Text description provided by the architects. An ensemble of new and old architecture in Berlin-Kreuzberg, befitting a neighborhood full of dynamic contrasts and compelling modern history. The complex design brief for a limited architecture competition included incorporating one of the oldest buildings in Berlin-Kreuzberg, a listed apartment house in a dilapidated state, as well as the challenge of designing a new residential building for the location. The listed structure was restored adhering to building conservation guidelines and an attractive new residential building was constructed as an elongated U-shaped complex directly adjoining the listed house. As a result, the buildings together form a quiet, private courtyard that has been enhanced by landscaped community areas.
The new seven-story construction has two recessed upper floors accommodating spacious terraces. Generous south-facing loggias are staggered intermittently on each level and extensive glazing offers beautiful views of the nearby flower market and the façade of the Jewish Museum.
Contemporary in its expression, the building is nevertheless designed to age with dignity. The calm, sculptural exterior façades with their elegant light-colored clinker cladding are enlivened by the interplay of the loggias that envelope the building. Perforations in the balustrades add visual interest and serve to break up the main façade, providing views to the outside yet retaining privacy. Throughout the building, the flowing lines and curves are repeated and natural materials and surfaces such as brick, wood, and bare concrete have been applied.
On the ground floor, commercial units for retail or catering use can be accessed via the pedestrianized square. A newly constructed underground parking garage extends under the new building and the inner courtyard. The car park is equipped with a traffic light control system to regulate incoming and outgoing traffic. Natural ventilation of the underground garage is realized by cross-ventilation through light shafts and ceiling openings adjacent to the inner courtyard.