Exposition BDA Schaufenster 2018

Wir freuen uns, dieses Jahr wieder an der Ausstellung "BDA Schaufenster" teilnehmen zu dürfen. In diesem Jahr steuert unser Büro hierzu das Projekt "Hotel Freigeist" in Göttingen bei.

Bis zum 31.Januar 2019 sind in den Räumen von pro office (Theaterstr. 4-5 in Hannover) Ausstellungstafeln mit Darstellungen von fertig gestellten Projekten des letzten Jahres ausgewählter Architektenbüros präsentiert.

Für mehr Information: presse@ahrensgrabenhorst.de

zur Projektübersicht

03.12.2018


„Das besondere Buch“ – Architektur Theorie Praxis

Am Samstag, den 10. November veranstaltet die Fakultät für Architektur und Landschaft der Leibniz Universität Hannover eine Lesung zum Thema Architekturtheorie. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst und andere geladene Architektinnen und Architekten lesen jeweils  4 Minuten aus einem Buch, das ihre Arbeit nachhaltig geprägt hat. Die Veranstaltung startet um 20 Uhr und findet in Raum A 209 statt.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie im Programm.

15.11.2018


Konvent für Baukultur

Der alle zwei Jahre stattfindende Konvent für Baukultur stand dieses Jahr unter dem Thema „Erbe – Bestand – Zukunft“. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst, seit 2012 Mitglied des Konvents, war auch dieses Jahr wieder in Potsdam und hat in Foren über aktuelle Themen der Baukultur diskutiert und Ansätze besprochen. Den aktuellen Baukulturbericht, der den Fokus auf die Weiterentwicklung von vorhandenen Strukturen legt,  finden Sie hier.

08.11.2018

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite der Bundesstiftung Baukultur.


Expo Real in München

Die größte Immobilienmesse läuft nächste Woche in München und versammelt wieder alle Entscheiderinnen und Entscheider an einem Ort. Auch Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst ist vor Ort und nutzt die Möglichkeiten des internationalen Networkings.

05.10.2018


Platz 24 im competitionline-Ranking

Schon wieder ist ein Jahr um und das Ranking des letzten Jahres wurde veröffentlicht. Wir freuen uns über Platz 24 aus 30.000 Architekturbüros und stoßen darauf mit unserem Wettbewerbsteam fröhlich an!


Exkursion zum Bauhaus Dessau

Das Bauhaus Dessau -  „Ikone der Moderne“ und UNESCO Welterbe – war dieses Jahr Ziel unseres Büroausflugs. Neben der Baustelle für das neue Bauhaus Museum, den Meisterhäusern und dem Bauhaus Dessau stand auch ein Besuch der Wörlitzer Gartenanlagen auf dem Plan. Bei tollem Wetter und in entspannter Atmosphäre haben wir so die Stadt Dessau und ihre Architektur erleben können.
Wo könnte es wohl als nächstes hingehen?

24.08.2018


Foto: Thomas Bach

Dokumentation zum Symposium

Letzten Sommer war Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst zum Symposium im Kloster Volkenroda eingeladen. Thema war die Neu-, Um-, und Weiternutzungen von sakralen Räumen und Gebäuden. In diesem Zusammenhang hat sie drei unserer Projekte vorgestellt, die den Prozess  zu nachhaltiger Nutzung von stadtbildprägenden Glaubenshäusern erfolgreich durchlaufen haben. Nun ist die Dokumentation zum Symposium erschienen und fasst die Ergebnisse des Wochenendes zusammen.

06.08.2018

Hier der Artikel von Frau Grabenhorst zum Download


Foto: Thomas Bach

Newsletter im Juni

Haben Sie unseren letzten Newsletter verpasst? Kein Problem: Hier finden Sie die letzte Ausgabe. Wenn Sie demnächst Neuigkeiten direkt in Ihr Postfach erhalten möchten, melden Sie sich gerne an.

21.06.2018

Foto: Thomas Bach


Tag der Architektur – es wird kulinarisch!

Am Sonntag, den 24. Juni können Sie anlässlich des Tags der Architektur das Restaurant Handwerk besuchen. Wir bieten Führungen um 14h30 und 15h30 an. Da das Platzangebot begrenzt ist bitten wir um Ihre Anmeldung unter presse@ahrensgrabenhorst.de

Vielen Dank!


Save the Date – 24.06.2018 Gedenkstätte Ahlem

Diesen Sommer gibt es wieder viel zu sehen – die Gedenkstätte Ahlem feiert sein alljährliches Garten.Fest mit einem spannenden Programm rund um Musik und Kultur – in diesem Rahmen gibt es Führungen mit Prof. Grabenhorst durch das Gebäude und über das Grundstück der Gedenkstätte.

Weitere Informationen folgen demnächst.

01.05.2018


Save the Date – 24.06.2018 Restaurant Handwerk

Ebenso findet am 24. Juni der Tag der Architektur statt und Sie können sich das Restaurant Handwerk am Altenbekener Damm ansehen, das von uns Anfang letzten Jahres fertiggestellt wurde.

Weitere Informationen folgen demnächst.

30.04.2018


Konferenz zur Schönheit und Lebensfähigkeit der Stadt No. 9

Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst ist auch dieses Jahr wieder als Diskutantin bei der Konferenz zum Thema „Heimat Stadtquartier“ am 26. und 27. April dabei und diskutiert aktuelle Herausforderungen für den städtischen Wohnungsbau in Deutschland anhand bestimmter Städte.

Organisiert vom Deutschen Institut für Stadtbaukunst mit Prof. Christoph Mäckler und Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sonne wird die Veranstaltung unter anderem von der TU Dortmund unterstützt. Die Konferenz findet dieses Jahr bereits zum 9. Mal statt und akquiriert jährlich die „Spitzen der Architektenschaft, der Stadtplaner, der Forschung und der Fachpublizistik“ um sich über die „Grundlagen erfolgreiche Städte auszutauschen“.


Foto: Lisa Heyn

Vortrag: Artenschutz im Planungs- und Umsetzungsprozess von Bauvorhaben

Unser Kollege Fabian Sudhoff hat im Museum am Schölerberg in Osnabrück am 25.04. einen Vortrag zum Thema Artenschutz gehalten und dabei Kolleginnen, Kollegen und Interessierte anhand zweier Praxisbeispiele unseres Büros veranschaulicht, wie Artenschutz in Bauvorhaben integriert werden kann.

Sowohl in der Ada-und-Theodor-Lessing Volkshochschule als auch am Neubau der Förderzentrums für Soziale und Emotionale Entwicklung sind Nistkästen für Fledermäuse und Mauersegler in die Fassade eingebaut worden, um den Tieren einen neuen Lebensraum zu schaffen. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem BUND wird so der Lebensraum nachhaltig erhalten.


diakonie-perspekktive

Forum der Kirche und Diakonie Göttingen

Endlich "Grünes Licht" - das Forum der Diakonie und Kirche in Göttingen wird nach unseren Plänen realisiert werden. Der 2016 gewonnen Wettbewerbsbeitrag sieht eine höhengestaffelte, skulpturale Baukörperfigur vor, da das  Areal an sich unterschiedliche Maßstäbe und Zeitschichten auf relativ engem Raum vereint. Es entsteht ein vielfältiges, abwechslungsreiches Ensemble, das zukunftsweisend für die Kirche ist und einen zentralen Anlaufpunkt in Herzen der Stadt Göttingen bildet.

20.03.2018


Engagiert für Hannover

Der Freundeskreis Hannover e.V. feiert dieses Jahr sein 30-jähriges Jubiläum. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst, Mitglied des Vorstands, unterstützt den Verein seit 2014 und ist überzeugt von der ehrenamtlichen Arbeit und gratuliert herzlich zum Jubiläum.

Als einer der größten Bürgervereine Deutschlands mit fast 1.400 Mitgliedern, die sich ehrenamtlich für eine lebendige Stadt und Stadtgesellschaft engagieren, veranstaltet der Verein z.B. die Vergabe des Stadtkulturpreises, verschiedene Vorträge und Diskussionen und bietet ein Netzwerk, das sich über ganz Hannover und darüber hinaus spannt – für eine „lebenswerte Stadt“.

12.03.2018


Frohe Feiertage!

Wir möchten uns bei allen Beteiligten für das erfolgreiche Jahr 2017 bedanken, wünschen Ihnen ein schönes Weihnachtsfest und einen guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2018. Vielen Dank für Ihr Vertrauen und Ihre Unterstützung. Wir gönnen uns über die Feiertage ein bisschen Urlaub und sind ab dem 03.01.2018 wieder zurück am Schreibtisch. Bis dahin kommen Sie gut durch die Feiertage und genießen Sie die Zeit im Beisein Ihrer Lieben.

21.12.2017


RAL D2 System

Im Zeichen des RAL

Jedes Büro und jede Marke hat üblicherweise einen Wiedererkennungswert oder typische Signatur.

Wir setzen bei uns ganz auf Farbe – das bemerkt sofort, wer unser Studio betritt. Die häufigste Frage, die wir bei einem ersten Besuch gestellt bekommen ist, ob wir die Farben tatsächlich nutzen oder nur an die Wand konzipiert haben, weil es so schön aussieht.

Hier nun die Auflösung: Die 1625 Farben sind nicht nur Konzept, sondern tatsächlich auch Arbeitswerkzeug und geben uns die Möglichkeit schnell und einfach die passenden Farben auszuwählen; denn wir glauben, dass Farben eine großartige Möglichkeit sind gute Architektur zu unterstützen.

23.11.2017


Heinze Award 2017 – die Shortlist steht fest

Wir stehen mit dem Umbau unseres Studios auf der Shortlist des diesjährigen Heinze-Awards. Die Preiserleihung findet am 22. November in Berlin statt. Bis dahin drücken Sie uns die Daumen!


Wir sind unter den Top 20 der Wettbewerbsarchitekten 2016/2017 auf Competitionline und damit von Platz 23 im letzten Ranking aufgestiegen. Darüber freuen wir uns sehr und hoffen das Ergebnis auch im nächsten Jahr wieder übertreffen zu können. Die gesamte Liste, als auch die Wettbewerbsbedingungen können Sie unter folgendem Link einsehen:


Wer hat Angst vorm - Großraumbüro?

Woran denken Sie, wenn Sie das Wort „Großraumbüro“ hören? Graue Wände, dunkler Teppich, wenig Tageslicht, 2m² Parzellen pro Mitarbeiter, Telefonläuten, ein Summen wie im Bienenstock?

Wir treffen oft auf Menschen, die sich eine angenehme Atmosphäre im Großraumbüro nicht vorstellen können.
Weiterlesen

Zugegeben – die Beschreibung oben ist ziemlich extrem dargestellt, dennoch ist das die allgemeine Assoziation in Zusammenhang mit Büros, die mehr als zwei – vielleicht noch vier – Arbeitsplätze enthalten. Aber wir möchten dem ein anderes Beispiel entgegensetzen: Vergessen wir die düstere Atmosphäre, die das Wort „Großraum“ umgibt und wenden wir uns helleren Gefilden zu:

Denn wir haben für unser Studio ein helles, freundliches und offenes Büro in Großraum-Format gestaltet. In der Georgstraße 38, direkt gegenüber der von Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864) erbauten Oper in Hannovers Zentrum, befindet sich seit Januar 2014 unser Architekturstudio. Die Vorteile der kommunikativen Arbeitsumgebung liegen hier klar auf der Hand:

Viel Platz als auch verschieden gesetzte und variable Raumeinheiten lassen unterschiedliche Aufenthaltsqualitäten entstehen und unterstützen die flexible und projektbezogene Arbeitsweise im Architekturberuf. Der zentrale Arbeitsraum weist in seiner Mitte einen verglasten Innenhof auf und lässt viel Tageslicht in die Etage; großzügige Fenster an der Stirnseite der Etage unterstützen dies zusätzlich. Die ehemalige Banketage wirkt frisch, modern und wird durch die RAL D2-Designwand eindeutig zu etwas Besonderem. Das 20 Meter lange Wand-Fresko, das die 1.625 Farben des RAL-Systems abbildet, ist die erste Wand dieser Art weltweit. Das Weiß der PU-Bodenbeschichtung der Wände und des Mobiliars bildet den ästhetischen Ruhepol dazu und ist gleichzeitig das vereinheitlichende Element in der Vielfalt der Zonierungen im gesamten Büro.

Ein besonderes Highlight ist der elegant anmutende Besprechungsbereich. Durch speziell angefertigte Akustik-Vorhänge des Schweizer Traditionsunternehmens Création Baumann, kann der Besprechungsraum bei Bedarf vom restlichen Arbeitsbereich getrennt werden, so entsteht eine intime und zugleich konzentrierte Besprechungsatmosphäre. Die Bürostühle von Wilkhahn ergänzen sich harmonisch dazu.  Die vorherrschende Atmosphäre wird in der Lounge weitergeführt; durchscheinende Vorhänge, bequeme Sofas und der Teppich als Akzent schaffen Gemütlichkeit und einen Rückzugsort. Die Küche dagegen ist ein lebendiger Platz und wird durch die Pop-Art sowie Tischgruppen angemessen interpretiert. So sind die Räume jeweils akzentuiert und ihrem Nutzen entsprechend gestaltet ohne dabei auf „klassische“ Gestaltungsmuster zurückzugreifen.

Haben Sie jetzt noch was an einem großen und offenen Büro auszusetzen? Also wir nicht.

09.10.2017


Im Rahmen ihrer Projektarbeit hat eine Schulklasse vom Förderzentrum auf der Bult am Mittwoch unser Büro besucht. Unser Projektleiter Fabian Sudhoff hat sich viel Zeit genommen und den Schülern ihre Fragen zum Schulneubau beantwortet, in den sie nächstes Jahr einziehen können. Vom Wettbewerb bis zur Fertigstellung wurde ihnen der gesamte Prozess bis zum fertigen Bau erklärt und am Modell die (bald) fertige Schule gezeigt.

05.10.2017


Wasserstadt Limmer ahrens grabenhorst

Wieder ein Wettbewerb

Wir freuen uns sehr über den Zuschlag für die Planung zweier Bausteine in der Wasserstadt Limmer.  Direkt am Leinekanal entstehen zwei Wohngebäude mit herrlichem Ausblick. Weitere Informationen gibt es im nächsten Newsletter.

21.09.2017

Visualisierung @moka studio


Christusirche Tag des offenen Denkmals

Denkmal Christuskirche

Am 10. September findet unter dem Motto „Macht und Pracht“ der alljährliche „Tag des offenen Denkmals“ statt. In ganz Deutschland werden zu diesem Anlass Denkmäler geöffnet und auch die Christuskirche kann dieses Jahr wieder besichtigt werden.

Führungen werden um  13 Uhr 30, 15 Uhr und 16 Uhr 30 Uhr vom  Kirchbauverein Christuskirche angeboten. Weitere Informationen zu Aktionen finden Sie auf der Homepage des Veranstalters.

05.09.2017

 


moka studio für ahrens grabenhorst

Neue Fassade für das Rathaus in Kassel

Der K-Flügel des Rathauses Kassel entsprach nach 40 Jahren ohne Sanierung weder den energetischen noch zeitgemäßen Anforderungen an ein Bürogebäude und wurde somit durch die Stadt Kassel zum Überarbeiten ausgelobt.

