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Karres en Brands designs social housing garden city in Hamburg

Karres en Brands designs social housing garden city in Hamburg

After an extensive international competition that saw 12 architecture offices compete for the design of plots within the Neue Gartenstadt Öjendorf neighborhood, Karres en Brands emerged as the winner of plot 2 with the proposal titled “Smiley. Fully built, the plot will include 145 apartments and 38 rowhouses all categorised as social affordable housing. The plot also includes a large mobility hub serving the larger neighborhood. The masterplan designed by BeL is set to be a contemporary garden city where interaction with nature is the foundation of the plan.

Rethinking Affordability
Our strategy centered around the ambition to reshape affordability focusing the architecture outwards and stimulating interaction between indoor and outdoor. Through an add-on framework integrated into architecture, nature is extended into the buildings and becomes part of it, both spatially as well as ecologically. This gesture essentially turns all typologies inside out and provides a robust frame for solving many functional challenges in a manner that contributes to the overall quality of the plan. Storage and technical spaces, circulation or sustainable infrastructure go from spatial challenges to unique qualities of the building allowing for the main architectural volume to be highly functional and efficient. The resulting image is a set of buildings defined by their outdoor spaces and where the “façade” becomes a lively and vibrant envelope that encompasses social spaces, outdoor spaces, nature, sustainable infrastructure and all manners of city life. A true vertical garden city.

Landscape based
Our proposal is built upon the core qualities of the surrounding landscape putting forth a framework that responds to the structure of the  landscape knicks resulting in a composition of buildings that draw their identity from nature rather than architectural typology. The individual buildings are held together by a strong architectonic frame that not only give the block unity but also strengthens the “room in room” principle of the masterplan.

Inside outside
The essence of our proposal lies in the choreography between inside and outside. This border between every apartment and the landscape is carefully designed and highly specific. It results in a kaleidoscope of galleries, balconies, pergolas, terraces, and gardens that extend the apartments into nature and give them their identity. All while stimulating interaction between neighbors and supporting the community life in the block. The direct connection with the outdoors is therefore an experience that is not limited to the ground floor but extends through all levels of the plan. A garden city where every inhabitant is gifted a high-quality outdoor space no matter the income.

The jury commended the forward looking design approach and particularly the rich palette of outdoor spaces concentrated in the outer skin of the buildings, through which community life is stimulated. Next to this first prize Karres en Brands was also awarded 2 second prizes in the other 2 plots it participated in. Working as lead architect and landscape architect Karres en Brands collaborated with local architects Architekten Venus.

Lead Architect: Karres en Brands
Local Architects: Architekten Venus
Landscape Architect:Karres en Brands
Client: Frank Projektentwicklung Nord GmbH, Saga Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft Hamburg, Hamburg Team Gesellschaft für Projektentwicklung mbH, DeutscheImmobilien Entwicklungs GmbH
Visualisations: VividVision, Karres en Brands ©2024