Floor area: 14,160 m2
Competition: 1st prize
Project team: Rieke Schepker, Nils Lamm, Ray Moritz, Wiebke Nolte (design)
Client: ASSET Berlin Wohnimmobilien GmbH
Bremen is home to one of the largest urban development projects currently ongoing in Europe: Überseestadt, in the west of this Hanseatic city. Begun in 2000, a 300-hectare site – a former industrial port area – is being transformed in stages into a mixed-use urban district with commercial and service businesses, leisure and cultural facilities and housing. These two new buildings, providing 156 apartments, are located on a narrow plot in the eastern part of the site. They each have a base storey accommodating small business units, shops, cafés and apartments, thus meeting the requirement for enlivened ground floor zones stipulated in the program for this multi-functional urban district. The principal challenges were the loud street side (no main rooms could face this side because of noise emissions) and the broad mix of apartments, from one to five rooms in size.
The design solves these problems by dividing the building volume into three blocks, with gable ends that bring additional light into the larger apartments and generate courtyards in the spaces in between. Another effect of this figure is the structural articulation of the volume towards the outside, which lends an attractive rhythm along the street. In a nod to the architectural tradition of Bremen, famous for its clinker brick ornamentation, the façade features a warm shade of clinker brick and distinctive relief modulation. In the interior, too, attention is paid to delivering good quality accommodation (all the apartments are for social housing tenants) with generously sized open spaces in the form of loggias and terraces.