Wir freuen uns sehr über den 3. Preis in diesem herausfordernden Wettbewerb. Unser Gestaltungsansatz befasst sich mit dem Rathaus gegenüber und seiner historischen Natursteinfassade sowie der zukünftigen Neugestaltung des K-Flügels und stellte die Frage nach der Relation. In diesem schwierigen Kontext der Positionierung des Hauses in der Stadt und den Anforderungen zeigt sich das Design für die neue Fassade als nachhaltiger und optisch verbindender Naturstein. Die klassischen Gestaltungsprinzipien werden in eine moderne, dynamische und funktionale Haltung überführt und finden eine adäquate Antwort auf die Aufgabenstellung bei gleichzeitiger Reaktion auf die städtebauliche Umgebung.  


Zeitraffer gefällig?

Wie schnell es dann doch auf der Baustelle vorangeht, hat die EBR Projektentwicklung GmbH in einem Zeitraffer-Video festgehalten. Knapp ein Jahr Bauzeit hier zusammengefasst in 3 Minuten – wie die Zeit vergeht….

Neuigkeiten über den Fortschritt auf der Baustelle außen – als auch innen – erfahren Sie in unserem Newsletter (Neu! Anmeldung über das Menü).

02.08.2017

Foto: Michaela Hundertmark, Michael Mehle für EBR


Heinze Award  Public Voting

Ihre Unterstützung ist gefragt: Stimmen Sie ab für unsere Projekte und sagen Sie uns Ihre Meinung. Finden Sie, dass die Gedenkstätte Ahlem fünf Sterne verdient hat? Oder die Christuskirche? Was ist Ihre Meinung zu den 8 Kitas in Hannover oder was halten Sie von der Volkshochschule in Hannovers Altstadt? Und überhaupt: Gefällt Ihnen unser Büro genauso gut wie uns?

 Stimmen Sie ab und unterstützen Sie unsere Projekte im Public Voting des Heinze Awards.

Neben dem Publikumspreis, vergibt auch eine Jury Preise und Anerkennungen. Der Award prämiert dieses Jahr gelungene „Nicht-Wohnbauten“ und vergibt Auszeichnungen in sechs Kategorien. Die Plattform Heinze ist seit 1961 im Bereich Architektur aktiv und lobt den Award dieses Jahr zum siebten Mal in Folge aus. Heinze informiert regelmäßig über Produktneuheiten, Entwicklungen in der Baubranche und Architekturprojekte.

Hier geht es zu den Projekten:

Gedenkstätte Ahlem
Chorzentrum in der Christuskirche
8 Kitas in Hannover
Ada-und-Theodor-Lessing Volkshochschule
Architekturstudio ahrens & grabenhorst

Vielen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung!

14.07.2017


Aktuelles, Gesche Grabenhorst, Kloster Volkenroda

Kolloquium Kloster Volkenroda  –  Kirchen · Weiter · Bauen

Am 07. und 08. Juli fand im Kloster Volkenroda in Thüringen ein Kolloquium unter dem Titel »Reformationˡen« statt. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst diskutierte zusammen mit Oberkirchenrat Christian Fuhrmann vom Landeskirchenamt und dem Berliner Architekten Klaus Block zum Thema Transformation von Kirchenbauten.

Im immer aktueller werdenden Thema zum Wandel der Kirche in Deutschland, wurde das Lutherjahr als Anlass genommen den aktuellen Kenntnis- und Diskussionsstand zur wandelnden Rolle von Kirchbauten zu diskutieren. Dabei hat Prof. Grabenhorst die Projekte der Christuskirche, der Kapelle im Stift zum heiligen Geist und der Synagoge der Liberal Jüdischen Gemeinde vorgestellt und deren Übertragbarkeit auf ländliche Kirchenbauten beleuchtet.

Das Kolloquium wurde von der Stiftung Baukultur Thüringen organisiert und knüpfte an ähnliche Tagungen und Veranstaltungen an, die der Kirche im baulichen Wandel eine Plattform geben – allen voran die Kirchbautage des Instituts für Kirchenbau und kirchliche Kunst der Gegenwart an der Uni Marburg.

12.07.2017


Sparkassen-und Hotelgroßbaustellenrichtfest

Was für ein Wort – passend zum Gebäude! Denn es stand wieder ein Richtfest an, das unsere bisher größte Baustelle offiziell dem nächsten Baustadium übergibt.

Das Büro- und Hotelgebäude am Groner Tor in Göttingen feierte am 22. Juni Richtfest. Nach dem 2011 gewonnenen Wettbewerb konnte der Baubeginn Anfang 2015 gefeiert werden. Jetzt sind wir schon im Rohbau und bedanken uns bei allen beteiligten Firmen und Mitarbeitern für ihre zuverlässige Arbeit. Ab 2018 wird ein Teil des Gebäudes als Sparkassen-Hauptsitz und der andere als Hotel genutzt werden.  

30.06.2017


Gut besucht – die Volkshochschule in Hannovers Altstadt

Wir möchten uns noch einmal bei allen Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmern der Führung durch die Volkshochschule im Rahmen des Tags der Architektur bedanken­ ­­­– über Ihr zahlreiches Erscheinen als auch positiven Reaktionen haben wir uns sehr gefreut!

Michael Guttmann, Leiter der VHS, und Kerstin Ehrenberg, Projektleiterin unseres Büros, haben am Sonntag fachkundig durch die umgebaute Volkshochschule geführt und den rund 80 Besucherinnen und Besuchern gerne Frage und Antwort gestanden.

Wir würden uns freuen Sie bald wieder während einer Veranstaltung begrüßen zu dürfen. Das Team von ahrens & grabenhorst freut sich auf Sie.

27.06.2017

 


Gebaute Stimmungen – Film und Architektur

Wie bedingen sich Film und Architektur gegenseitig? Was können sie einander bieten und was sind die Voraussetzungen? Wenn Sie den Architekturfilm als Medium mit uns diskutieren möchten, sind  Sie am 21. Juni 2017 ab 20 Uhr herzlich zu uns ins Büro, in die Georgstraße 38, eingeladen.

Herr Volker Schreiner und Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst diskutieren mit Ihnen den Architekturfilm anhand von Beispielen und freuen sich über Ihre Meinungen.

Wir bitten um Anmeldung unter: presse@ahrensgrabenhorst.de

Wir freuen uns auf Sie und einen spannenden Austausch!

19.06.2017

 


Ein neues Grundschulzentrum  für Boizenburg

Im Realisierungswettbewerb zur Erweiterung des Schulzentrums Boizenburg haben ahrens & grabenhorst den 1. Preis erhalten. Die bestehende Ludwig-Reinhard-Grundschule wird saniert und die Bestandsgebäude erweitert, sodass die Schule zu einem Grundschulzentrum mit einer Nutzfläche von ca. 3.000 m² anwächst.

Der Entwurf von ahrens & grabenhorst  führt die klar organisierte Gebäudetypologie des Bestandsgebäudes auf einfachste Weise im Erweiterungsbau fort: Dem vorhandenen, inneren Erschließungssystem in U-Form wird im Neubau eine ebenfalls U-förmige Gebäudestruktur gegenüber gestellt. In Zusammenarbeit mit nsp landschaftsarchitekten stadtplaner BDA wurden auch die Außenanlagen überarbeitet und die Freiflächen der Schule räumlich gegliedert.

09.06.2017


Welcome to the Shortlist!

Wie jedes Jahr wird auch 2017 wieder der PLAN Award ausgelobt und dieses Jahr in 19 Kategorien vergeben. Aus unserem Studio sind gleich zwei Projekte in der engeren Wahl und treten  gegen die internationale Konkurrenz an: das Chorzentrum in der Christuskirche in der Kategorie „Public Space“ und der Umbau unseres eigenen Architekturstudios in der Kategorie „Interior“.

Der PLAN Award wird jährlich vom THE PLAN Magazin ausgelobt, eine der größten und meist publizierten Zeitschriften im Bereich Architektur und Design weltweit. Der Preis will aufmerksam machen auf aktuelle Architektur und die Arbeiten von Designern und Architekten und dadurch die Diskussion über die gebaute Umwelt fördern.

Die Preisverleihung findet am 17. Mai im Excelsior Hotel in Venedig statt.


Nächstes Etappenziel auch beim Förderzentrum erreicht

Der Richtkranz hing an diesem Dienstag in luftiger Höhe über dem Neubau des Förderzentrums für Soziale und Emotionale Entwicklung auf der Bult und signalisiert damit der gesamten Umgebung, dass das Bauprojekt auf dem Weg zur Fertigstellung jetzt einen Schritt weiter ist.

Regionspräsident Jagau, sowie Frau Nippold vom Förderzentrum als auch Roger Ahrens gratulierten allen Beteiligten und besonders den Handwerken für ihre hervorragende Arbeit und wünschten der Schule in ihrem weiteren Bauprozess viel Glück und für den zukünftigen Schulalltag viel Erfolg.

Mit dem dritten für die Region Hannover zu realisierenden Projekt von ahrens & grabenhorst, stellt sich der Schulbau als Volumen mit harter Schale und weichem Kern dar. Die Innenräume überzeugen durch eine freundliche und helle Ausstrahlung und großzügige Atrien sowie begrünte Innenhöfe, wenn der Bau im Sommer 2018 vollendet wird.

14.03.2017


Richtfest für das Einfamilienhaus

Am Freitag wurde der Rohbau des Einfamilienhauses in Hannover feierlich eingeweiht. Das Richtfest ‒ wenn auch ohne Dachstuhl, dafür mit Flachdach ­­­‒ bot die Gelegenheit den Bauherren viel Glück im neuen Heim zu wünschen. Das Wohnhaus zeigt sich straßenseitig sehr geschlossen und entspricht so dem Wunsch nach Privatsphäre. Die Positionierung bietet dem Garten jedoch die Möglichkeit sich weit auszubreiten und auf dem Grundstück den Raum optimal zu nutzen. Der Rohbau lässt bereits erahnen, dass die gartenseitigen Wohnräume mit den großzügigen Fensterfronten viel Licht und Freundlichkeit ins Innere leiten.

03.03.2017


Von Hannover nach New York – Artikel über Chorzentrum in „Architectural Record“

Mitte Dezember, graues Wetter, aber die Stimmung freudig gespannt – Roger Ahrens zeigt Mary Pepchinksi, die für die New Yorker Zeitschrift „Architectural Record“ schreibt, das Chorzentrum in der Christuskirche. Das Projekt überzeugt auf Anhieb durch sein einmaliges Konzept und durchdachte Architektur. Der entstandene Artikel wurde nun veröffentlicht und fasst zusammen, was die Hannoveraner schon lange wussten: Das Chorzentrum ist ein besonderes Projekt, das nicht nur die Kirche neu belebt, sondern auch dem Chor eine neue Heimat gibt und dem Quartier einen einmaligen Ort hinzufügt.

„Architectural Record“ gehört zu den ältesten Architekturzeitungen der USA, präsentiert monatlich neue, besondere Projekte und genießt weltweit einen sehr guten Ruf.


Restaurant Handwerk feiert Eröffnung

Gestern Abend hat das Restaurant Handwerk mit zahlreich erschienen Gästen seine Eröffnung gefeiert und die Anwesenden mit kleinen Leckereien aus der Küche verwöhnt.

Nach rund sechs Monaten Bauzeit und vielen Design-Entscheidungen wurde die Kneipenikone „Spiegel“ zum Handwerk und überzeugte schon vor der Eröffnung – dem Soft-Opening  – mit regionaler Küche und passend rustikal-raffiniertem Design. Die Innenarchitektur kontrastiert gekonnt Eichenmöbel mit eleganten Tapeten und schafft es das Gesamtkonzept holistisch abzurunden.

Wer Lust auf gutes Essen in toller Atmosphäre hat, ist hier genau richtig.

13.01.2017

 

2016


Führung durch die Lenbachhöfe

Wir freuen uns sehr dieses Jahr wieder an der Ausstellung des BDA Schaufensters teilnehmen zu dürfen. Bis Januar sind in den Räumen von pro office die fertig gestellten Projekte des letzten Jahres ausgewählter Architektenbüros präsentiert. Zusätzlich zu der Ausstellung werden Führungen durch einzelne Projekte angeboten.

ahrens & grabenhorst stellen dieses Jahr das Projekt „Lenbachhöfe“ vor. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Stadtplanungsamt und der Klosterkammer Hannover sind nordöstlich des Zentrums 34 Stadthäuser entstanden, die mit flexibler Grundrissgestaltung und einem einmaligen Design den Bewohnerinnen und Bewohnern einen qualitativ hochwertigen Wohnort bieten.

Die Führung durch das Wohnquartier findet am 13.01. um 14 Uhr statt. Treffpunkt ist am Lenbachplatz, Ecke Eichenplan und Defreggerstraße. Wir freuen uns sehr über Ihr Kommen!

Für Rückfragen wenden Sie sich an presse@ahrensgrabenhorst.de


Transformation Christuskirche – Vortrag zu Energieeffizienz in sakralen Gebäuden

Am Samstag, den 19.11. fand im Zusammenhang mit dem Aufbau des kirchlichen Energiemanagements der ev.-luth. Landeskirche Hannover das Jahrestreffen für die Umwelt- und Energiebeauftragten der Kirchengemeinden statt.

Unser Geschäftsführer Roger Ahrens sprach auf der Veranstaltung über die Sanierung der Christuskirche Hannover und den Bau des Chorzentrums. Schwerpunkte setzte er dabei auf die energetischen und akustischen Verbesserungen innerhalb des Gebäudes.

© Foto: Ulrike Wolf, Haus kirchlicher Dienste


Interdisziplinarität und Architektur

Die neue Veranstaltungsreihe der niedersächsischen Architektenkammer „Interdisziplinarität – Kompetenzen stärken. Einblicke in die Erfolge interdisziplinärer Zusammenarbeit“ startete am 03.11.2016 mit dem Projekt „Gedenkstätte Ahlem“ in Hannover. Die teilhabenden Büros ikon Ausstellungen und chora blau Landschaftsarchitekten präsentierten zusammen mit dem Geschäftsführer Roger Ahrens von ahrens & grabenhorst die erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit innerhalb des Projektes und erzählten aus dem Planungsalltag. Interdisziplinarität war das Schlagwort des Abends, deswegen sprach auch Herr Blocher von Blocher Blocher Partners über die interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit innerhalb ihres Büros.


Buchpräsentation in der VHS Hannover

Am Donnerstagabend fand die offizielle Buchpräsentation des Bildbandes „Umgezogen. Im neuen Kleid Am Hohen Ufer“ statt. Das Buch dokumentiert den Umbauprozess der ehemaligen Volks- und Schwerhörigen Schule in die Ada-und-Theodor-Lessing Volkshochschule, die 2015 fertiggestellt wurde. In vielfältigen und eindrucksvollen Bildern fasst der Bildband die Umwandlung in eine moderne Schule mit hoher Aufenthaltsqualität zusammen und lässt die Betrachter den Umbau in neuen Bildern erleben.

29.09.2016


Neubau Forum Diakonie und Kirche Göttingen entschieden

Der ev.-luth. Kirchenkreis Göttingen hat im Frühjahr dieses Jahres einen Wettbewerb für den Neubau des „Forum der Kirche und Diakonie“ ausgelobt. Das Büro ahrens & grabehorst ist stolz darauf diesen für sich entschieden zu haben. Die Gestalterinnen und Gestalter haben sich in ihrem Konzept von der Idee eines Gebäudeensembles als Skulptur leiten lassen und dabei die Besonderheiten des Ortes mit in ihr Konzept einbezogen. Der Baustart ist für 2017 vorgesehen.


