Within the context of the urban development of central Berlin the new district of “Friedrichswerder” is emerging between Werderstrasse and Leipziger Strasse, Oberwallstrasse, Niederwallstrasse and Kurstrasse.
Historic areas of urban development such as England’s noted townhouse settlements of the last and penultimate centuries provide the paradigm for the new district in Berlin. The return to historic urban make-up, for which the traditional urban elements such as house, courtyard, block, street, square constitute the skeletal structure, forms the basis of the “Planwerk Innenstadt” guidelines of the Senate Office for Urban Planning.
Within the tight typological restrictions of a narrow and deep lot the house achieves generosity through room height. The quality of natural light and space are more important than optimising surface area and flexibility. Unusual for a town house, the location of the staircase on the façade highlights the significance of the vertical aspect of the project concept. While from the material aspect the façade is almost passive, from the composition of vertical cuboids with glazed front sides the façade develops profundity and a certain sculptured quality.
The house will be used as a high-quality family home with an atelier and attempts to transcend beyond the atmospheric constriction of the typology.
David Chipperfield Architects