Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Housing at the old city wall of Berlin in Berlin Mitte, Germany by Sohrab Zafari
July 20th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Sohrab Zafari
This house has been created. It tries to be understood primarily as a complex spatial structure and as a cultural fusion building, as a labyrinth of light, as a new, fresh wind that brushes gently over this place.
That greets, enriches and brings the new. That turns disadvantages into advantages. Atypical but nevertheless revitalizing and integrating.
Here in Berlin Mitte, in Waisenstrasse opposite the old city walls , where a few isolated medieval structures are still to be found, was the 520 square meter plot . Its development potential and light situation proved to be a particular challenge, not only because of the complicated plot geometry but also the six -to seven- story tall buildings that border it.
Additional challenges were given by building code requirements, the perceptions of the Landesdenkmalamt (landmark building commission) as well as the desire of the owner and investor for maximum utilization of space with high architectural and spatial quality .
How can the density and individuality, security, and naturally grown fragmentation of the medieval structure with courtyards and alleys, as they once were, be transformed into a different , contemporary language ?
At this place, where time left so many scars, shouldn’t there be a house that’s been developed not only to fill voids but also to leave voids?
How can you find architecture that is on one hand connected to the place, on the other hand, divorced from it? Which is foreign, yet familiar? Which can make you experience the place, but also look beyond it? – Into the world and into the future of a cosmopolitan city.
The result is an individually from the inside out developed building complex with a mountain village like structure whose parts individually stretch to the light, for air and into the space, yet withdraw into hidden privacy.
The construction leaves interstitial space and places that offer retreat and relaxation to the over stimulated big city life, as well as shelter or a meeting room, if you like.
The house lives with the light and changes due to the light at any given day time or season.
They reinforce the effect of light and provide an ideal reflective surface.
The six-storey front building houses a parking garage in the basement, above five apartments two of which are organized as maisonettes . Two townhouses, five and three floors , designed as independent vertical units additionally accessed via a courtyard on the 1st floor. All apartments have been designed and customized individually. They differ fundamentally from each other yet form a unity.
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