best architects 17
Berlin / Germany
The eight-storey residential and commercial building on Waldemarstraße is situated in an exposed location near the canal basin known as the Engelbecken in Berlin-Mitte. The building is integrated into the urban planning structure, which has grown again on the basis of Wilhelminian plots since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The new structure closes a remaining gap in the development and defines the corner in a structurally heterogeneous environment. Depending on the perspective, one sees either a calm and regular or a highly dynamic building, an effect caused by the stacking of its storeys. They are either recessed or projecting, thereby breaking down the »sharp edge« of the corner and inserting the building into the image of the block perimeter development. At the same time, the corner situation is staged through the interplay of projections. The layering is enhanced by alternating black and white bands and is used to give the individual apartments open spaces with different qualities. The high-quality detail work is revealed in the lack of perceptible details. This was achieved through a polyurethane coating and careful planning of non-visible water drainage. The result is a homogenous, jointless building with a sculptural character whose abstraction makes it a contemporary element of the cityscape rather than a foreign body.