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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

004 Perimeter City Competition, Jarfälla 2001

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

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

Englische Linie

103 Briesestraße Conversion, Berlin 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

construction manual for settlers
>>> DOWNLOAD HERE


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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

013 Rationator Single-Family House, Overath 2003

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

www.rationator.org

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

Englische Linie

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.

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026 Walden Installation, Düsseldorf 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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133 Kooperative Kleinstadt IBA Thüringen Cooperative Workshop, Apolda 2017

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

Cooperative Small Town 2050

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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.

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145 Gartenstadt Erfurt Competition, Erfurt 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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005 DIN Adaptable Trade Fair System, 2003

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

Bauweltpreis 2003, honourable mention

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

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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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037 FRABA Production Plant, Slubice, Poland 2006

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status: completed
program: production plant
location: Slubice, Poland
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Eveline Jürgens
net floor area: 2069 m2
net volume: 9310 m3
cost: 1.200.000 €
client: FRABA Sp. z o.o, Slubice, Poland
structural engineering and site supervision: ARUP Warzaw

Balthasar Neumann Preis 2007 shortlist

As a non-hierarchical, uniformed, infinite and flexible space FRABA Sp. z o.o. is a metageneric production plant. FRABA produces electronic components for the automation industry in a non-automated manufacturing process. The products are hand assembled in small series. The assembly consists of tables, shelves and trolleys.

On a tight gross budget of 580€/m2 a prototype plant for future expansions around the globe is developed. The design reacts to location specific construction and logistic conditions for each site.

In Poland there is a sufficient supply of timber at considerable low costs compared to the conventional steel structure. With a global steel market overheated by Chinese demand and the affordable labour costs in Poland, a lightweight timber structure becomes reasonable.

The structural system consists of a 52m diameter 60°solid web beam grid. It rests on 19 17cm diameter stressed steel tube columns with a clear span of 9,70m. The shell is made of prefabricated insulated plywood elements, 14% of the roof is covered with triangular skylight domes. The top surface is aluminium coated bituminous roofing membrane. Gross floor area is 2069 m2 with an overall clearance of 4,5m. The building has mechanical and conditioned ventilation, Skylights are specifically designed for perfect daylight assembly conditions and avoid heat gains during the summer.

The circle is an optimized box. In comparison to a rectangular building of the same volume it has less surface, which in addition to saving energy, reduces construction material by up to 13%. The triangular grid minimizes the constructive complexity while offering a maximum of possible layout variations. The dimension of the triangular grid is adapted to the needs of the company; optimized for the client's production process as well as for possible future uses.

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

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.

 

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.

Englische Linie

117 Clouth Housing Competition, Cologne 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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status: in progress
program: 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 3 is composed of three residential buildings: the ‘Liège’ tower, the ‘Gradient’ building, and the Zigzag house. Each has access to the communal courtyard and features a public or communal roof function. Most prominent of these is the basketball court, which crowns the gradient building. Accessed by a public staircase between the Liege tower and the gradient building, it is connected by a setback at the sixth floor of the tower to ‘Park Fiction 2.0’ and the rooftop restaurant of Plot 1, completing a network of public roof spaces.  

The 11-storey Liege tower is a small high-rise building; it lives from the flats' view of the city. Each floor has four units, oriented to one side, with additional sunlight and views provided by its characteristic projecting winter gardens, which function as balcony in the summer and additional room in the winter. At ground level, Liège is set back from the street, creating a small square. The 24-hour shop here has a large canopy reminiscent of the old Esso petrol station. The square preludes the ascent upwards to the public roofs, while the half-height setback at the 6th floor enables the connection of basketball court and Park Fiction 2.0. At this junction a large penthouse, a common room for indoor activities or a superintendent office can be created

The Gradient building features flats of different sizes, accessed via arcade. The flats get progressively larger towards the corner, creating a surreal perspective effect; a kind of trompe-l'oeil. The motto is not ‘one size fits all,’ but ‘one size for everyone.’ To exploit natural light, the largest flat inhabits the corner, while the arcade is pushed back from the East façade, creating a private threshold and balconies. To the West, mini balconies enjoy evening sun over Taubenstraße and foster interaction with the street.

With a communal children's play area on the roof, the zigzag house completes the ensemble. It cleverly exploits spacing to look in all directions. It is a three-story building with a twisted floor plan; the flats have qualities that are otherwise only possible in a free-standing building. They are designed to be open to different occupancies: residents can live or sleep facing the Kastanienallee as well as the street. The balconies and loggias provide deep streetscapes or catch the western sun on the courtyard side.

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

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

096 Gumprechtstraße Conversion, Cologne-Ehrenfeld, 2014

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

Kölner Architekturpreis 2014, Honourable Mention

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

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

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

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

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