Extension Joachimstrasse 11, Berlin

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Extension Joachimstrasse 11

Berlin Building – design by David Chipperfield Architects

20 Jun 2014

Extension Joachimstrasse 11, Berlin

Design: David Chipperfield Architects

The Joachimstrasse project, located in the ‘creative’ district of Mitte, is a discreet looking project that imposes its presence in a progressive manner and with great subtlety. Its light coloured fair-faced concrete façade blends into the traditional streetscape of rendered and classically articulated buildings. The façade is flat with a recessed courtyard gate & doorway and oversized windows. Those windows are applied to the external flat surface of the façade rather than set into deep reveals. The size, proportions and details of the windows set it apart from the rest of the street and contribute to the suggestion of a more noble building in the vein of a ‘hotel de maitre’ typical of Brussels. Despite or maybe because of this contrast of scale it succeeds to find a comfortable relationship with its neighbouring apartment buildings and completes the previously incomplete townscape.

Joachimstrasse 11

There are four new buildings that circle the existing brick industrial building in the previous derelict car park. The buildings vary in size, function and grandeur. The courtyard brings coherence to and breathes life into the buildings, physically and metaphorically. The disposition of the buildings creates a complex space with dramatic internal vistas. An internal world is created that is at once insular and connected to neighbouring spaces. Rather in the manner of the Smithsons’ at the Economist plaza a set of differently scaled minimal buildings, sharing details, materials and treatment are grouped together and create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The small cantina building greets the visitor without directly addressing the entrance. It commands a small part of the courtyard that is differentiated from the thoroughfare with a change of surface treatment and a canopy of vines. It is clear that during the clement months of the year the courtyard is a significant semi-public social space that characterises, humanises and feeds off the minimal architecture that surrounds it.

Joachimstrasse 11

The fabric of all the buildings is remarkably consistent and literally monolithic. The concrete surfaces are discreetly differentiated by the casting method employed: solid cast in situ concrete with a pumice additive for insulation create a matt, pock-marked smooth surface that bear a distinct similarity to the pervasive Berlin travertine. Exposed concrete soffits cast shimmering reflections. Rough concrete floors and stairs complete the set. All services are kept to an absolute minimum with underfloor heating and a minimised number of ceiling fittings. Plentiful daylight and all ventilation requirements are provided by the omnipresent large operable windows.

This is a remarkable and discreet project, a through exploration of minimal design that results in comfortable well lit interiors linked by an active social outdoor space – a positive addition to townscape of Mitte.

Joachimstrasse 11

Extension Joachimstrasse 11 in Berlin images / information recieved 190614


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Key Project by David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin:

Neues Museum Berlin
Neues Museum Berlin Neues Museum Neues Museum exterior
photographs : Ute Zscharnt

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Townhouse O-10 Berlin design : David Chipperfield Architects

Jewish Museum Berlin

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German Buildings by this architect

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Marbach Museum Germany

Folkwang Museum Germany

Another townhouses design:

Osdorp Townhouses, Amsterdam

Comments / photos for the Townhouse O-10 Berlin Architecture page welcome

Townhouse O-10 Building

Website: Berlin