Zweiter Platz für ahrens & grabenhorst

Im Realisierungswettbewerb um den Neubau der Bibliothek des Predigerseminars im Kloster Loccum hat das Büro ahrens & grabenhorst mit seinem Entwurf den 2. Platz belegt.

Das Konzept basiert auf der vorhandenen Formen- und Materialsprache und inkludiert den Bestandsbau von Prendel. Die Architektur ist insgesamt zurückhaltend und besticht durch ihre Klarheit.


Erster Spatenstich Förderzentrum Auf der Bult

Der erste Spatenstich ist getan. Der Neubau des Förderzentrums Auf der Bult ist nun offiziell gestartet und wird bis 2019 realisiert. Die Architektur des neuen Schulgebäudes bietet nicht nur einen Passivhausstandard, sondern auch eine sehr hohe Aufenthaltsqualität und eine gute Orientierbarkeit, die auf die Anforderungen an ein Förderzentrum optimal eingeht.


Ausstellung: Führungstermine in der Christuskirche am Tag der Architektur 2016

Besucher können an diesem Tag eine exklusive Führung mit den Architekten von ahrens & grabenhorst genießen und sich detailliert über die Geschichte und das Ergebnis dieses einzigartigen Projektes informieren.

Folgende Führungstermine stehen zur Verfügung:

11 Uhr
12.30 Uhr
14.15 Uhr

Der Eintritt ist frei!
Eine Anmeldung ist nicht notwendig!


Auszeichnung: Gedenkstätte Ahlem in der Engeren Wahl für den Nds. Staatspreis

 

In Kürze wird die Jury - nach Besuch und Prüfung der insgesamt elf Projekte - einen ersten Preis und weitere Auszeichnungen vergeben.

20.04.2016


Auszeichnung: „Chorzentrum Christuskirche“ für den POLIS-Award 2016 nominiert

 

Der Award wird am 20. April 2016 auf der Polis-Convention in Düsseldorf verliehen.

20.04.2016


633_AGA-Luisen-Gymnasium-Hamburg -Aussen

 

Projekt: Zubau Luisengymnasium Hamburg entsteht nach Entwurf des Studios

 

Der geplante Neubau fügt sich als eigenständiger Baukörper in den städtebaulichen und freiräumlichen Kontext mit seinen denkmalgeschützen Bestandsgebäuden und den bestehenden Wege- und Sichtachsen ein. Auf quadratischer Grundfläche entsteht ein dreigeschossiges Gebäude in Massivbauweise mit Klinkerfassade und Gründach.

14.03.2016


2015


 

Wettbewerbserfolg: 2. Platz für Entwurf des Eingangs- und Shopbereichs Zoo

 

Das neue, zeichenhafte Entrée des zoologischen Gartens – ein weißes „floating roof“ zwischen Himmel und Erde – schickt die Besucher mit Leichtigkeit auf eine authentische Erlebnisreise in den Hannoverschen Zoo. Die Seele soll baumeln, die Aufmerksamkeit ist voll und ganz den exotischen Themenwelten gewidmet. Der Besucher wird von Beginn an emotional und spielerisch „eingeführt“.

Landschaftsplanung: WES LandschaftsArchitektur Hamburg

09.12.2015

 

Location: Nordhorn
Competition: 2. Prize 2002
Client: Stadt Nordhorn

Urban reconstruction – NINO area

The foundation for developing the NINO area is specified by structural requirements: the canal presents the spine of the area; the rectangular, strict structure of the planned construction site follows the historic use. Close to the city and with very good infrastructure the area is a very attractive building site. The canal as well as the historically greened seclusion provides an exclusive address.

Our design follows the urban requirements. The western side of the canal that is developed as a promenade emphasizes the importance and experience of this place off the motorized traffic. The property borders recognize the different requirements: in the western part, the private and public spaces can interlink, the route of the former access road east of the canal is dominated by villas, in the east a row of terraced houses form the desired end of the square-like situation.

Within this area, 71% of the buildings are planned as one-floor single family houses with an extended top floor and two-floor houses that derive from the surrounding building structure. At the western side of the area, larger construction fields can be created due to a differentiated parceling. It should be possible to have a more freely design within the requirements, here.

The villas will correspond to the desire to have a representative independence. In the east, the development of garden houses is possible – usable as a workshop, atelier or children’s house. The intimacy of the entrance is guaranteed by the garages.

Play areas for children are located within the green areas in the west, north-east and the dip. For an overall image, different materials are recommended.

Planting one tree for each house should be determined, as well as only using domestic bushes and trees for the gardens. As material for the driveway brick pavement is recommended as well as wood for the terraces or concrete in combination with natural stone. The water from canal can be used as a reservoir for the private and public green areas as long as the supply from the canal “Almekanal” is guaranteed.

In combination with the canal, bridges define a specific architectural and connecting element. Their construction should be easy, the hand rails transparent. Therefore, the spine of the area is easily perceivable and overall present.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Round 2015
Client: Hannoverscher Sportverein von 1896 e.V.

New club building and sports center for Hannover 96

The capital of Hanover tendered a workshop procedure in cooperation with the football club Hannover 96 aiming at realizing a new sports center and children movement space. Four participants were asked to design an overall concept for an attractive sports and health center with adjoining exterior space.

Our design positions the new construction along the northern property border thus completing the overall image. This idea derived from the close stadium, the sport association, and the swimming pool. By this design decision, the new sports center is thematically integrated into the surrounding and supports its presence.

Generally, the space is divided into three areas – a main building in the north with the outdoor sport and parking area connecting to it at the south west side. The building volume consists of three rectangular volumes each positioned in a 90 degree angle towards each other – resulting in a U-form with a protected inner courtyard.

The administration, sport and fitness spaces are located in the main building. The west wing inhabits the therapy space, children adventure and dance rooms. By stacking the respective areas, the circulation is easy and the building structure stays clear and practical.

The plinth forms the base of the building for the five upper floors with the façade changing from fiber cement sheets and a fully glazed entrance and gastronomy area to vertical glass elements and a symmetrical structure thus representing the transparent usage of the building.

The created inner courtyard invites to relax and forms the transition to the exterior sport area. It is structured by linear paths reflecting the colors of the club and creating a connection. The sport fields are organized on both sides of the path, completed by green areas and places for retreat. The entire space is surrounded by trees and presents the transition into the green environment near the river.

The parking lot is situated in the south-west and skillfully uses the remaining space. The entire complex forms an appropriate destination for the club by integrating the various usages under a new, modern roof.

We are currently looking for german speaking architects. You can find the job description here.

open positions

Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst

Manager of the architecture studio, 2012 Appointment into the Convent of Building Culture, 2010 State of Lower Saxony Award for Architecture, 2006 Appointment as Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, department of design, 2006 Visiting Professor at the Leibniz University of Hanover, winter academy, 2005 - 2008 Member of the Cooperatively Discussion Group of the Head of the Municipal Planning and Building Control Office, Hanover, 2005 - 2015 Member of the Advisory Council for Urban Development in Göttingen, 2002 - 2008 Working group of young architects within the Association of Architects, 1999 Appointment into the Association of German Architects, 1994 Office partnership with Roger Ahrens

Actice as judge for various competitions, guest critic and speaker.

Architecture studies at the University Munich as well as the University of Fine Arts in Brunswig, study visit at the Academy Graz, apprenticeship as architectural drafter.

Roger Ahrens

Manager of the Architecture Studio ahrens & grabenhorst, 2010 State of Lower Saxony Award for Architecture, 2004–2007 Deputy Regional Chairman of the Association of German Architects in Lower Saxony, Member of the Cooperatively Discussion Group of the Head of the Municipal Planning and Building Control Office, Hanover, 1998–2008 Work Group of young architects in the Association of Architects 1996 Appointment into the Association of German Architects, 1994 Office partnership with Gesche Grabenhorst, 1990–1994 Architecture Studio Reimers and Partner Berlin.

Architecture studies at the Technichal University in Brunswig, at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as well as the Technical University Berlin.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2009
Client: BauWo Grundstücks AG

Urban design competition in Hanover/ Hans-Böckler-Allee

At the location between a former car dealer and the expressway on an area of 19,600 square meters and an additional area of a former administration building of 18,000 square meters, a new construction is planned for residential and office use. Within an urban design competition an appropriate solution was designed.

The design for the construction defines a clear entrance towards the inner city area of Hanover. Two new building cubes form an open gate situation along the expressway. Thereby, the southern building volume emphasizes the horizontality and velocity, while the northern skyscraper marks the vertical point in the urban structure.

Axial entrances, forecourts, passages, edges and recesses within the volume form a varied appearance. The new seven-storey building will be opened on one side with a three-level passage thus – in combination with the façade – creating an alignment with openings towards the popular open space. The façade takes on the brick surface as a defining identity and material. The design concept presents a rhythm of windows that structures the surface giving a special impression.

The office building on the southern side of the property offers many variations of use for an economic development of a continuous construction and extension grid.

 

Location: Göttingen
Competition: Workshop 2006
Client: City of Göttingen

Former area of the public bath in Göttingen

The city of Göttingen planned to reuse the area of the former public bath along the river “Leine”. The property forms a gap within the cityscape and has a negative influence on the old part of town.

The fallow land is used as a parking lot, thus the potential of the attractive, central canal is not fully used and cannot transfer its qualities into the city.

The set guiding principles “Leitbild 2020” are aiming at preparing the city for future developments and eliminating any disturbances within the image of the city center. Overall, it is planned to enhance the cityscape and strengthen the development.

During a workshop, new ideas and concepts were presented and discussed in order to find solutions for the fallow plot. The goal is to activate the site, add a modern usage that appropriately supplements the structure of the city and thereby makes use of the potential of the river.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2009

In the Shopping Street, Hanover/ Packhofstrasse

The building property in one of the shopping streets (Packhofstrasse) in Hanover is flanked by a new construction from a shoe store and a clothing company on the other side. Located at a prominent corner it forms an architectural accent. From the basement to the second floor, the building offers two units for commercial use. Floors three to five are planned to be used as offices offering two units on each floor. The client desired a timeless-elegant architecture for the overall impression of the building.

Thus we imagined a representative new construction that convinces with a high urban quality and transparency as well as a prominent accent.

The five-storey construction follows the property borders and uses the entire length and width of the site. Large-sized cuttings within the sculptured building mark the main entrance and different usages. The fine structure of the façade mediates between the different scales of the surrounding while the interior organization provides high flexibility and easy circulation. Views are offered into every direction taking up the reference of the surrounding.

 

Location: Düsseldorf
Competition: 09 | 2018
Client: CESA Investment GmbH & Co. KG

Landscape Architecture: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftsarchitekten stadtplaner BDA

A residential quarter in Düsseldorf

East of the crossroad „Am Seestern“ the „Green Loop“ forms the new address of the quarter – developed from the dynamics of the building, a prominent corner highlights the new complex. With different usages in the ground floor, it offers a public function directed to the street “Niederkasseler Landstrasse” and the adjacent green.

Directed west and parallel to the street, the building height decreases and forms a loop reacting to the surrounding solitary buildings and creating a special urban tension. Two generously spaced passages in the ground floor lead from the street across the courtyard into the heart of the Loop and further to the newly defined green space that connects to the generous outdoor terrace located nearby the restaurant “Am Seestern”.

The clear and robust structure not only supports the idea of the quarter as a connecting community space but also allows for the integration of other usages like small retail or trade shops, offices or meeting spaces for the community: e.g. an ice-cream parlor, a café or a bakery; additional services and medical care are possible as well.

The Loop forms the urban structure for the development of a participative residential model. The building receives an attractive address and urban adventure area. This urban realignment creates an attractive building ensemble in scale and formulation on the one hand and on the other hand an appropriate architecture with an own and high-quality identity = landmark.

Developed within the urban context, the free space concept presents specific offers and exciting spaces that interact with the buildings creating a respective characteristic. The forecourt “Am Seestern” connects the buildings to the green surrounding.

By following the idea of the “individual in the community”, an architecture is created that metaphorically reinterprets the dissolving urban block development with a prominent corner. The façade is the essential architectural element to frame the public space shaping the character of the quarter in terms of dimension and design in the interplay of streets and green space.

Additionally, the courtyard presents itself as the “green lung” – continuously greened balconies spread along all floors and transition to a community garden on top of house A. House B, C and D provide stocked terraces and naturally well lit apartments. All apartment units receive natural light and ventilation. Small living units can flexibly be added to other apartments, if necessary.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2015
Client: Leinekontor GmbH & Co. KG

An apartment building in Hanover/ Seelhorsterstrasse

Within the competition for the new construction of an apartment building in Hanover (in the zoo quarter) we received the second prize. The competition was aiming at constructing a residential building at the crossroad of Seelhorsterstrasse and Zeppelinstrasse prominently located between the zoo, the city forest and the convention center.

Our design envisioned a solitary villa building taking on the identity of the site from the late 19th century giving a sustainable and shaping character to the volume. The building is directed towards the south-west thus flooding the apartments with daylight. The street edges are adopted from the simple cube thus presenting an open and generous volume. In particular the hipped roof and calm radiance emphasizes the classical architectural language. Completed by a limestone façade, the volume receives a friendly and light appearance. The building is fenced and surrounded by a green hedge integrating the house into the existing green space with trees. Round seating possibilities offer residents a place for retreat and relaxation.

Situated in front of the building, yet recessed, the central entrance leads into the generous foyer. Here, the building opens towards the three floors and the underground car park. Each floor has two differently spaced apartments. In the ground floor, they provide a private garden with a terrace, the upper floors have loggias. The three meter high ceilings and large windows generate an open and bright atmosphere. Being continued inside, the main concept of a clear architectural language achieves a comfortable ambience within the apartments in one of the most prominent quarters of the city.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 3. Prize 2013
Client: City of Hanover

Living along the high banks

Located in the old town of Hanover between the historical museum, the square “Ballhofplatz“ and the river “Leine“ a former school area had to be revived. It is a very attractive residential area, yet in its current state it was not well utilized. For this reason, the school and its exterior space was redesigned and revitalized for a school again. Additionally, new apartments should complement the area at the high banks and create an attractive external space. A new urban usage is achieved by sensitively inserting it into the historical and important location.

The two designed residential houses position themselves within the urban gap of the “stone witnesses” – the historical museum, the “Marstall” Gate and the Adult Education Center. The witnesses of that time period define the design parameters for the new constructions that confidently and modernly present themselves at the high banks.

The building volumes were divided in order to take on the urban reference creating permeability from the high banks towards the square and the quarter of the cruciform church. The new buildings connect the very detailed structure of the old part of the town und continue this theme. Also the exterior space pursues this motif; by different heights and scales the green area will be clearly defined. The ensemble creates a new square, receives its own identity and forms the crossover between the high banks and the city center.

The buildings not only architectonically mediate between the city and the timbered houses but also strengthen the appearance of the surrounding and give support for the future. By taking on the classical elements and reinterpreting them, the residential houses gain a slight structure on the stone surface. In combination with the large windows it forms the characteristics of the building ensemble. In total, the houses present themselves in an elegant severity with classical proportions and refer to either side of the city – the old town and the high banks.

Windows with sharp-edged cuts create the contrast to the façade that is made of light, washed brick. In each storey, offsets divide the large stone surface relating to the scale of the surrounding.

