to do here and what you would like to do here. Play through with us what the Leonhardsvorstadt could become.
With a mixture of analog and digital we want to shape the future together.

zukunft-leonhardsvorstadt.de

Englische Linie

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

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

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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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093 Loggiavelo Vehicle, 1st Prize, Westphalia 2012

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status: competition, 1st prize
program: regional marketing stand
location: various cities, Westphalia
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Matthias Hoffmann, Christiane Schmidt
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
client: Regionale - Märkte in Südwestfalen
date: April 2012

A proper city has a marketplace, but when civic pride and prosperity allow it, a city affords itself a loggia. The city rises from the mundane to the sublime. It celebrates itself, urbs becomes civitas. A loggia is a universal building, where commerce, politics and culture meet. It embodies urban life.

The twelve historic marketplaces in South Westphalia are getting a common loggia: the Loggiavélo. It is vehicle-like building, driven from town to town by the twelve mayors of the participating municipalities. The mayors are ecological and sustainable motors, consuming not fossil fuels, but renewable raw materials. If a motor is prevented from riding by important appointments, they can be replaced by an equally environmentally friendly representative.

The journey from town to town, powered by the physical strength of the citizens, is an indispensable part of the Loggiavélo. This is where the mayors get closer, where cohesion is tested, where a community is born. A bond is formed between the twelve cities, fortified along the way by picnics in the beautiful South Westphalian landscape.Through sweat and toil, the legend of the muscle-powered community town hall is born.

When the Loggiavélo is not being used for locomotion, it stands in the marketplaces of the participating communities. It stands directly on the pavement, a neutral space for all urban functions. Music can be played here, brochures can be distributed, and people can fortify themselves with a pilsner. This is as much a place for historical speeches as it is for baked waffles; revolutions can start and cooking recipes can be exchanged.

Each of the twelve trolleys is equipped with luggage boxes, giving the Loggiavélo a total storage capacity of 450 liters. There is room for folding chairs, leaflets, electricity, computers, a music system, crockery and a waffle iron. Decorating the "frieze" of the loggia are the coats of arms of the participating municipalities. At night they glow, creating a beacon of civic pride.

The Loggiavélo is a vehicle of lightweight construction, aerodynamics and innovative technology, demonstrating the technological expertise of the South Westphalia region. The welded aluminum lattice tube frame of the Loggiavélo is a weight-optimized space frame; the wall and roof are covered with a printed Dyneema fiber-reinforced foil laminate. The sides are perforated to reduce the area exposed to wind, and all parts are sewn together to be waterproof.

To support the mayoral forces over the breathtaking topography of the Sauerland, the mechanical crank drive is electrically amplified by 250 watt Bosch center motors. High performance batteries can be charged by recuperation. The Loggia receives steering through a "drive by wire" system, operated by the front left driver. This system and electronically controls all wheels individually. Similar to a tank, the Loggiavélo steers by accelerating or decelerating the electric motors on the two sides of the vehicle in opposite directions, and braked with synchronized hydraulic disc brakes.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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169 Horner Geest Urban Design Competition, Hamburg 2020 – BeL & coido & Copenhagenize Design Co. & Karres Brands

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status: urban design competition
program: densification of the neighborhood, social program upgrading
location: Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Leander Lentner with
team coido: Sven Ove Cordsen, Marius Jungblut, Hannes Heitmüller and
team Karres Brands: Bart Brands, Volker Lescow, Chiara Catani
client: Bezirk Hamburg-Mitte
date: March 2021

The qualities of life in the ‚Horner Geest‘ are strengthened and further developed - from mono to multi: We identify minimally different settlement clusters in the existing urban fabric and develop them into character-rich neighborhoods. The aim is to be both more diverse and more specific.

The green character remains: different open space potentials are adopted, strengthened, interlocked with the neighborhoods and connected to a coherent space - the Green Loop. It is full of program and establishes a new hierarchy within the district; all 19 clusters lie along it. A bike path connects all public open spaces.

The narrative street links the neighborhood: Manshardtstrasse becomes an experiential space between green and urban where exchange, commerce and trade take place. Three centers form on this diverse artery, in between the neighborhoods present their unique faces to the street.

