Berlin University Residences

Berlin University Residences

1st Prize

The proposal for 'Berlin University Residences' is highly contextual, partially functional and stubbornly restrained in terms of design complexity. Most of the morphological characteristics are borrowed from the immediate surroundings, such as the width and the height of the proposed buildings. Apart from the three volumes that define the street leading to the canal, three more volumes are inserted perpendicular to the side wall, as extensions of the neighboring ones. The new buildings, almost touching on their edges, give shape to three public squares near the street, conceived as: entrances, new side walls or passages to the courtyards.  

The typical single loaded corridor is widened in order to accommodate the common services. Different uses are dispersed among these linear spaces, facing the street -on ground level- and interconnected with sheltered pathways through the courtyards. While the apartments -on the same level- are facing the courtyards giving access to private enclosed gardens. On the upper floors, the previous layout is inverted and the common areas are facing the courtyards, providing a visual contact among them, while the apartments are facing the street.

The overall volumetric approach and the layout of the common areas determine two different types of circulation within the block: one ‘from the street to the apartment’ which is short and direct, and another one ‘from common area to common area’ which is long and indirect. This stretched sense of time is essentially the architectural proposal for the communal life in this new ‘Berlin block’.

Competition organised by Archmedium, Barcelona - Spain, June 2016