Fifteen modern apartments from two to four rooms and 80 to 160 square meters have been designed. In the top floor, five maisonnettes are envisioned. Spacious and generous are the attributes used to describe the atmosphere. The apartments are mainly directed south-west and therefore offer a high quality of living. The well organized floor plan allows for outlooks towards the river as well as to the old town. The flair of the city can also be experienced in the loggias that obtain a private exterior space.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: VOF-procedure 2012
Client: LIEMAK Immobilien GmbH/Klosterkammer Hannover
Construction Period: 2013–2015
Work Phases: 2–4
Gross Floor Area: 7.600 m²
Landscape Architect: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftsarchitekten stadtplaner BDA

The Lenbach Quarter in Hanover

Close to the urban forest “Eilenriede“ and the city center of Hanover, a new family-friendly living quarter was realized until 2015. The design of the development of the 8,000 square meters area is sustainable and reactivated the unused area.

The 34 town houses were allocated by LIEMAK Ltd. as building lease in perpetuity. Corresponding to the concept of a cohere living quarter, the houses received a north-south orientation – thus contrasting to the neighbouring buildings which are directing east-west. Eight rows of houses were realized, positioning themselves around a center, four on either side.

A private path runs through the center connecting the houses. The path then ends in a fenced playground and community square at the south-east corner of the area designed with greens and plants providing shade as well as seating sensitively supporting the character of the quarter.

The design for the Lenbach Quarter was strongly influenced by the surrounding complexes of buildings. The windows of a neighboring housing row from the 1920s inspired the designers to open up the simplicity of the exterior walls by attaching colorful panels to the windows.

By using the light bricks, especially manufactured by Hebrok brickworks for this project, the colorful accents of the panels stand out and contrast very well. Green roofs complete the holistic urban approach to the living quarter.

The town houses of the Lenbach Quarter were built two floors high with an additional stacked storey resulting in a south facing roof terrace. The façade of the ground floor was set back in the entrance thus forming protected entrance areas.

Depending on the type of house, the differentiating numbers of rooms are organized from 140 square meters to 180 square meters. The exceptions form the four-storey houses on each corner of the quarter offering an additional work space on 272 square meters in total. These units enable the tenant to combine living in the upper floors and working in the lower floors.

Every house type is characterized by an open floor plan. Smooth transitions from the kitchen to the dining room and living space present an individual freedom to designing the home.

Floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor and towards the roof terrace let the daylight flood the rooms and also create a spacious atmosphere within the living areas.

In addition to the green community areas, each town house has a south oriented enclosed, private garden.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 09 | 2017
Client: Wasserstadt Limmer Projektentwicklung GmbH
Work Phases: 1-5
Gross Floor Area: 4.200 m²
Landscape Architect: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftsarchitekten stadtplaner BDA

Residential building complex on the waterfront in Hanover

Urban structure and architectural interpretation

The specified urban structure of the quarter “Wasserstadt Limmer“ with its prominent buildings on the corners of the northern waterside park will be brought to life by the architectural design. Within the urban context, the structure and accent of the façades react to the architectural setting, material and scale. A new urban space is created developing a special identity within the dialogue of the exterior space of the quarter. The building design seizes the determination of the development plan and specified design guidelines without any restrictions.

Building typology and floor plan

For the commissioned construction site (6+7), a floor plan with four apartments on each floor and a linear staircase is proposed. The staircases will obtain natural light from generous skylights. The 1,5- to 4-room apartments have loggias on the building corners (with some exceptions) thus allowing for daylight from two sides during the day. Additionally, it receives a special perception from the urban and landscape surrounding. The floor plan of each floor reacts to the façade concept. The bathrooms are located on the outer walls and allow for natural light and ventilation. Each apartment is freely accessible and – via the staircases of both buildings – connected to the underground car park.

Material and surface of the façade

All building sides receive a brick façade. They are structured by differently wide window and loggia openings while the height of the openings in generally fixed in order to obtain a calm design principle. The topic of the façades describes the transition from private living to public space. A metal construction was developed as a fall protection for the loggias – its transparency increases from the bottom to the top. While the lower parts do not offer any views and therefore allow for privacy, the views through the upper parts of the balustrade offer a direct link to the exterior space.

Outdoor area

Developed from the specified urban context and in the interplay within the building structure, an outdoor area is created that has special offers and exciting spaces. Here, the concept aims at creating a quarter that – through architecture and outdoor design – has its own identity and high quality atmosphere. The clear concept is structured into public spaces, private yards and gardens plus the transition into nature.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 11 | 2017
Client: Gundlach GmbH & Co. KG
Landscape Architecture: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftsarchitekten stadtplaner BDA

Urban residential quarter – Pelikan II

Urban Structure

By reinterpreting the dissolving urban block development a new address is created. “Pelikan II” – a quarter with appropriate gradation and scale as well as a special, respective identity. It stands in close dialogue with the qualities of the historic surrounding and the first urban residential quarter of the area: “Pelikan I”.

The constituting main elements for articulating “Pelikan II” are the elements of the traditionally mixed European city that keep the identifying structure and continue it. The idea of living together is encouraged by the urban setting – from public to private spaces, the various figurations are formulated with different atmospheres inside and outside.

As an equivalent to the building of an assurance and opposite to “Pelikan I”, the formulated main building presents the kick-off of the quarter in the north. It marks the immanent image of the new quarter and forms a public address next to the green area with an appropriate use of the ground floor.

Following the orthogonality of “Pelikan I”, another main building directed east on construction site 2 marks the end of the row of solitary buildings that significantly lead through the quarter. Construction sites 3 and 4 are developed from the urban block development continuing the motif of site 2 with a subtracting design method.

Two L-shaped building volumes embrace the central, well proportioned courtyard of the new quarter. By omitting the top floors, building heads are created resulting in a windmill-like image. On the one hand, they structure the volume along the street; on the other hand, they present insights and different perspectives as well as various outlooks from the upper cut-outs.  

The ensemble is complemented by another building head – also formulating the start of the quarter from the east. The resulting green space is directed to the former Pelikan factory and now dedicated to the children’s nursery. Two-storied passages allow for the internal access in east-west direction.

This clear, robust structure not only supports the idea of the quarter as a connecting community space, it also allows for the integration of other usages like small retail or trade shops and offices as well as a meeting point for the community. An ice-cream parlor, a café or a bakery and medical services are possible as well.

Free space

Developed from the urban and landscape context and within the interplay of the orthogonal and building structures, a creative and flexible free space concept is developed. It aims at creating an urban quarter on this site guaranteeing a high-quality atmosphere and respective identity.

The constructional and spatially clear concept is structured into public streets and spaces as well as semi-public areas, private gardens and nature. The street area as a meeting space reflects urban life, the central courtyard becomes the gathering place of the neighborhood.

Small garden areas are assigned to the ground floors towards the courtyard. Hedges, shrubs and bushes define the private and public spaces. The robust and various vegetation allows for an individual use of the future residents. Molded and colorful play areas offer children an adventurous space, at the same time strengthening the neighborhood.

The urban and landscape architecture considers and maintains the existing trees. The mixture of urban streets and private retreats offers a differentiated urban living and housing concept.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 3. Prize 2015
Client: Gesellschaft für Bauen und Wohnen Hannover mbH (GBH)

Micro apartments in Hanover

We achieved the third place in the realization competition for our design of micro apartments in the quarter “Nordstadt“ in Hanover.

The building design offers students and trainees a cheap place to live and has additional commercial space in the ground floor.

Our design foresees six floors prominently marking the edge of the property. The western building side is dominated by micro apartments, two-room apartments will be located in the north in order to connect to the adjoining apartment buildings.

The apartments are oriented towards the street or the inner courtyard. Commercial spaces are located in the ground floor. Directed north, the single storey volume guides the view to the inner courtyard that is shaped by solitary buildings. The community space and bistro receive a special spatial formulation and therefore offer a high-quality atmosphere.

Protected by the new construction in the north-west, the children’s play area is framed by a wall and a public green area. A diverse playground with different flooring, surfaces and feel invite to play. Overall, a high-quality public open space makes room for social gatherings of the neighborhood from different generations and cultures.

The central entrance of the building gives way to the five upper floors. By giving young people the possibility of affordable housing, the requirements for central apartments and flexible, easy living is guaranteed.

The conceptual approach is also defined by the design: a façade without ornaments nevertheless shows a vital impression due to the play of light on the brick. Depending on the time of day and the weather, the façade appears differently. Accents are only given by evenly distributed window openings.

Altogether, the volume links the building to the surrounding finding its own identity at this site. It fulfills the requirements of convenient flexible living offering students and trainees the advantages of the location.

 

Client: private
Construction Period: 2011–2012
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 186 m²

House V

a place in the forest
a square with three houses
a new construction as a retreat
a former carriage house for guests
a third house for miscellaneous
experience of nature and the four seasons
a place of rest and relaxation

 

Client: private
Construction Period: 2008
Construction Period: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 274 m²

House K

House K was completed in summer 2008. It follows the tradition of the residential area from the 1930s: compact, mostly square city houses.

Deriving from this simple type of house, extended components like the garage, the oriel and the top floor develop into a sculptural volume, thus, enhancing the special situation of the property.

Modernity and tradition infuse the house equally. Construction, light, material and detailing create a unique living space.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: private
Construction Period: 2002–2004

Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 320 m²

House G

The building design of the single-family house orientates itself towards the property borders on the one hand; on the other hand it expresses the desire for a clear and reduced form language. The two-storey solitary building has the layout of a parallelogram. A stacked floor with the same layout – but twisted towards its substructure – forms the top. The “silver skin” of the house strengthens the monolithic appearance and clearly marks an exciting interplay of the various colorations of light on the façade.

The freely designed exterior space and the homogenous volume interact between width and depth – the building is perceptible differently depending on the point of view. Large window openings define the façade of the eastern, southern and western side; whereas the northern façade seems rather shut.

The home is parted into two units – one for office use that is directed towards the street, another for residential use and oriented towards the garden. It forms a functional approach towards uniting living and working in the same building. The color scheme works with contrasts: inside, each floor has single color accents that let the building appear special in the different areas. At night, the house turns inside out, the proportions shift and the building gleams into the dark.

 

Client: private
Construction Period: 2008–2009
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 278 m²

House F in H

The residential area is mainly influenced by fenced properties with high walls, hiding the single family houses from unwanted views.

The concept for the new construction of House F takes on this image and reinterprets it: property wall and house wall become one. The resulting wall – as wide as the property – spans across the garden, as well as living space. The ground floor transitions between base, wall and garden.

The organization of the exterior is parallel to the street – street space, semi-public yard, building volume, terrace, private garden and plants are conceived as layers, with transitions that range from strict to flowing.

From the street, the ground floor appears as a brick base and therefore follows – in form and function – the omnipresent wish for privacy. The perspective from the garden shows a very different picture: the living space opens itself towards the terrace and garden on the entire width of the house.

The top floor is situated on the brick as a wood-covered cube, being interpreted as a staggered floor.  

 

Location: Göttingen
Competition: 4. Prize 2007
Client: City of Göttingen

A study in Göttingen/Windausweg

In Göttingen on the former (now cleared) area of the Institute for Forensic Medicine, a new residential quarter is planned. The basis has been created by a previous peer review evaluation process.

Within this process we designed a cluster of urban villas whose strong cubage is surrounded by a park-like landscape resulting in differentiated outdoor areas. The building topology has been conceived following the design of the surrounding. Overall, the four floors are topped with a stacked floor. Taking on the height of the neighboring building a common theme is reached. Altogether, it is a modern residential quarter with a high-quality atmosphere.

The cluster-like concept aims at achieving the greatest possible flexibility for the floor plan of the villas. The flexible urban grid easily allows for an extension towards the west without losing the spatial qualities. In this way, different sizes of apartments can be realized functioning for various requirements. The volumes are organized with two to three apartments on each floor offering spaces from 50 to 135 square meters. Generous loggias extend each unit by a private free space. The different modules of the floor plans allow for an individually adjusted concept. The façades reflect the changing interior and emphasize the uniqueness within the canon of the cluster. The color concept of the façades is limited to the colors white, grey and anthracite; therefore, the loggias present a contrast in red, orange and violet shades – complementary to the green space. Intensively integrating the surrounding, the paths connect the quarter and the open areas of the surrounding close to the city center. A free space is located in the center of the cluster that invites children to play and residents to relax in the green surrounding.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Christian von Ehrenfels

 

Location: Berlin-Dahlem
Competition: 1. Prize 2005
Client: cds-Wohnbau/ NILEG Hanover

Village of Dahlem, Berlin

The quarter “Village of Dahlem” is situated in the south-west of Berlin and is surrounded by villas, green areas, settlement buildings, and the campus of the Technical University. Regarding the quality of the site and the living conditions, it offers an excellent location for further residential development. Located on the western side of the area, there are five town houses from the 1990s. This design proposal concerns the rest of the un-built land.

In the course of a design workshop we developed an entire concept with modern town houses. During the workshop we discussed different ideas and concepts agreeing on the result of urban villas as town houses. This is the ideal addition to the existing buildings and fits well into the surrounding. 

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 3. Prize 2013
Client: Gundlach GmbH & Co. KG

Housing in Southern Hanover/Altenbekener Damm

Close to the lake “Maschsee“ in the south of Hanover, a former playground and commercial area had to be redesigned. It was foreseen to develop condominiums in multi-floor apartment buildings that revaluate the quarter and attractively offer a space for various types of housing.

Within the invitation competition, where we made the third place, our concept envisioned two rectangular structures with four floors each. It takes on the existing urban development continuing it in order to recreate the density and urbanity thus resulting in a modern residential architecture that fits into its surrounding. Between the urban block development structure of the southern part of the city of Hanover and the solitary buildings near the lake, the residential buildings are positioned within a green topography and form a special character for the quarter. The green space is intertwined with the building volumes revaluating the urban and architectural structure.

Inspired by the surrounding cityscape, the façade is covered with brick. Along the four floors it presents different settlements and shades. That way, it frees itself from the perceptions of the neighboring images.

The freely arranged building volumes have a small playground and a public square. The southern building forms a border towards the street and the traffic thus generating privacy. It would also be possible to add commercial usages here, e.g.  a café or a bakery.

Furthermore, the exterior space is sensitively developed. A plateau offers various usages achieving an overall high quality atmosphere. A generous garden is located between both buildings and can be used as communication or meeting space. It is divided into different areas – here, also private gardens are planned for the northern building.

The building entrances are oriented towards the street presenting generous foyers. Small house communities of eight apartments in each building are organized with two apartments on each floor. The staircases have elevators and direct access to the underground car park.

In the south wing, the bedrooms are directed towards the gardens, the apartments in the northern building are facing towards the front and the back, thus are “stuck through”. Though, the apartments are mainly oriented south, thus ensuring high-quality living. Every apartment is clearly structured and well proportioned. In the third floor, two apartments can be joined into a penthouse. In general, this residential project addresses different requirements and interests.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: private
Construction Period: 2002
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 260 m²

House A

This end-terraced house in Hanover built in 1935 and undergoing historical changes was converted and extended into two independently usable residential units. After wartime destruction the ground floor was rebuilt in 1949, later in 1960 the upper floor and rooftop were added. Now, the basement and the ground floor form a unit as well as the upper floor and the rooftop.

