Sustainable urban monolith

16 Dec 2011

Sculptural outline, minimalist architectural vocabulary and dynamic interiors create meaningful interactions

The massing of the residential studio building is a precise response to the urban setting. The materials and the designated use of the ground floor contrast with those of the upper storeys. Large areas of ground floor glazing hint at the studio use behind them. The upper storeys open up
unobtrusively onto the street and courtyard, with the exception of the two ultra-large windows that highlight the double-height spaces.

Constructed of self-compacting concrete with a bush-hammered surface, the monolithic façade enters into a dialogue with the neighbouring buildings. The uniform pattern of formwork lends the building a subtle scale and structure. The windows have been playfully distributed within the design grid to provide specific views of the dense urban environment.

The storeys have been aligned dynamically around the exposed concrete core, which has been painted completely red. Double-height spaces link the different levels with one another and create an open-plan sequence of rooms in all of the storeys. The rooms are divided solely by floor-to-ceiling built-in furniture and sliding doors. The result is a series of spaces that flow smoothly upwards around the core; their effect enhanced by jointless floor surfaces.

The core itself incorporates - in addition to elevator and service shafts - colourful bathroom units. While the ground floor is designed in elegant black, the upper storeys are characterised by light, pit lime walls and tinted white joinery work, which in combination with the untreated wooden window frames and sand-coloured flooring create an expressive overall appearance.

The private outside spaces are clearly differentiated from the surrounding public space. The loggias and fenced roof terrace are incorporated into the building. Overall, the project is incorporated into the context with precision and provides a high-quality living and working environment. A healthy and sustainable indoor climate has been achieved through the implementation of environmentally compatible building materials with low grey energy levels, the use only of renewable energy sources (geothermal heat pump and solar panels) and a controlled ventilation system.

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