From the architect. IBA Hamburg – Neighbourhouse
As a part of the Internationale Bauausstellung Hamburg, IBA (the renowned large-scale building exhibition), this assignment was launched as one of the first in a series of architectural competitions aimed at putting the island of Wilhelmsburg on the map as well as enhancing the quality of the housing assortment in Hamburg.
Our interpretation of this assignment was to generate an assertive design of both the building and the surrounding area. We aimed at producing a design that would transform ‘dead-end’ zones into high-quality sojourn space with a positive impact on the surrounding neighbourhood.
Two clients united under one roof, each with his own particular points of recognition and an equal part of the parcel, illustrate the integration that we pursue at both building level and urban planning level. The total volume harmonizes with the adjoining construction and opens up to the outside world. As a result, the whole unit assumes an informal character and the public and collective space offers new opportunities at neighbourhood level, while simultaneously giving the residents their own space with scope for successful co-habitation.
The starting point for the architectonic object was a straight beam with a simple cross-section. This layout has a beneficial effect on the energy management of the entire unit and also provides the basis of a favourable floor plan. The total volume is curved around the location as compactly and as optimally as possible to make the ‘landscape’ as large as possible, as well as generating differentiation, creating two identities, and enhancing the orientation toward the sun. At the same time, this compact and stratified programme connects seamlessly to the specified restrictions on the location.
Large ‘townhouses’ have been designed for the construction area belonging to STEG. These houses can be completed by the residents themselves, and parts of these can even be rented out. The Schanze housing association has already found a group of residents who wish to live together in their part. A collective segment for formal and informal meetings is an important component of this configuration. Some of the houses are literally houses with gardens, but by creating a second residential alley on the second floor, all of the houses are connected to the outside world. The collective area consists of a communal forecourt, an external theatre, and an alleyway along which a number of collective areas are arranged, offering opportunities for encounters and conversation. Accordingly, Schanze and STEG have made an attempt, both inside and out, to integrate old and new, young and old, urban and green.