Construction: Lowering of the basement footing with extensive measures concerning bearing walls and the foundation, demolition of all installations, renewal of all technical installations, new wooden windows

Surfaces: smoothed fine plaster, maple parquet, white matte glass for doors

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2011

Client: City of Hanover

Christmas design at Kröpcke

During Christmas time festive anticipation, long evenings and Christmas markets define the season. In order to present a unique feature for the city center of Hanover and form a gentle transition to the old town and its Christmas markets, a special feature was planned for the central place in town – the Kröpcke.

We created a volume that proudly presents itself towards the central train station; developed as an advent calendar with 24 doors displaying different pictures during day and night, it lights up the surrounding area on dark evenings and attracts visitors coming from the train station while emphasizing the direct axis between both constructions.

Another attraction is the sales area in the ground floor, offering meals and drinks, completed by a terrace on the second floor. At the same time, the terrace offers a viewpoint and local reference to the old town.

Alternatively, the volume can also be used all year around and function as a stage or open air cinema. Yet, during Christmas time it is the guiding star that highlights the site, being light object, meeting place and starting point towards the old town – a light house in the heart of Hanover.

 

Location: Wilhelmshaven
Competition: 1. Prize 2008
Client: GGS – Grundstück und Gebäude der Stadt Wilhelmshaven
Construction Period: 2010–2011
Work Phases: 1–9

Conversion and Extension of the UNESCO World Nature Heritage Mudflats Visitor Information Center in Wilhelmshaven, Germany

By converting the Wadden Sea House in Wilhelmshaven into a Visitor Information Center for the UNESCO World Nature Heritage, the building received a significantly new appearance.

An image of the mudflats adorns the cladding of the new, mounted façade above the main entrance. The steel construction weighs eight tons and is positioned at the north-east building corner, presenting an exciting marking within the urban space. The interplay of light and color within the metal framing and the building skin above ensures a high level of vividness and quality. Illuminated by night, the prominent image of the mudflats brings a distinctive identity to the building.

The forecourt, functioning as a stage for visitors and temporary installations, was freed from any small-scale components, plants, and car park markings. A newly constructed stairway and an ascending square paved with uniform plaster enable a barrier-free access into the Center.

The new pedestrian bridge connects the entrance to the beach front. At the end of the bridge, an information pavilion adopts the pattern of the new façade and spatially unites the two elements.

In the first floor of the Information Center, a large gallery was integrated into the museum space presenting an exciting start for the visitors coming from the beach front. A staircase leads past an impressive whale skeleton down to a small café, which is then connected to the extended foyer. The entire entrance area as well as the exhibition itself was reconstructed, now presenting a new, clear space. A central reception counter, a cash desk and a museum shop welcome the visitors inside the Center.

The UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Information Center is the main educational and informational center for the Wadden Sea National Park in Lower Saxony. It aims at supporting the protection objectives of the park, informing about the park, its goals and giving visitors an overview of the ecological unique habitat. The Wadden Sea in Germany is unique in its expanse, spreading an area of 10.000 square kilometers and thus presenting a habitat for a broad variety of beings.

 

Location: Emden
Competition: 1. Prize 2001
Client: City of Emden
Construction Period: 2003–2005
Work Phases: 2–8
Gross Floor Area: 5.900 m²

East-Frisian Regional Museum in Emden

After winning the competition in a pan-European process, we were commissioned to convert the regional museum in Emden.

The main entrance was moved to the street “Brückstrasse” and equipped with a large foyer in the ground floor, offering information for incoming visitors. The interior construction of the protected building was demolished and reconstructed offering an elevator and new staircases.

For the benefit of a clear and open room concept the inner spatial relations were redesigned. The eastern building wing received an additional floor now housing an exhibition space without windows.

The physical features of the existing façade was improved, a second interior layer of windows was added. The entire housing technology of the museum was reconstructed and an air-conditioning system has been installed.

Besides the architectural design, the exhibition design was conceptualized and realized in close cooperation with Iglhaut + Partner/Berlin.

 

Location: Beeskow, Brandenburg
Competition: 2010
Client: Kreisstadt Beeskow

The Art Archive of Castle Beeskow

The castle Beeskow in the state Brandenburg is a medieval castle ensemble accommodating different cultural organizations and now aims at constructing an art archive on the historic grounds in order to safely house the art collection. Amongst other things, the holdings of the “Artothek der Sozialen Kunstförderung Berlin” (art lending library for the social promotion of art) will store 30,000 exhibits. On the long run, the art archive is planned to establish itself as a European Research and Service Center keeping alive art history.

The changing history of the place is perceivable from the various annexes and conversions. By designing the extension for the future archive the castle area is spatially completed and now presents a great chance for the future development of the castle ensemble.

The challenge of the design was to keep and integrate the conservational aspect and existing buildings. The existing ensemble defines the rules that have to be complied for the new volume. Different materials and design elements have been taken over for the extension in order to keep the context of the castle area. Asserted on the area and clearly integrating itself, the extension will not dominate the site. The designed archive stands towards the inner courtyard like a shelf, welcomingly opens up to the center of the castle. The three other sides are protected by the restored exterior walls of the castle and the old brewery. Visually, the impression results in a fortified castle ensemble, due to the fact that the enclosing wall is reconstructed again. At the same time, the historic elements were kept and integrated into the concept.

Reparations and extensions are constructed in a crafted manner realized with brick. The historical elements stay visible in the interior and exterior; functional and necessary openings for windows are integrated according to the historic proportions. The magazine located at the northern wall is in bad structural condition and cannot be integrated into any further usages. Therefore, it is reconstructed in a similar cubage and included into the art archive building. By structuring the façade in the upper floors with wooden slats, it is additionally reminding of the old magazine.

To the inside, the ground floor opens with a transparent entrance and exhibition zone. The entrance of the archive is located clearly visible opposite to the castle entrance. The structure and material of the new façade forms a calm backdrop for various events in the courtyard but let the usages inside be perceived individually as well.

 

Location: Potsdam
Competition: 2009
Client: Brandenburgischer Landesbetrieb für Liegenschaften und Bauen

New Synagogue in Potsdam

Within the open realization competition a new construction for a synagogue in the center of Potsdam was designed on a 1,400 square meter area. The largest Jewish parish is situated in Potsdam and will receive an appropriate sacred space here. The construction site is located within the historical center of the city that undergoes a renovation process. It is aiming at re-approaching to the historic floor plan. While interacting with the surrounding buildings of the historic center, the synagogue forms a significant element and sustainably shapes the identity of the city.

Our design for the synagogue picks up the conditions of the building block and follows the surrounding pattern of four-storey constructions with a mansard roof. The new sacred building takes up on the independent and special position. As a solitary building it receives the urban features of the site. A plastered façade rises above the generously opened ground floor base and shows regularly structured window openings. Developed from the Star of David the metal structure of the southern façade covers the house from the first to the fourth floor. The ornamental structure is integrated into the wall clad with natural stone. Covering the differently used rooms, the ornament emphasizes the overall usage of the building to the exterior and symbolizes the Jewish life within the urban structure.

The open and glazed entrance area in the ground floor welcomes the entrants with the free-standing poles structuring the area. Easily organized, the four floors can be structured into independent usable areas. Directed towards the garden, the foyer offers a generous communication zone and a fluent transition into the garden. It is fenced with a hedge and has a green topography as well as a paved path presenting the access to the garden allowing for privacy, protection and intimacy.

The number twelve pervades many facets of the interior design and stands for the complex symbolism of Judaism. The Star of David on the façade has six positive and six negative edges, six pillars flank the synagogue on each side of the passage in the sacred space. The ceiling is structured by twelve fields.

The entirety of the design is not only experienced from the outside, but also perceivable inside the building.

 

Location: Resse, Lower Saxony
Client: Region Hanover
Construction Period: 2010–2011
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 230 m²

A New Building for the Wetland Visitor Information Center

The Visitor Information Center in Wedemark-Resse, north of Hanover (Germany) raises awareness for the ecological value of the wetlands featuring a permanent exhibition and offering excursions into the surrounding wetlands. The building itself was officially opened in autumn 2011 and makes a great impression with its clarity and transparency.

The front and back sides of the barn-like volume are dominated by large glass façades merging the inside and outside space. A welcoming, light room forms the inside, making it suitable for exhibitions and lectures. The side façades are cladded with wooden struts in a dynamic rhythm. Storage rooms are situated on either side of the building. By positioning the volume on the former course of the road “Altes Dorf” (engl.: Old Village,) it is sensitively integrated into the original image of the place.

 

Location: Schwarzwald
Competition: 2015
Client: County of Baden-Würtemberg

Black Forest National Park

In 2014 the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg tendered a competition for the new visitor and information center. The same year, the area around “Ruhestein” and “Herrenwies” was appointed Black Forest National Park (“Nationalpark Schwarzwald”). The park spreads across 10,000 square meters and is planned to provide a central point of contact for the visitors to inform about the forest, the environment, and the surrounding. Additionally, a second building will accommodate the administration of the park.

The urban-landscape concept of our design refers to the existing “Villa Klumpp” that is under preservation order. We designed a four storey rectangular volume that slides into the topography by using the natural slope; the result is a unique natural experience.

Entering the building via the second floor, a covered path leads towards the entrance and into the foyer offering a first view over the dimension of the terrain and showing opportunities to explore the forest. The building provides a restaurant, book shop, different exhibition rooms as well as a space for offices, events and education.

A cinema, a room of tranquility and a space for temporary exhibitions is located in the two lower floors. The exhibitions as well as the other areas let the visitors independently explore the information center and do not set up any guiding rules.

Surrounded by treetops and the nature, the forest is a special experience. New connections of the interior and exterior create a dialogue between the simple building structure and its surrounding. The volume metaphorically builds a bridge to the nature aiming for the different sensory stimuli. The interplay of the house and the forest results in an ensemble creating a tension between the inside and the outside. This interpretation was formed from the slogan of the national park “Let the nature be nature”. New insights into the nature provide these links between the forest and the house. In its clear form, the building adapts to the surrounding and lets the nature be experienced untroubled.

Local wood is foreseen for the interior construction as another connecting component.  The second new construction – the administration building – is suggested to be entirely wooden.

Another highlight is the canopy walkway. It presents an exciting contrast to the clear building volume. A bridge leads into the trees and let the haptics of the forest be experienced. Thus the visitors can experience the forest even more and be part of it.

The design of the building allows the nature to fully bent and pursues the experience of nature to its full extend. Nothing is forced, nothing distracts. The visitor can fully pay attention to the nature and can get lost in contemplation.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: Liberal Jüdische Gemeinde Hannover
Construction Period: 2008–2009
Work Phases: 1–8
Gross Floor Area: 2.700 m²

Community Center and Synagogue of the Liberal Jewish Parish in Hanover

New Jewish Life in former Christian Church

After two and a half years of planning and building, the new Community Center of the Liberal Jewish Parish “Etz Chaim – Tree of Life” was inaugurated on January 25th 2009. For the second time in Germany, a former Christian Church was converted into a Jewish Community Center and Synagogue. We were commissioned to transform the building ensemble of the Gustav-Adolf-Church, completed in 1968, into a modern Center of Jewish life in Hanover, respecting current energetic and economic requirements and aspects.

The ever growing parish, counting over 700 members, received a place of extraordinary and welcoming charm and positions itself easily into the surrounding image of the city and confident towards society. We managed to create an extraordinary sacred atmosphere. Proportions, material, light, and color scheme concentrate in a tension that intertwines tradition and modernity. The resulting aesthetic absolutely reflects the self-conception of the Jewish Parish.

Architectural and constructive explanation

The spatial and architectural formulation of the main religious room of the synagogue was of major importance during the planning process. The almost square room with 7 meter high ceilings received built-in cabinets that are lit from behind. In combination with the textile glass walls, they cover the room on three sites and focus on the adjoining space.

Slightly elevated by three steps, the room containing the Torah Shrine formulates the center of the religious place. The shrine has a golden aluminum door that is patterned with an ornament developed from the Star of David. This ornament is also found at the entrance gate presenting an axial series of rooms from the main gate to the Torah cabinet. The entire furnishing is accentuated by the ritual elements of the Menorah, Hanukiah, Bimah, Torah Curtain, and Eternal Light.

To achieve the sacred-mystic atmosphere within the synagogue, large glass plates were covered with 36 lengths of adhesive textiles. The 35cm distance between the walls and the surface is equipped with LED lights that can be dimmed as needed. The textile surface refracts the light and bathes the room in a velvety, infinite atmosphere. Spatial dimensions and borders disappear; the ceiling seems to float above the room.

The former gallery of the church was repurposed into a two-storey library and presents the highlight of the conversion. The walls, reaching up to 5 meters, are covered with bookshelves. The 80 square meters reading room has a second level that enables the simple access to the approximately 10,000 books of the library.

A café in the patio of the Community Center, a large event hall, offices and special rooms for the youth as well as the Jewish nursery “Tamar” and the janitor’s apartment complete the complex.

The entire design of the ensemble is led by a simple leitmotif: plain white plastered walls, dark natural stone or linoleum floors reduce the respective room to itself ­– a reserved but characteristic style that emphasizes community life and its people. Doors and windows contrast with an anthracite black color and create movement.

The annually celebrated “Feast of Tabernacles” takes place in the patio plastered with black and white paving. The existing 40 year old chestnut tree was carefully integrated into the outdoor design.

 

Location: Celle
Competition: 1. Prize 2003
Client: Kunst-Stiftung Celle
Construction Period: 2005–2006
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 165 m²

Art Museum Celle, collection of Robert Simon

Based upon a former urban analysis, the concept for the expansion of the art museum follows the historic development of the city Celle. According to the importance of the museum, an independent volume is added to the palace square, constructed from modern materials. It does not perceive itself as a solitaire, yet creates relations to the surrounding ensemble as the Bormann Museum including its extension from the 1990s.

The cube, measuring 10x10x10 meters, takes on the heights and spaces of the building ensemble. The design of the façade does not try to continue the existing architectural elements, but reduces the materials used and creates an exciting tension between old and new. Evenly reflecting glass surfaces – precise and without any special retaining strips, visual attachments or sheet metal coverings – let the surrounding area reflect in the dependence of light and weather conditions. The connectional structure consists of surface, line and volume.

The three meter high glazing, lining up with the street level and covering the entire cube, opens the entrance towards the street corresponding to and contrasting with the sand stone base of the neighboring old building. At the building corner towards the neighboring house, the openings on top of the cube were replaced with clear glass, offering views towards the castle thus staging the spatial narrowness between the extension and the building.

The entire façade was realized bivalve. In the dark, the surface is backlit in white. LED lights allow for a computer-controlled light animation within the entire color spectrum. On special occasions, like exhibition openings or city festivals, the cube can be staged in different color shades and arrangements.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2012
Client: Ev.-luth. Kirchengemeinde Vahrenwald

Church and Community hall in Hanover-Vahrenwald

The parish and church wished to realize a new community hall and free space on their 1,150 square meter property. Nine architecture offices were asked to design and present their interpretation of the church and community hall.

Our design is mainly shaped by the location of the new construction. Directly situated at the main road, the building marks a junction and important element within the urban space standing at a prominent place. The striking bell tower presents the starting point welcoming visitors with its exposed height. The new forecourt easily connects the new and the existing volumes.

Due to the urban situation, a sculptural volume was designed following a clear and powerful form language and presenting a new cultural and spiritual center for the quarter. The shape and proportion of the design is defined by the interior utilization concept. It was parted into two main areas with differentiated heights. The façade is made from clearly defined brick equipped with large windows. Overall, it results in a calm architectural impression enhanced by the choice of material achieving an appropriate timeless design.

