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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.

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

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.

Englische Linie

130 Körnerplatz Competition, 2nd prize, Hannover 2016 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: competition. 2nd prize
program: student housing, kindergarten, cafe
location: Körnerplatz, Hannover
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Michel Kleinbrahm, Gina Rauschtenberger, Leonard Palm
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Walter van Dijk, Pieter Bannenberg, Iwan Hameleers, Sarah Möller, Laura Riano Lopez, Alison McNeil, Jasna Kajevic, Pablo Baena Vega
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Köln
energy consultant: Energiebüro vom Stein, Jörg vom Stein
client: Gesellschaft für Bauen und Wohnen mbH - GBH
date: July 2016

The building is a ‘solitaire’ in a garden, surrounded by a wall. The wall is urban, programmatic and formal, taking communal uses and returning them to the city. To the inside, the wall encloses the garden for the children, who can play on the green, protected from noise of the city. To the outside, it provides public bicycle parking and car sharing, space for a public café and forms a new square, the ‘Körnerplatz.’ The Christuskirche church square thus receives an add-on across Schloßwenderstraße, capping its southern end. The resulting sequence of squares incorporates all the uses of the city - housing, education, movement, commerce and worship.

The building rising above the wall is a simple compact volume made of brick. With its façade (and the unique spaces it reveals) the building responds to its location in the city. The four common spaces each have specific qualities related to their respective sides: a café opens onto the new square, a shared living room faces the church square, a laundry room and open terraces face the residential neighborhood to the South, and a living/study room face the university library. Each of these spaces make their own distinctive mark on the otherwise regular structure of the brick relief façade.

In the building, storage rooms are not assigned to the individual apartments, as is typical. By pooling the required 4.5 m2 per apartment, and adding it to the 1,5-meter-wide hallway space, a new 3-meter-wide communal space is created. The individual apartments thus become a cluster apartments. The hallway—a place of communal living in historic housing typologies—is a multifunctional space. In addition to storing items that do not fit into the apartments (racing bikes, snowboards, surfboards and suitcases), larger communal items can find a place here; kicker, work tables, large televisions, sofas, and oriental carpets turn this space into a living room. The four-to-seven residents of a hallway community can decide collectively about how to use the room, allowing the hallway to reflect the community it serves.

Englische Linie

081 Kleines Haus Blau Conversion, Hürth 2012

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status: completed
program: conversion and extension of a single-family house
location: Hürth
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Wiebke Schlüter, Christiane Schmidt
structural engineer: Fritz Münster, Frechen
clients: Sirit and Dirk Breuer
area:136 m2 plus 37 m2 attic
costs: 230.000 €
completion: May 2012

LBS-Preis Das Goldene Haus 2013
Houses of the Year 2013, Shortlist
Kölner Architekturpreis 2014
Architekturpreis NRW 2015
BDA-Architekturpreis Nike 2016

After the purchase of a small settler’s house from the 1950s, there was not much money left for a young family to build themselves a home. The decision was therefore made to refurbish and extend the existing house rather than rebuild it, saving not only money but also the material and energy conserved in the existing structure. The settler’s house is treated as raw structure into which the new is fitted, tuning up the typology, energy use, and accessibility of the house.

The suburban house—its spatial qualities having blurred, its references to history and context gone dim—is brought back to its origins and transformed into architecture. The three stories of the house are differentiated and formed through three different spatial concepts: A lengthwise directed living space on the ground floor, separate rooms circulating around a central access area on the first floor, and an open space concept in the attic.

The load-bearing walls are retained, while the different spatial concepts are introduced into the structure. The new lengthwise directed rooms on the ground floor connect front yard and garden, through the living space. Spacious double doors in the cross-direction link the new terraces on the sides of the house to both living room and kitchen. The new staircase is relocated on the outside of the house, connecting ground and first floor without disrupting the open character of the living-space. The four rooms of the first floor become individual characters—morning, day, evening and the north/garden room—through single windows, all facing a different direction. The attic bares the possibility of being buildout into an open space bedroom, arranged around a well-positioned bath box.

The small house stays small. It grows in length by 2.20m and in space from 118 to 152 m2. The extension rests on the foundations of the former terraces and is built in a light steel construction fitted with wooden walls. The new, insulated rafter-roof connects both parts of the house. The outside walls of the existing structure are insulated and plastered. While the different constructions and materials differentiate the new and the old are inside and out, the overall coloring of the walls keeps this effect subtle.

 

Englische Linie

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

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

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

construction manual for settlers
>>> DOWNLOAD HERE


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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

122 NEUBAU 15th Architecture Biennale, Venice 2016

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


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

NEUBAU - on Königsberger Straße and Aleppoer Weg

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

139 Postfassade Facade Competition, Honourable Mention, Cologne 2017

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

121 Mauenheim Ideas Competition, Cologne 2015

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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209 Liebig Höfe Competition, Honourable Mention, Aachen 2023 – BeL & studio erde

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status: urban design competition
program: multi-use fabrication and cultural complex
location: Aachen
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Christian Kühnle, Alina Uhlenbrock, Finn Marcelli
team studio erde: Tim Krüger, Marcel Tröger, Violeta Burckhardt
client: City of Aachen
date: July 2023

The four large halls currently stand on the large gravel car park of the future Liebig Höfe. These halls alone do not succeed in forming an ensemble. If you enter one of the halls, this changes; the rooms have a strong character and the atmosphere is formed by the architecture. The placement of two further strong forms changes the cohesion of the Liebig Höfe: the six commercial buildings now build a clear ensemble which stands on a condensed, undulating ground-plane. From the centre of the ensemble, one sees all the buildings in their own way. The new buildings are positioned and designed such that their façades face the large open space in the middle, forming entrance spaces on each side. The Liebig Höfe maintains the character of an ensemble programmatically with a diverse mixture of uses. The two new buildings strengthen the productive everyday life of the area, complementing the existing commercial and leisure uses throughout the week and during the day. The Liebig Höfe will become a diverse, inclusive, low-threshold, ecologically high-quality, productive and lively neighbourhood.

