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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

141 Ehrenveedel Competition, Cologne 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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.

Englische Linie

181 Stadtbad Krefeld Workshop, Krefeld 2021

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

AIT-Award 2012

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

124 Liebe deine Stadt Museum Cologne 2015

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

Kölner Architekturpreis 2017, honorable mention

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

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

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

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

www.liebe-deine-stadt.de

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

159 Baufeld 84 Competition, 3rd prize, Hamburg 2019

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

119 T’Huis Publication, Breda, Netherlands 2015

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

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

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

Englische Linie

086  Galileum Competition, 4th Prize, Solingen 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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103 Briesestraße Conversion, Berlin 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Bernese Quarter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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061 Eisenachstraße Conversion, Cologne 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

005 DIN Adaptable Trade Fair System, 2003

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

Bauweltpreis 2003, honourable mention

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

068 Radstation Competition, Mülheim an der Ruhr 2009