The forecourt directly leads into the generous foyer stretching through the entire building connecting the rooms to the adjoining open space. The parameters for the work of the parish form the base for the floor plan and different usages within the building – transparency, liability, comfort and simple orientation.

The ground floor is equipped with the rooms for the daily cultural and social work; the upper floors provide the sacred spaces, rooms for events, the youth and children. This area is connected to the open space by an exterior staircase. The stained glass windows transferred from the original community hall tell a story of the former layers of time and symbolically localize the building at this site.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: Stift zum heiligen Geist
Construction Period: 2013
Work Phases: 1–9
Floor Area: 142 m²

Chapel in the Convent of the Holy Spirit

The neo-Gothic convent building by Karl Börgermann is an incunabulum of the Hanoverian school of brick architecture. By sensitively converting the historic chapel, it is now giving full access to the residents of the home for senior citizens. While folding glass walls allow for a flexible usage offering fully accessible rooms, a new reserved color concept and an ornamental pattern give the chapel a welcoming, light atmosphere. The natural colors of the used materials – light lime plaster, red brick, and dark brown glazed wood – leave the interior with a mark, contrasting to the formerly strong colors from the 1970s renovation.

The chapel itself was – and still is – a sacred room organized on two floors with side galleries. The lower level forms the main space, spanned by the vaulted ceiling. Entering through the main entrance, the altar and the chapel windows draw the attention, being flanked by the galleries on either side.

Prior to the conversion, the convent was missing a community space, being attractive and accessible for everyone. Thus, the idea evolved to develop the chapel as a central meeting space. The fact that many residents did not reach the upper galleries due to steps and stairs was particularly considered when planning the conversion.

 Made from glass and inserted along the main beam on either side of the altar, the partition walls provide a flexible space setting. By opening and closing these walls, the nave can be connected or separated from the side aisles. The partition walls can be folded sideways, thus the spatial atmosphere of the historic, sacred room can be reactivated at any time and on any occasion.

In the upper floor, the balustrades of the galleries were equipped with fixed glass elements. Consequently, the visual relation is maintained, yet the newly created rooms can be used for other purposes. With the conversion of the chapel, the benches and raised platforms were removed and replaced with continuous flooring.  The newly created space is now easily accessible also for inhabitants of limited mobility.

The large windows in the nave as well as the partition walls received an especially designed ornamental pattern referring to the original Christian tradition of the convent. As biblical image, the fish, flower, and bird refer to the elements water, earth, and air – symbolizing and subsuming trinity, the rabbit is portrayed as well.

Direct spotlights illuminate the altar and the galleries punctually and at the same time provide an indirect lighting for the oratory. Two side lights next to the altar serve as candelabras. All luminaires can be dimmed according to the event. Within the side wings additional ceiling lights provide direct as well as indirect lighting in dependence with the lighting in the main area.

With the new color and lighting concept the entire oratory received a fresh appearance. The design from the 1970s on the galleries, wooden doors, and organ with the heavy green and red colors disappeared for the benefit of a reserved design in white and grey with golden details. The discreet color scheme aims to accentuate the glass ornaments and thus its storytelling. Also, the altar was freed from the massive wooden panelling and reconstructed presenting its original state now. Bricks, decoration elements, and pilaster were reconstructed in detailed attention as well, so the original room is shown to its fullest advantage like in Börgermann’s interest.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2011
Client: Ev.-luth. Jakobi-Kirchengemeinde Hannover

Church Jakobi

The church “Jakobi“ with its medieval tower and late baroque nave is located in the quarter of Kirchrode in the south of Hanover and is framed by an ensemble of new constructions. The existing community hall on the associated property will be replaced by a smaller building. Within the competition with seven participants, we gained the second prize for our design.

The church in the center of the scenery forms both the symbolic and actual point of reference for the surrounding buildings. They are arranged in different angles towards the church creating a tension within the spatial localization and make this ensemble a special place. The entrance of the new community center is directed towards the church. In combination with the rectory that is under preservation order, the buildings form an ensemble like a sculptural element connected by the new construction.

Slender paths interconnect the volumes leading through the park-like landscape shaping the new green center. The new community hall follows this main idea – an atrium. A center is surrounded by satellites – the usages group around a center.

The design for the new construction is directed by the inner structure, the shell follows the various usages. A façade from clear, calm brick and floor to ceiling windows in the main rooms generate a dynamic form.

The concept of the building design creates a new connection between the interior and the exterior. Differentiated insights and outlooks generate these connections, visually embedding the new volume into the surrounding.

The floor plan also follows the concept of the atrium with the foyer presenting the entrance situation and admitting natural light. Directly adjoining, visitors reach the rooms of the church council as well as meeting rooms. The church hall is directed south-west, to the garden. At this point, the roof rises up to 4,70 meters making the space open and bright. Offices, storage, and additional rooms adjoin and dominate the south-east side of the building. The library is located in the undisturbed south-east corner. The community hall unites flexible options of use containing the reference towards the surrounding and keeping an eye on the ensemble image.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 1. Prize 2011
Client: Region Hanover
Construction Period: 2013–2014
Work Phases: 2–9
Gross Floor Area: 1.700 m²
Landscape Architect: chora blau GbR
Exhibition Design: Ikon Ausstellungen

Jewish Memorial Ahlem

The historic site

The Isrealite Educational Institution in Ahlem was founded in 1893 for the education of young Jews in landscaping and other practical professions. After the handover of power to the National Socialists in January 1933, the Institution was used to prepare Jews for their emigration. From December 1941, the Gestapo (Secret State Police) used the site as a collecting point for Jews to be deported to the extermination camps in Eastern Europe. In October 1943, the Gestapo headquarter in Hanover repurposed the principal’s house as an outpost and set up an additional prison later. In March 1945, they commanded the murder of numerous detainees on the premises. After their liberation, Jewish survivors realized a kibbutz in Ahlem; the last survivors emigrated to Palestine in 1948.

The new concept

The new comprehensive concept of the memorial unites the central areas of the site and makes the turbulent history perceivable through the visual transposition of the memorial. Central aspect of the concept is its trinity: the principal’s house, the new entrance building and the garden.

The principal’s house, built in 1905, was reconstructed in accordance to guidelines for historical monuments. On all levels, the house was designed for an exhibition space, also featuring class and seminar rooms.

An entrance space was created on the former floor plan of the boy’s house. It consists of a plateau-like forecourt formulating the entrance to the site. Visual axes and entrances were developed in the garden and the entrance hall leading to the exhibition space in the former principal’s house. Glass pillars seem to carry the roof and transfer daylight into the space underneath.

Within the western area of the site, a garden was created commemorating to the former school garden and reviving the place for visitors. The perception of space in the garden is contrasting with the small cabinets in the principal’s house. An arcade in the western area of the garden displays the names of the victims. It offers the possibility to commemorate the dead in peace and quiet.

All three areas are connected by a new central path setting up a relation. The spatial composition compresses the complex levels and layers into one complete ensemble.

 

Location: Göttingen
Competition: 1. Prize 2016
Client: Ev.-Luth. Kirchengemeinde Göttingen

Forum Diakonie and Church in Göttingen

The Evangelical-Lutheran Parish in Göttingen organized a competition in spring 2016 for the development of the new Forum Diakonie and Church (concentrating social welfare work and church projects at one place). Located at the western side of the city center of Göttingen, the project is planned within the area of St. Mary’s Church with its community hall, the Commandry and the remainders of the medieval monastery. The territory is already in possession of the Social Welfare Work (Diakonie) and is planned to be used for a new construction with 2,500 square meters; then offering a space for the Diaconal Association, the Family Education Center, the superintendency as well as the Caritas. The aim of the competition was to design an alternative and optimized concept for the realization and master the different challenges of the area.

We were able to present this alternative concept and therefore were awarded with the first prize. We were inspired by the idea of a building ensemble as a sculpture including the features of the place into the concept. On the one hand, the urban surrounding is dominated by historic substance, on the other hand, heterogeneous new buildings can be found. The area itself unites different scales and layers of time on a relatively narrow space. Therefore, a sculptural volume was chosen to meet the different requirements and challenges.

Starting at the Commandry that is under preservation order the new two-storey volume connects to the existing building. Followed by a building of two to four floors, the ensemble is designed round the multi-storey car park ending at the pedestrian zone, altogether encircling the green space in the center.

The outdoor area is a result of the urban context. On the one hand, it is an attractive starting point towards the city; on the other hand, it presents a generously greened inner yard offering a lawn, small paths, shade-giving trees, and the possibility of different usages.

The roofscape along the edges and recesses presents the identifying image and also marks the exterior with variously different possibilities of use.

The homogenous, warm colors of the brick façade will be accentuated by wooden elements giving the ensemble a unifying but reserved impression. Many insights and outlooks let the building ensemble appear differently depending on the direction.

The requested spaces are structured according to the divergent groups and the different floors. All usages are organized appropriate to the room schedule and offer enough flexibility and space.

 

Location: Milano
Competition: 2014
Client: Expo Milano

Expo 2015 – Azerbaijan

From May 1st until October 31st 2015 the Expo took place in Milan, Italy, according to the motto “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The topics considered tackling the global challenges of the future. Among the 130 exhibitors from all over the world Azerbaijan was also part of the Expo and tendered the design of its pavilion in advance. The great challenge of the design was to fit a volume onto 887 square meters keeping 2 meters distance from the boundaries. Also, the pavilion was not allowed to exceed 12 meters of height and was asked to consist of more than one building. It was also important to the client to receive an open and green design in order to be attractive to visitors.

Incorporating these requirements we designed a unique pavilion that unites the cultural, ecological and economic features of the country in one exhibition. The motto “Fruit of Life. Seed of Diversity” concerns the national fruit – the pomegranate. In Azerbaijan it stands for life and prosperity, its seeds symbolize the national and cultural variety.

Taking a bearing on the pattern of the pomegranate, the design of the pavilion is a repetitive marking covering the structure. Concerning the surrounding stands that also have the topic “food” the design integrates the pavilion into its environment.

The façade consists of a mosaic of round shapes depicting the seeds of the national fruit. Here and there, transparent shapes let the passers-by have a quick glance inside and give an impression of the interior. Some of the screens display videos; others show projections thus creating a dynamic and vivid effect. The overall impression of the organic, semi-transparent structure is openness and a welcoming gesture.

A stage at the main façade offers different possibilities for events and presentations – at the same time attracting spectators and keeping the visitors amused while waiting in line to enter the pavilion.

Inside, a ramp leads through the exhibition and winds up to the roof in a slight incline. While traveling through the building, the visitors experience the diversity of the country and are lead through the different levels by various topics. Starting with geography, history and culture, the exhibition tells of energy, biodiversity and the underwater world as well as culinary features. The bazaar and the restaurant are located on the rooftop; the country can be experienced with all senses here.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 1.Prize 2000
Client: Expo 2000 GmbH
Construction Period: 2000
Work Phases: 1–9

Pavilion “Human“ at the Expo 2000

In 1998 and as part of the topic “Human – Nature – Technology” the entire scenography of the exhibition “Human” was developed in a close cooperation of an interdisciplinary team of architects, scientists, designers and creative minds from the theater.

The scientific exhibition concept was delivered by the German Hygiene Museum (Deutsches Hygiene Museum) in Dresden. Different (sociological, social, scientific, medical) aspects of “being human” were brought into the exhibition as individual modules. Everyday objects and experiences served as scenographic design elements.

A stranded ship formulates the starting point of the exhibition – as a metaphoric image for freedom, failure and hope the image falls apart when entering the scene and the setting exposes itself as what it really is – a plywood construction. Slipping out of the cargo space various steel cubes as carrier modules for knowledge, visions, and the (new) world erupt onto the ground.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 3. Round 2010
Client: City of Hanover

Extension of the “Sprengel Museum”

The “Sprengel Museum” in Hanover belongs to the major art museums of the 20th and 21st century. After the architectural competition, construction works started in 1973 and were then completed in 1989. The edifice is considered as an example for the extraordinary quality of museum architecture form the 1970s and 80s. Now, an annex is planned to give room to the new and larger growing art collection. Located at the northern banks of the lake “Maschsee” and close to the city center of Hanover, it formulates a popular point of interest.

In a simple structure, our design expands the existing building making a powerful statement for the ensemble. Directly located at the lake the museum design functions as a relevant link towards the surrounding city structure.

The building extension is a two-storey rectangular volume that connects to the existing museum along the entire property. By that, the western façade takes on the alignment of the building, thus resulting in the same building height. The major design element – the slope – defines the entire length of the extension ending with a slight pitch in the south giving the building an individual identity. The existing building and the extension are carefully balanced in regards of proportions and masses which results in a powerful new ensemble. The façade is foreseen to be realized with reflecting colored glass that was developed from the existing aluminum plates and represents the rhythm of the museum façade.  By day, it reflects the surrounding landscape; when the night falls the façade can be backlit thus receiving a very own identity.

Contrary to the linearity of the building the transition of the outdoor space on the eastern side is designed with a dynamic slope. It creates a green backdrop for the private properties as well as for the museum’s yard.

The first – and largest – room of the extension is a multifunctional space and can be used for events presenting the end of the route through the museum. At the same time, it formulates a smooth transition towards the new spaces. The different levels of the floors are connected by a sequence of ramps and stairs. A roof construction from translucent glass and open joints optimally diffuses the light into the underlying space. Consequently, the exhibition is in focus and recognizes the appropriate value of the collection.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2015
Client: Zoo Hannover GmbH

Competition for the new entrance and shop of the Adventure Zoo Hanover

The new and symbolic entrance of the zoological garden – a white floating roof between heaven and earth – easily leads the visitors to an authentic journey through the zoo. Right from the beginning, the visitors are emotionally and playfully carried off into foreign worlds.

Framed by the urban zoo quarter (period of the late 19th century) and the deciduous forest “Eilenriede” (one of largest city forests in Europe) the zoo is located close to the city center.

The idea of the floating roof derived from the surrounding: moving between the trees in a park-like atmosphere and into the zoo, finding a friendly guide leading towards the entrance with its elementary functions for the visitors – a floating roof as a new address in a close dialogue with nature. Therefore, the trees will be sensitively incorporated into the building structure. Individual trees will cut through the roof and emphasize the symbiosis between nature and the built surrounding.

The building shape results from the different directions of arrival: whether by foot, bike, car, or public transport the new floating roof is the central arrival point that concentrates the entire functions within the two buildings. Naturally, it offers an easy orientation and an unobstructed view into Sambesi II creating curiosity for the adventures to come.

Starting point for the ensemble is the roof edge towards the intersection – the entrance of the zoo forms a special accent – the guests are welcomed and will be directed towards the entrance. With the café as a central meeting point for the zoo the western building accommodates the counters and ticket offices – easily accessible.

The shop area is planned to be located in the eastern building. The second roof edge is directed towards the parking lot – the visitors will be guided within short distances –with the newly designed forecourt as their first impression.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: Ev.-luth. Kirchengemeinde, Mädchenchor Hannover
Construction Period: 2014–2015
Work Phases: 2–9
Gross Floor Area
: 862 m²

International Choir in the Church “Christuskirche”

By converting the Christuskirche (Christ’s Church), Northern Germany’s largest neo-gothic brick church, the International Choral Center for Girls (Internationaler Mädchenchor) received a new rehearsal space.

