Architects: UTArchitects / Tim Bauerfeind, Henning von Wedemeyer
Location: Berlin, Germany
Collaborators: Matthias Lötscher, Ralf Grubert
Client: RZB e.V.
Engineering: Pichler Ingenieure Berlin
Project Area: 1,000 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Ulrich Schwarz
A farm estate was converted into a training centre for carpenters and restorers run by the Restoration Center Berlin. The estate, located in the southern part of Berlin, was founded as a plantation in the 18th century. During the 19th century the farmhouse was built on the foundation of a former building, being extended two times afterwards. During the DDR-times the building degenerated, at the access yard barns have been demolished and instead it has been occupied by garage buildings.
The basement of the farm house was dried up, roof and facades have been refurbished. Along with the restoration of interior wood fixtures some ancient wall and ceiling paintings have been exposed and restored.
With the demolition of garages the new workshop building creates the original u-shape of buildings around the yard. Rooms for administration and training classrooms are located in the farm house. The craftsmen education is being held in the workshop. The workshop is designed as a building which opens up towards the yard and the farmhouse.
The external geometry strongly refers to the old farmhouse, while the workshop is lower in height. Therefore the farmhouse is still recognized as the head building of the composition, while the new building is set-back and appears as an open shell with the interior connecting with the yard.
Facade and roof of the workshop form a continuous surface, which is wrapped over the historic courtyard to create an open hall. The sheltered exterior, the machine hall and the and the craftsmen studio in the mezzanine are separated by glass walls to support communication between the trainees and to offer views into the yard from all corners of the house.
While the facades towards the farmhouse and the yard are glazed full height, the street facade is predominantly closed and only structured by vertical window slits. On the yard side the metal roof cantilevers up to four meters in order to create sun- and weather protection as well as for sound protection towards the neighborhood. The space under the cantilevering roof is used for temporary deposits, and also as a workspace, for educational lessons or rests during the summer.
The workshop is a low-cost wood construction, reinforced by floor slap and stairs. All materials are of simple origin: facade and roof surfaces have corrugated metal sheets on the outside and painted cardboard plates on the inside. All surfaces on the inside are of spruce wood. Both buildings are heated by a central wood heating, filled with leftovers of the daily production.