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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.

Englische Linie

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

096 Gumprechtstraße Conversion, Cologne-Ehrenfeld, 2014

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

Kölner Architekturpreis 2014, Honourable Mention

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

092 NUK II Competition, Ljubljana 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Englische Linie

138 Albertussee Urban Design Competition, Düsseldorf 2017 – BeL & NL Architects

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status: urban design competition
program: housing, working
location: Düsseldorf
team BeL: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Laura Fuchs, Amelie Bimberg, Leonard Palm, Jonas Läufer
team NL: Kamiel Klaasse, Mark Kanters, Linda Consiglieri
client: Metro Group
date: October 2017

The peculiarity of the site is its production of contradictory phenomena. The nearby highway and industrial buildings create an audible world characterized by their unpleasant loudness while the left-over open spaces have fostered a bucolic wilderness, complete with an idyllic lake.

Through the insertion of a residential quarter, ‘Am Albertussee’ creates a new mixture of city and landscape. Here, the synthesis of two contrasting urban morphologies—the open modernist cityscape and the closed compact “European city”—combines the best of both concepts.
The scenic nature is emphasized by the flowing spaces of modernity, while the interior spaces of the solitary blocks protects the inhabitants from the noise of their surroundings.

The outdoor space is an inclusive permeable public space, serving both the residents and the greater population as a place for meeting and leisure. Not only does the transition between the pastoral south and the urban north mark relationship of nature and culture, but it gradually introduces inaccessibility protecting scenic biotope from and for the densely programmed public space.

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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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119 T’Huis Publication, Breda, Netherlands 2015

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

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

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

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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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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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035 Kaufhaus Breuer Conversion, Eschweiler 2006

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

145 Gartenstadt Erfurt Competition, Erfurt 2018

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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159 Baufeld 84 Competition, 3rd prize, Hamburg 2019

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

139 Postfassade Facade Competition, Honourable Mention, Cologne 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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161 Am Mühlkanal Urban Design Workshop, Salach 2019

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status: urban development workshop
program: conversion, housing, workshops, offices, retail, public spaces
location: Salach
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Mariel Kaiser-Crompton, Hannah Rudolph
client: Gemeinde Salach, IBA-GmbH StadtRegion Stuttgart
date: December 2019

With the Mühlkanal quarter, Salach is developing a unique piece of the city and a special piece of the landscape. The space between the railway and the river Fils - both the infrastructural elements which have allowed the city to grow - is now itself joining that city. The industrial ensemble and the floodplain thus emerge as charged urban spaces. The 1,000 employees of the Schachenmayr, Mann & Cie company almost 100 years ago will now become approx. 1,000 people (approx. 700 residents, 300 jobs) who live and work in the Mühlkanal quarter.

The conversion and extension of the protected buildings establish an ensemble, both culturally and socially outstanding. The four buildings of industrial culture - each exemplary of the techniques, structure and design of its time - are carefully converted and minimally supplemented. These structures are only suitable for living in a few areas, and thus require a special programmatic mix, developed in relation to each structure. Each of the four buildings receives a loose focus: work/studio space, small-scale production shops, a market/event hall and culture/education. In the existing buildings, people continue to produce and work, but also research, trade, educate themselves, meet and relax. To create an urban fabric, however, more is needed; the generous areas for working are supplemented by diverse typologies for living.

The new buildings are added to the existing ones as new rooms in a spatial sequence; a continuation of the sites industrial logic. The saw tooth halls are connected to the factory building via the workshop, offering expandable residential studios of various sizes on two double floors and a building of cluster apartments. The long row of three wool-sorting buildings to the north is extended by one building. The resulting comb-like structure functions as mobility house for cars and bicycles, and features South-facing terraced apartments, forming the Northern edge of a lively residential street. The Southern edge is then created by three groups of back-to-back row houses. These row houses are arranged according to size, creating small plazas along the street to the north before condensing into residential paths leading southward into the landscape. Flanking these paths, small residential towers frame views toward the river. One step over the new mill canal and you are standing in the wild river landscape along the Fils. New gardens and meadows can be found here, seating steps can be discovered along the bank, and in the thicket of the otherwise inaccessible biotope, one finds the secluded refurbished Hattie-Barreis hut, now a picturesque beer garden.

Englische Linie

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

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

061 Eisenachstraße Conversion, Cologne 2009

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

086  Galileum Competition, 4th Prize, Solingen 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Englische Linie

045 Sparda Bank Competition, Bonn 2007

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status: competition
program: bank
team: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Jörg Leeser, Thomas Schneider
gross floor area: 1.034 m2
cost: 2.648.632,00 €
client: Sparda-Bank West
structural engineer: Jürgen Bernhardt, Cologne
date: January 2007

The scheme is based on Edward T. Halls theory of proxemics, a study on the individual's need for personal space. To guarantee privacy within an open space, confidential conversations need to be protected by minimum distances.
The proposal embraces the conflicting requirements of openness and privacy and encourages customers to ascend to the upper floors.

A low-ceilinged Rustico welcomes the customer on street level. The ground floor is open to the public 24 hours a day and houses several ATMs. During business hours an extra-wide spiral staircase opens to a spacious Piano Nobile. The structural system of the building consists of 13 slim columns and 5 waffle floor slabs. A service core contains ATMs, a staircase and an elevator.

Due to the cooperative heritage of the Sparda Bank the project indulges in humbleness.

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

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

141 Ehrenveedel Competition, Cologne 2017