The Church was realized by the Hanoverian architect Conrad Wilhelm Hase (1818-1902) as a residence church for George V. The building has been taken as an example for many other churches all over the country. Since 1980, it serves as a monument of national importance. In the future, it will also be important for another reason: the nationwide and unique Choral Center. Therefore, a utilization concept was designed, groundbreaking also for the future development or revitalization of sacred buildings.

A wooden-clad tribune is now situated in the nave of the listed building. Climbing up 15 stairs from the bottom to the organ at the top at six meters, it offers 300 seats. The tribune can also be used as a stage. Underneath, an additional space has been created, measuring 160 square meters and providing a rehearsal space for 100 singers.

Conceptualized as a multi-functional spatial element, the free-standing structure evokes a new perception of the neo-gothic space composition. The church interior is not, as usual, entered through the main aisle, but now leads past the rehearsal space, passing the room on either the left or the right side ending in the main space under the cupola. The view towards the cupola and the chancel reveals step by step. Additionally, the church can also be entered through the re-opened side doors. For further acoustic optimization, the cupola and chancel were supplied with acoustic screens.

The rehearsal space underneath the tribune leads up from 2.5 to 5 meters. Side walls from glass lamellas allow for daylight inside and may be opened if needed. The room temperature is controlled independently from the church and other rooms, a ventilation system allows for fresh air. For perfect acoustics, wall surfaces were designed according to acoustic factors.

On either side of the gallery, four additional tower rooms were reconstructed, each offering a detailed acoustic system and noiseless air-condition.

Numerous supporters were essential for the conversion of the 2.1 Mio.EUR project. Besides the Stadtkirchenverband (Association of Parishes), the International Choral Center for Girls (Mädchenchor) and the Hanoverian parish, many private and public foundations supported the project with significant donations (Wilhelm Hirte Stiftung, Klosterkammer Hannover, Stiftung Niedersachsen, Walter und Charlotte Hamel Stiftung, Rut- und Klaus-Bahlsen-Stiftung). The Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs was involved in sponsoring the equipment. This project is unique as this many foundations in Hanover never supported one project together before. In the future, the parish and the Choral Center as well as many other choirs from all over the world will revive the church.

 

Location: Loccum
Competition: 2. Prize 2016
Client: Predigerseminar Loccum

Library of the Monastery Loccum

Besides various constructional developments and changes during the centuries, the monastery – in its core – has always kept the simplicity and design of its Cistercian heritage. This attitude – refusing to adapt to changing fashions but maintaining a clear view for the overall concept – subordinates any interference to the spirit of the place. This mindset has also been kept when inserting the new library building we designed during the competition in 2016.

The building by J.W. Prendel from the 1990s, situated within the intersection of the Refectory and the former sleeping house (Slaphus) is a very good and gentle reoccupation of the former gap. Yet today, it is not enough in order to house a library as well as being functional for further usage requirements. Prendel’s building is not protected by memorial law; nevertheless, it shows a quality of sensibility and insertion into the complex that cannot be denied.  Therefore, it is integrated into the new concept – the cubage, roof and façade form the testimony of the historical update and present an entirely new library complex.

Including the most prominent elements of the Prendel House is not only due to the acknowledgement of its historical dimension and value, but also the best strategy when it comes to economic and energetic aspects. Directly connecting to the extension, the gable wall of the Prendel House becomes the interior wall in the new entrance area of the library. The new construction is clad with the same stone material as the existing building. Continuous horizontal joints soothe the surface and emphasize the length and serenity of the new building.

The Prendel House and the new annex receive a unifying roof with wooden tiles integrating both parts and presenting a uniform cubage that fits the proportionality of the surrounding complex. Just the roof – the part that faces east – reveals a new motif: a slim gable opening up towards the academy. Not a historical element by proportion and formation, but a clear signal: an opening outwards, out of the introvert monastic complex and a clear sign towards the academy wishing to open up even more and connect.

By designing the new library wing this way, we created an intimate garden in the south bordered on three sides, completed by the Tithe Barn as the fourth wall. Named “Prior’s Garden” this place will be designed by a landscape architect later.

By positioning the public entrance of the library within the protected area underlines the affiliation to the monastic quarter.

The internal main entrance to the library still is the entrance from the Refectory. After removing the deconstructive shelves that reach up to two storeys and restoring the setting from C.W.Hase the room receives a representative entrée and presentation space. The library itself will be equipped with special shelves, cabinets and a comfortable seating area. The spatial position of the furniture is determined by the structure of the vault. With the presentation space the Refectory can also be used for specific events thus increasing the connection between the library and different usages for events.

 

Location: Leer, Ostfriesland
Competition: 1. Prize 2014
Client: Landkreis Leer
Landscape Architect: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftarchitekten BDA

Visitor and Event Center for the Ensemble “Evenburg”

The neo-gothic castle with its outer bailey and the park form the ensemble “Evenburg” – the most significant historical monument in the district Leer in East Frisia. Our design for the requested building extension creates a place that respectively picks up the historic traces. We perceive the historic complex as an ensemble that – with the sensitively inserted extension – is reunited as one entity again.

At the same time, the design interprets the historical context and sets an example giving the ensemble an identity and attracting visitors. The great hall with its extraordinary roof becomes an unforgettable experience for the visitors and is advancing into a prominent landmark within the East-Frisian landscape.

The extension of the outer bailey refers to the original eastern building wing and restores the historical symmetry around the small plaza. The uniform design of the roofs appears as a seamless transition to the existing building structure. At the same time, the extension mirrors the southern plaza to the north resulting in a forecourt.

An attractive address is generated by offering an additional entrance area referring to the opposite church. Directed north-south, the historic part of the outer bailey leads into the park. At the same time, the south façade of the extension with its large windows and glazed roof creates a direct link to the magical scenery of the neo-gothic castle.

The partly perforated wall along the street “Am Schlosspark” refers to the historic edge with its interplay of buildings, greenhouses and wall segments. It defines the starting point of the English park in reference to the historic structure that formerly marked the border of the property and nowadays allows the visitors to peak through openings discovering beautiful views into the garden of the castle. Ending at the north-east corner of the park (former gardener’s home) at a greenhouse the wall finds its dramatic completion.

The historic significance of the former kitchen garden with its greenhouses, as described by Julius Tripp, is supported by the spatial connection – and at the same time reinterpreted. The structure of the new gardens was developed from the context of the historic buildings.

Linearly structured garden areas remind of the greenhouses and allow for a gradual development. The existing paths through the garden are integrated into the concept and form a spatial cooperation between the park and the garden. The landscape architectural settings are sensitively integrated into the historic park and entrance area. The new terrace and play area create a place that reacts to the new requirements thus emphasizing the historic ensemble from buildings and green landscapes in its unique appearance.

 

Location: Wyk
Competition:2009
Client: Resort Südstrand Föhr GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin

Wellness Resort Wyk on Föhr

Within the tourism concept a new hotel is planned at the southern beach of the German island Föhr. The focus is set on a high quality development for a cross-generational target group. The hotel will be characterized by spa activities and a pool with direct access to the beach, a beach bar and a gastronomic offer.

Our design foresees a building ensemble that groups around a green central exterior space. The orthogonality of the surrounding is integrated into the structure respecting the valuable tree population. The entrance of the property leads across the north-western corner and offers the arriving visitors a representative welcome. The three-to-four-floor building spreads in front of the visitors forming a welcoming gesture. The hotel complex is positioned at the south-west property edge and opens up angularly towards the dunes, the beach and the sea. The existing former coach house and property wall are kept forming the boundary to the sea. By integrating two separate apartment buildings, the ensemble represents the transition to the surrounding residential area, yet at the same time, emphasizes their belonging to the hotel. The uniform design of the façades follows the friendly, bright and Frisian impression with its white water-struck brick, wooden windows and coated panels.

In contrast to the linear building, the exterior space is organized and greened like a park. Starting at the central property area, the design follows the vegetation of the transition from the land into the sea. Overall, the hotel has 138 twin rooms, twelve suites and nine junior suites organized across three upper floors. All rooms with a view towards the sea have a loggia, roof terrace or balcony; the rooms on the sides of the building or at the back are available with and without a private open space. The apartment buildings have apartments each offering the view to the sea and have a balcony or roof terrace.

 

Location: Altenbekener Damm 17, Hannover
Construction Period: 2016 - 2017
Work Phases: 2-9
Gross Floor Area: 289 m²

The restaurant “Handwerk” in Hanover

When 2017 started, the culinary scenery in the south of the city received a new member. On January, 12th 2017 the “Restaurant Handwerk” (engl: craftsmanship) opened its doors. Since that day, the team of the managers Tanja and Rüdiger Funke and chef Thomas Wohlfeld provide outstanding food. The concept is simple: down-to-earth products paired with exotic flavors. The ingredients come from the local market and result in a rich variety of menus. On 120 square meters, guests are invited to enjoy both the food and the atmosphere.

Not only is the food special but also the interior design. The kitchen is not locked off but opens up into the dining area letting the guests experience the preparation process. Deriving from the idea of the ingredients, the concept was translated into the design: Down-to-earth, but with a little extra is the overall philosophy.

The new floor-to-ceiling windows flood the room with light and create a great ambience. Light colors of different grey shades can be found on the chairs and the wallpaper. Oak furniture and a wooden floor support the comfortable atmosphere.

The rustic wooden tables set a clear contrast to the fine wallpaper and selected furniture. Grouped light balls and subtle pictures highlight the room. Special eye catchers are the restrooms – men find themselves in nature, women are welcomed by a golden space – the atmosphere is in every detail.

Completed by the terrace in front of the restaurant, the guests are invited to dine outside when the weather allows so. Within half a year of construction period, this extraordinary restaurant makes a new approach within the restaurant scene in Hanover – the rediscovery of local products, prepared on a high level with lots of talent and passion.

For more information on the restaurant go to: www.handwerk-hannover.de

 

Location: Weimar
Client: Mövenpick
Construction Period: 2008
Work Phases: 1–9

Restaurant “Mövenpick“ in Weimar

Weimar – city of famous writers and thinkers – is known to everybody who enjoys historic cities as well as classic German literature. At the square “Am Frauenplan” in the historic old town and close to the Goethe National Museum and the Goethe Park, the restaurant “Mövenpick” is located.

In its concept, the Swiss gastronomy combines its indigenous tradition and the classics of Goethe and Schiller, transports them into the interior design and turns these given aspects to its own advantage. The interior concept divides the restaurant into different space sequences and integrates the authentic Swiss “Mövenpick” into the urban Weimar culture.

The main idea for the restaurant was to translate the ubiquitous classicism into an ornamental imagery. To paraphrase Goethe: “Sameness leaves us in peace, but it is the contradiction that makes us productive.” Thus, different designs were chosen for the various zones.

Consequently, the theme “men’s suit” structures the first sequence with a golden-brown-anthracite wallpaper. The corner next to the entrance is dedicated to Goethe and Schiller, the counter and cake buffet were redesigned and the back corner is named after Anna Amalia.

This zone – in clear contrast to the men – is allocated to contradiction. The keyword is nature: standing for femininity and sensibility, contrasting to the area dominated by the male theme. Here, you can find floral patterns on the wall that are emphasized by gentle colors.

The nature and butterfly themed design leads down to the basement and presents a space – contrary to the general expectations – that is light, friendly and surrounded by natural images. This last space sequence closes the all-round view of the restaurant that successfully embeds the traditional references in its concept.

The interior design is complemented by dark wooden furniture, indirect warm lighting and matching paintings. The board floor was ground, newly glazed and waxed. Quotations and aphorisms of the writers form the Weimar classics were imprinted into the wood. Thus, they carry on the historic trace as a connecting element and regional root.

 

Location: Hanover
Work Phases: 2–9
Gross Floor Area: 920 m²

Hotel Bischofshol

In 2000 we completed the modernization of the Hotel Bischofshol that is located in the city forest “Eilenriede” in Hanover. With its restaurant it presents a popular destination for hikers. The painted window shutters make a modern, playful and fresh impression.

The new three-storey extension connects to the existing hotel; a glazed joint separates both buildings. An inner courtyard can be reached from both buildings as well as from the restaurant.

The 30 new rooms are directed east towards the city forest. The interior was chosen according to the existing three-star-category.

Besides the extension, the existing hotel rooms, the restaurant and the reception were modernized as well. Furthermore, the entire exterior area was reconstructed.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: private
Work Phases: 1–9

Conversion of an office building/Pelikanviertel

A former manufacturing building from the 1990s was converted into two two-storey studio buildings with a living space in the top floor. Overall, the building has nine units, three in commercial use and six used as offices.

This usage was planned to be extended due to the acquisition of the adjacent unit. Therefore, we combined both units, converted them, and added connecting doors in order to be suitable for the daily work in the offices.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: ahrens & grabenhorst
Construction Period: 2014
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 390 m²

Conversion of Office Rooms in Georgstrasse 38, Hanover

For our new studio, we were looking for more space and a communicative working environment. Also, the increased number of employees made it inevitable to move into a larger space. An additional factor was to relocate our work from the periphery of the city into its center.

Thus, we converted a former bank floor in the heart of the city into our new office space.

We found the ideal location in the Georgstrasse – one of the best addresses in the city. Directly opposite of the city’s opera, which was built be the renowned architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864), we found our new site.

The original building, in which the office is situated now, has been badly damaged during the war. It was back in the 1980s that an extension was added to the ground floor still featuring the original historic façade of the building. Yet, the extension very much corresponds to the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Something that was also true for the office rooms inside before they were converted.

We could undertake the comprehensive conversion, after the bank had moved out. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst and Roger Ahrens, heads of the architecture office said: "Our aim was to find an appropriate design vocabulary for the 1980s building and to create a communicative working environment for our employees."

The internal staircase of the building now leads employees and visitors into a black box, forming the dramaturgic start to the newly created architecture studio. The exceptional entrance situation connects to a generous corridor, presenting the office logo in white letters standing out like a relief on the longitudinal wall.

A broad glass door opens up towards a lounge, offering comfortable seating and serving as the office’s retreat. Transparent curtains, a Persian carpet and two mushroom-shaped lamps help create a relaxed atmosphere. If desired, a projector shows pictures or presentations to inform customers about projects.

The studio is laid out in an open, circular arrangement around an inner courtyard with the main working space being located between the lounge and the management area. This room accommodates the employee’s work stations in order to allow for a more transparent, internal communication.

In addition to the natural light from the glass atrium, linear pendant lights create a constant and pleasant working light. The white color of the PU floor covering walls and furniture forms an aesthetic unity in the diversity of zones and is only interrupted by the twenty meter long fresco attached to the entire wall. We have designed the 1,625 colors of the RAL D2 design system onto the wall, so that they form a colorful artwork and act as an inspiration for the project work. It is the first RAL design wall in the world of this kind.

The elegant meeting zone is located between the courtyard and the management area. The room can be separated from the remaining working area with custom-made acoustic curtains (by Création Baumann, Switzerland). Two large white conference tables and white leather chairs in combination with three adjustable steel pendant luminaries generate a focused atmosphere for meetings. The working places of the PR department and the management directly adjoin this meeting area.

A generous window front provides plenty of daylight. Magazines, catalogues and publications of the offices are stored in a large bookshelf covering the entire wall. The shelf, as well as all work tables and the sideboards, providing much storage for project files and work materials, were custom-made following our design.