A lively piece of the city is created: diverse building typologies and open spaces, clear hierarchies and spatial sequences, individual identities and neighborhoods - connected by the Green Loop - continue to write existing spaces and the identity of the place in a contemporary and future-oriented way. The result is a mixed district in which everyone is welcome to live, work, learn and play.

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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

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.

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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…

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/

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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.  

Englische Linie

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.

Englische Linie

125 Euroforum Competition, Special Prize: Façade, Cologne 2016

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status: competition. special prize façade
program: housing, workshops, retail
location: Mülheim, Cologne
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christiane Schmidt, Matthias Hoffmann, Michel Kleinbrahm, Gina Rauschtenberger, Leonard Palm, Wolfgang Zeh
client: Euroforum Nord GmbH & Co. KG
date: January 2016

The two solitary structures--containing a total of 350 dwellings--inherit their scale, and many of their characteristics, from the industrial architecture of the neighborhood’s past. They maintain a strict structure in their construction and design; the repetition of rational elements lending a calm, impassive presence to the simple building volumes.

The urban outdoor space is diverse and lively. Ground-level residential studios strengthen the creative potential of the area through the mixture of living and working. The urban exteriors stand in contrast to the paradisiac shared interiors, which also offer a habitat for animals and plants. All apartments have at least two types of light and views; looking out, the space is lively and urban, while looking in, it is tranquil and green.

The clear separation of the outside and the inside is reflected in the design of the façades. The street-side façades are clad with prefabricated concrete. While their horizontal structure is homogeneous with soft repetitions, the individual levels differ significantly from one another. This vertical differentiation creates a sculptural relief with diverse and invigorating shadows. In the courtyards, volumes are projected to maximize the surface of the block. The façades are thus uniformly designed as wooden elements; their warm and simple forms adding to the peaceful character of the courtyards.

Englische Linie

136 Grün für 97 Competition, Baakenhafen Hamburg 2017

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Baakenhafen, HafenCity, Hamburg
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Alia Mortada, Roman Krükel
client: cooperative board HeimatMole
date: April 2017

In the home of the Heimatmole building community, big life changes do not mean moving out, but small architectural changes. Having a child, caring for elderly parents, separations and group living arraignments can be accommodated by installing a new door or closing a doorway with a wooden stud wall. The house offers maximum adaptability through minimal intervention. This is made possible by an architecture structured around a multitude of neutral spaces. Not simple intermediate spaces, the rooms have precisely determined dimensions, allowing them to accommodate all facets of life; kitchen, workshop, bedroom, dining room, eat-in kitchen, children's room, utility room, music room, library, youth room and office now fit into every room. Through a central diffusion of bathrooms, water (and thus potential kitchens) is available throughout the floor-plan, allowing for a wide variety arrangements. The office, work room or guest flat can become autonomous without expensive conversion.

The building stands directly on the Warf plaza, enhancing the creative potential of the neighborhood with its mixture of living and working. The two-story base of the building features many doors, and a series of double height spaces. The most public of these is the communal ‘Heimatclub,’ while the others are the defining features of the four live/work maisonette apartments at ground level. These apartments are offered privacy by a thin layer of climbing plants. They are use-flexible, but achieve this not in their floorplan, but in their volume. The residents determine the character of their plaza though their individual decisions: is it studio, office, living room or kitchen at ground level? Each of these maisonettes is completed with a terrace on the courtyard side of the buildings.

Above the base, the relationship between the public side and the protected communal side is flipped. While on the Warftplatz the residents form a counterpart to the neighboring house, the courtyard side faces the Elbe river, visible to the whole city. On the upper floors therefore, the façade needs to offer privacy from the city while participating in its image. These contradictory requirements of protection and representation are handled with a green scaffold. This element is both technical and ecological in character, supporting a multitude of climbing and flowering plants, and crowned with an energy-harvesting wind turbine. This façade is no empty image, but full of life. Its balconies create a direct relationship between the courtyard and the building’s residents, offering views of and from the city, while flowering trellises attract birds and insects. 

 

Englische Linie

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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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

132 Bremsstraße Housing, Cologne 2018