Text description provided by the architects. The “Wohnregal” is a 6-story building housing life/work ateliers. It was built using pre-cast concrete elements common in industrial warehouse construction. Underlying the choice for this serial construction technique was the ambition to bridge two apparently contradictory challenges the housing market in Berlin is facing.
On the one hand, industrial prefabrication offers the benefits of serial construction techniques such as cost-savings and shorter construction timelines thus addressing the rising construction cost for housing. Countering preconceptions that serial construction automatically implies a standardization of the inhabitable unit itself, the “Wohnregal” at the same time offers a maximum range of different life/work ateliers for an ever-broadening bandwidth of urban lifestyles.
The pre-cast concrete structure with its long-spanning TT-ceilings facilitates such variety as it offers a clear span from façade to façade without any structural walls needed on the interior.
A curtain wall consisting of large-scale standard sliding doors is used as the façade. It allows for the interior to be opened up to its surroundings during the summer months turning the living space as a whole into a loggia. At the same time this curtain wall offers a maximum presence of the gridded pre-cast concrete structure both to the inside as well as to the surrounding.