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035 Kaufhaus Breuer Conversion, Eschweiler 2006

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

086  Galileum Competition, 4th Prize, Solingen 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

026 Walden Installation, Düsseldorf 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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159 Baufeld 84 Competition, 3rd prize, Hamburg 2019

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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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103 Briesestraße Conversion, Berlin 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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150 Viererfeld Competition, Bern 2018 – BeL & Christ und Gantenbein & Maurus Schifferli & Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid

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status: competition
program: housing
location: Bern
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Laura Fuchs, Malte Wilms, Alina Uhlenbrock, Christiane Schmidt
team Christ & Gantenbein: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein, Cloé Gattigo
team Maurus Schifferli: Maurus Schifferli, Melina Kistani
sociologist: Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid
client: City of Bern
date: October 2018

A Bernese Quarter

The new urban quarter on Viererfeld is being created in synergetic relation to the surrounding scenery - the Aare slope, the historic Enge promenade and the Bremgarten forest. In interpretation of the cinematic method "splitscreen," one half of the space is cast as landscape, the other half as urban. These two large figures—the city block and the city park—take up the scale of the perimeter and reinforce its magnificence with grand gestures. The city block is a typologically pure form wherein individual houses subordinate themselves to the whole, resulting in a large communal interior framed by private flats. The city park reinterprets this principle with intensive edge use and a coherent, open center. Both large figures thus oscillate between a monumental grandeur and small-scale spaces.

The linearity of Bern’s old town is continued by the city block and elevated into a principle of spatial experience. The block’s two long fronts—one facing the promenade and the other the park—locate the required density at the edge, thus leaving the largest possible space in the interior undeveloped. The continuity of the exterior co-exists with interior heterogeneity through parceling; the plot is here understood not only as a fundamental economic principle but also as a formative one. Plots allow for the realization of different house sizes (small/medium/large/very large) and economic models (building group/cooperative housing/ pension funds), creating both consistency and adaptability. This system maintains a calm exterior, while allowing the interior to develop its own qualities. It becomes a sort of ‘outside’ in its own rite; its own biotope—socially and ecologically held together by its size and character. Public paths traverse the courtyard, each breaking the perimeter at two joints—where visibility and connectivity concentrate public services—and forming three yards within the interior.

These paths connect the linear elements of promenade and block to the equally long city park. Following Camillo Sitte’s theories of irregular urban space, generous street square and park spaces are experienced in sequence, lending the quarter a heterogeneous, green, urban character. Criteria of perception and use thus produce the new Viererfeldpark, which consists of an intensively used edge and open inner commons. The spatial framework of the park is built of fine paths and high hedges, displaying a wide array of public uses along the periphery, while giving glimpses into the expansive interior. The hedges form commons of round cells aligned in a diagonal enfilade. This arrangement frames strong individual spaces, while the park’s impressive size remains visible along the axis. The circular path system circumnavigates the subspaces creating long movements, and connects the commons to the forest to the East and the new quarter to the West. Three tall houses are placed amongst the gardens to the South, accentuating the flowing space of the commons and completing an ensemble of spaces punctuated by alpine views and large oak trees.

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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

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164 New Garden City Oejendorf, Landscape City Master Plan, Hamburg 2020 – 2023

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status: urban planning study
program: housing, landscape, public open spaces, kindergarten, school, farming
location: Oejendorf, Hamburg
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Alina Uhlenbrock, Emmet Elliott, Tessa Gaunt, Leander Lentner
nature conservation and landscape planner: Planungemeinschaft Marienau, Bleckede
traffic planner: ARGUS Stadt und Verkehr Partnerschaft mbB, Hamburg
client: City of Hamburg
date: January 2020 - January 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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158 Alterswohnen am Ufertal Competition, 1st prize, Neunburg vorm Wald 2019

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status: in progress
program: cooperative housing
location: Neunburg vorm Wald
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser,
Alina Uhlenbrock, Julia Kaulen, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton,
Christian Kühnle, Laura Fuchs
structural engineer: Dr.-Ing. Arne Künstler, Frankfurt
client: 9BÜRGER eG Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft i.G.
date: July 2019

Arising in relation to the landscape, this new ensemble is composed of three parts: house, shed and yard. It is a cooperative living project for people over 50; people who want to begin the next phase of life in a lively and social environment.  

The house consists of 19 living units, a common room with kitchen, a shared bathroom and a guest room for visitors. Opposite is the shed—a large simple roof—for storage and work. Between these two structures is the communal yard. It is a space of movement and unplanned encounters: neighbors pass by, hang out, or repair their bikes; all the action is here.

The building is accessed via a long arcade, ramped to match the topography. The use of standard German accessibility standards is here formalized into a terraced social space and the structural backbone of the building: the residential units are stepped down along the slope of the ramp. The house is likewise staggered in plan, with the different flat sizes arranged according to their size. Facing south towards the arcade, each flat has a glazed, unheated veranda. It serves as a terrace in summer, enlarges the living space in the transitional periods and creates a threshold space between the communal arcade and private living quarters. 

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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