Another area for retreat is the kitchen, located in a small indentation and thus separated from the working areas. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the white bistro tables, chairs with transparent sitting shells in a 1950s-design and the intimate lighting accentuations of the pendant luminaries in combination with the large pop art wall print. To sum up, there is nothing left of the 1980s chic of the bank’s service hall.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: Aurelis Real Estate

 

New construction in Hanover / Anna-Zammert-Strasse

Within the interplay of the buildings on the construction site of the former freight depot, a square, four-storey volume formulates an entrance situation towards the property.

On approximately 8,200 square meters gross floor area the design foresees a mixed use building complex. A nursery with an outdoor area in front is planned within the western part of the ground floor. The further spaces are grouped around an inner courtyard so that the floors receive natural light and ventilation.

Two independent staircases present the required emergency escape way. The entire building is freely accessible.

The construction pattern on the façade allows for a flexible construction pattern of partition walls. The respective floors are divided into four units that can individually be rented and allow for a customized interior construction.

The building has a basement providing a parking space for 57 cars. In the eastern and southern property area, further car parking facilities are planned, structured by trees.

Realized with load-bearing exterior and interior walls and in solid construction the ceilings are conceived with reinforced concrete. The entire staircases take on the bracing of the building.

Corresponding to the noise protection survey, measures to protect from the traffic noise (especially rail traffic) are implemented into the concept. The exterior façades are designed with faced brickwork. Triple glazed windows are installed according to the required noise protection values. On the façades towards the inner courtyard, the amount of windows is raised, therefore, the opaque window surface is planned to be clad with light metal panels.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. round 2015
Client: City of Hanover

Urban triangle – the new headquarter for a railway company

The realization competition for the new construction of an office building for the railway company “Deutsche Bahn” concerns the revaluation of the area between the main train station, the bus terminal and the shopping street “Lister Meile”.

For the 15 business units the company plans to create 855 new jobs. For the new building, the internal concept of a “Flex-House” had to be incorporated into the architecture of the site and the urban surrounding in order to achieve a consistent urban image.

Therefore, we combined tradition and mobility. The design translates the mission statement of the company into an urban element with a respective identity, thus giving it solidarity and dynamics at the same time.

By designing six floors for the new office building, it takes on the classical and simple lines of the city. Within this composition the accents of the façades find an answer to the counterpart in the urban surrounding.

The ground floors as well as the first floor form the base of the construction; the upper floors slightly protrude, create spatial edges and an accent at the building corners.

The concept of the interior follows the set requirements: A light and friendly communication zone framed by green accents welcomes employees and guests. Green “yards” each of different character provide space for events, seminars and the gastronomy, creating intimacy and concentration for the respective use. A dynamic path network reliably leads into the upper floors. The warm roofs are extensively greened.

Flexible spatial structures and quality awareness when choosing the materials guarantee the durability of the building. Functionality and aging quality set the premises for the economical and ecological handling of existing resources.

In front of the main entrance a public square is created leading into the adjoining areas: the train station, bus terminal, Lister Meile, tram stop, shops, pedestrian zone and city center.

The materials were chosen upon the aspects of sustainability, durability and reusability. The interior design is supported by a differentiated light and color concept. The current energy standard (EnEV 2016) is achieved.

 

Location: Göttingen
Competition: 1. Prize 2009
Client: EBR Projektentwicklung GmbH
Construction Period: 2016 - 2018
Work Phases: 1–5
Gross Floor Area: 22.600 m²

The gate into the city – Groner Tor

It is a great chance for the fallow area in the middle of the city of Göttingen. Until the end of 2018, a modern office and hotel complex with an underground car park will be realized.

On the 7,700 square meters property between the main train station and the city center, the bank Sparkasse and the company “Gräflicher Landsitz Hardenberg” will let be project be realized by EBR – a project development company.

350 of the current 600 employees of the bank are working on 10,000 square meters. The new hotel by Carl Graf von Hardenberg has 120 hotel rooms as well as meeting rooms and a gastronomic offer. By this construction measure also the location receives an important support – being the neighbor of the zoology of the University of Göttingen. Within the next years it is planned to realize a science museum here.

With its analogue building volumes, the design concept refers to the existing surrounding. The new construction takes on the resolution of the zoology building and opens two differently proportioned inner courtyards. By designing the building as a block pattern and setting an emphasis on the edge, the complex is distinctively staged and presents a gate situation with the existing buildings. Starting point of the building is a five-storey corner at the prominent crossroad conferring a recognizable image and an urban accent.

The building volume stretches along the street “Groner Landstrasse” and into the deep in different heights. The design of the façade supports the urban motif through the use of a few, high-quality and sustainable materials. A continuously facing from grey-beige waterstruck brick unifies the sculpture and presents a subtly nuanced texture. The regular window openings structure the building volume and follow the rhythm of the façade thus creating an urban situation of an appropriate tranquility.

 

Location: Hanover
Client: County of Lower Saxony
Construction Period: 2010
Work Phases: 1–9
Facade Surface: 2.200 m²

Building 3403 of Leibniz University Hanover

The 6-storey building of the university has a flat roof and was built in 1964, yet the fire protection technology needed t be updated within the “stimulus package II” (Konjunkturpaket II) in 2010. The façade was renovated according to energetic standards as well.

Corresponding to the requirements of EnEV 2009 (German Energy Saving Reputations) a new insulation and thermally decoupled aluminum windows were installed. All floors were equipped with a heat recycling system and were finally coated. The windows at the southern side also received an external solar protection.

Inside, a glare protection was attached to the windows. The horizontal 105 meter long window hinge of the five upper floors are interrupted by irregular spacing. Aluminum frames embrace two to six windows thus structuring the façade.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. Prize 2014
Client: Aurelis Real Estate

Southern Railway Station Hanover

Due to its location close to the city center and very good infrastructure as well as the green surrounding, the southern quarter (Südstadt) of the city Hanover is one of the most attractive residential areas with a high recreational factor.

The former railway area is situated in the eastern part of the quarter and is planned to be developed for office and residential use step by step. The gradual revaluation of the area is achieved by realizing rented and freehanded flats. Therefore, the northern corner of the area is redeveloped for this purpose. During a competition with eight participants, we won the second prize.

At the intersection of different city structures, the new construction is mediating between the areas and – in a modern way – reinterprets the surrounding that consists of residential and industrial buildings. With its four, five and seven floors the volume reacts to the surrounding building heights and – with its triangular shape – to the building site. The rounded edges serve as a point of reference towards the open space and emphasize the sculptural formulation of the solitary building.

Also the floor plans of the apartments, whether rented or freehanded, follow the course of the property surrounding the quiet and green, inner courtyard connecting the two-storey passage way with a path in the west of the courtyard.

The architectural design results in a grid-like façade structure from solid brick and presents a conceptual approach to the development. Within this grid, there is a second, slightly recessing, façade layer with large windows and loggias. The inner courtyard is plastered, thus creating a friendly atmosphere. Additionally, the yard is covered with various plants and trees. On the one hand, this concept supports the positive image; on the other hand, it protects from unwanted views and presents a high quality of the semi-public space.

The different apartment typologies correspond to the location and direction of the building. The rented flats are located in the south-west building wing. An underground car park is accessible for all units – residential and office – and can be reached via the street “Am Südbahnhof”.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 2. round 2013
Client: Gesellschaft für Bauen und Wohnen Hannover mbH

Working near the city center/ Klagesmarkt

It was planned to create stronger links within the area around the district square near the center of Hanover. The development of this location is paramount for the qualification of the place, situated between the city center, green areas, the cemetery “St. Nikolai” and various residential quarters. By activating the area – currently used as a parking lot – two goals are reached simultaneously: On the one hand, the area receives an additional value and provides attractive, urban living; on the other hand, an unattractive space sustainably obtains special spatial qualities.

Our design for the office building presents the starting point of the new ensemble. It is an important element within the terrain between the city center and the northern city district (Nordstadt). Different building heights support this tension and define the space with five floors at the south-west building corner. Towards the south, the building raises up to seven floors receiving an architectural structure and sculptural composition. The volume occupies an expressive, confident posture radiating into the surrounding. As a dynamic composition of buildings it functions as a model for the developing quarter.

The prominent façade with colored brick on the lower side imparts an individual character and visually strengthens the volume in its position. A partly protected space is created by the overhanging upper floors thus broadening the sidewalk and creating a public square.

The foyer is accessible via the main entrance on the south-west side of the new construction. This generous space representatively opens up along two floors subsequently leading to the offices. Great importance was set to the flexibility of the office space allowing for an individual and customized design. The sixth floor provides a conference space; the roof of the fifth floor obtains a roof terrace offering a restful place for the employees.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 1. Prize 2011
Client: City of Hanover
Construction Period: 2013–2015
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 9.900 m²

Ada-and-Theodor-Lessing Adult Education Center, Hanover

The new school ensemble of the Adult Education Center in Hanover consists of four elements. The three existing building components of the former School for the Hearing Impaired were closed by a new building attached to the existing volume, thus forming a cube. It then results in a roofed patio that can be used as a meeting space for gatherings or events. The patio presents the lively heart of the ensemble.

The main entrance is located at the south façade opening up to the historic old town. The forecourt is equipped with benches and trees providing shade, offering a relaxed atmosphere with urban flair.

The attached building volume inhabits a clear form language and gently fits into the existing construction. The entire school was restructured spatially and updated to the current energetic standard.

In general, the new Education Center offers 5,500 square meters usable space, 26 class rooms, and a lecture hall with roughly 280 square meters. An exercise room, a teaching kitchen as well as a café complete the program of the school. The café does not only serve students, but is also open to the public.

The Education Center opened this new building in 2015 after construction works of two years. It offers classes for everyone interested in further education. With its four locations in Hanover the Center offers courses in various languages, IT, political education, culture, and many more. For over 50 years, it is part of the city and a key institution when it comes to public training facilities.

 

Location: Göttingen
Competition: 1.Prize 2005
Client: City of Göttingen
Construction Period: 2006–2007
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 2.600 m²

One building – two schools / Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium

The high school „Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium“ is the first European school in Lower Saxony, the primary school „Hölty Schule“ is situated on the same property, directly adjoining. In 2005, our office won the competition to realize a new construction that can be used by both schools.

The simple construction, completed in 2008, is positioned between both schools at a slope and therefore has two entrance levels. Towards the primary school, the building has four floors, towards the other school three floors, as it is situated three meter higher. The main entrance opens into the foyer and canteen in the ground floor, the class rooms of the high school are located in floor one and two. The class rooms for the primary school can be found on level -1 and are accessible through an additional entrance. All class rooms are directed towards the green surrounding. Thus, the corridors staircases and side rooms are looking towards the schoolyard.

The construction of the façade refers to the changing colors of the surrounding birch trees. By freely quoting a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, the differently colored panels interpret the light tree trunk within its dark horizontal markings. While the exterior image is calm, the interior design is colorful.

Each floor has an individual color scheme: While floor -1 appears in a brown-orange, the colors develop with each floor of the building along a detailed color scale. In combination with the horizontally structured façade, the color concept of the interior results in a coherent appearance.

 

Location: Hanover-Misburg
Competition: 2. Prize 2015
Client: City of Hanover

New construction of a canteen for the school center in the Hanoverian quarter Misburg

We won the second prize for our design that is aiming at constructing a canteen providing a central place to go for lunch. Four schools within the school center in the quarter Misburg surround the new construction that is planned to function as an event space as well.

The school center in the east of the city is shaped by buildings from the 50s and 70s. The designed canteen building is positioned within the existing park and forms a solitary building. The pavilion blends into the tree population of the surrounding and appears friendly and welcoming with its light, reflecting skin.

The open structure offers various possibilities of use. Therefore, the canteen can flexibly be used as an event space – at the same time representing the identity of the schools.

The original paths were reconstructed in order to shorten the distances for the pupils of the different schools. This measure creates new, differentiated areas like the forecourt of the canteen offering a terrace and a teacher’s garden.

The canteen is directed towards the green space, the foyer presents the daily communication area. The building shell consists of metal that creates a special appearance but also protects from the sun and other weather conditions. The delicate mesh structure of the surface lets the light flood in and paints varying patterns onto the floor.

 

Location: Hamburg-Bergedorf
Competition: 1. Prize 2014
Client: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
Construction Period: from 2017
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 2.200 m²

High School “Luisen Gymnasium“ in Hamburg

The high school, a full-time school with 900 pupils, will be extended by a new construction of 1,835 square meters. We won the realization competition for this project in 2014.

Until 2019 a square construction will be realized on the area surrounded by buildings under preservation order taking on the status of a solitary building. The three-storey building has a clearly defined structure picking up the elements and material of the neighboring façades and conceptually continuing it.

A public square in front of the building is newly designed and offers room for various usages. It is planned as a shared space also usable as parking lot, communication area and green space. Additionally, it provides a direct link towards the forest.

The ground floor is dominated by the foyer, canteen, library, and common rooms. The two upper floors contain the class and music rooms. They are accessible via the central staircase and offer various views into the green surrounding. Much light ensures a comfortable learning atmosphere. The entire building is barrier-free and accessible; an elevator provides access to the upper floors. The roof of the new building is realized as a green roof also linking it to the surrounding.

 

Location: Nordhorn
Competition: 11 | 2018
Client: City of Nordhorn

A nursery in Nordhorn

By designing the play area of the nursery, the image of a „house in a garden“ is pursued. The organic and landscape forms explicitly contrast to the clear structure of the building cube. The arrangement of the exterior space corresponds to the room schedule of the nursery.

The main entrance is accessible via the street “An der Schleuse 1”. The waiting area along the north-east side allows for an open structure, fluid transitions towards the main area and simple taking children from and to the nursery.

Along the north-west side, a kitchen garden and generous outdoor area adds an extension to the kitchen, dining area and nursery.

Clearly visible play areas are located along the north-west area presenting a spacious and adventurous garden. An obstacle course opens up starting at the central terrace connecting to the further play areas.

A special feature is integrating the existing tree population and staging it: informal games like a climbing hill can be found in the “enchanted forest”. In interaction with the slightly shaped topography – the “Himalaya” – a sequence of spaces is created that animates children to play freely.

This landscape intervention aims at creating a place that develops a versatile learning and playing landscape by providing differentiated offers – evolving into a place that loves to be discovered by children and reacts to the current needs of an activating free space.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: VOF-procedure
Client: City of Hanover

Children, School, Sports – a new building

The state capital Hanover planned the new construction of a nursery for six groups, a primary school and a gym including a tribune on a 12,900 square meter property in the south of the city. The existing school from the 60s was planned to be removed for this purpose.

The surrounding is shaped by the typical housing block pattern. Our design that gained the second prize in this competition is oriented towards this style, but tends to be rather hybrid – a design appropriate for this quarter.

The functional assignment of the new construction follows the development plan. Both powerful volumes – the school and the gym – are positioned at the street front presenting a clear form of the block pattern. The nursery with its single floor is positioned in the background limiting the schoolyard without throwing shadows and giving room to the buildings that confidentially stand in the front. The square-like enlargement at the street corner Birkenstrasse/ Obermannstrasse emphasizes the urban features of the place.

The square at the entrance presents a generous entrance sustainably shaping the square and its surrounding. Existing trees are integrated into the design thus offering green accents. Long seating elements invite to pause and sensitively define a boundary towards the street.

The schoolyard lies – shielded – within the building ensemble between the gym and the primary school, limited in the south by a vertical school garden. A fence with a hedge supports the boundary.

A new path clearly defines the entrance area to the nursery offering a comfortable meeting point with seating elements for parents. The open space is facing south and is protected by trees. A fence is limiting the area here as well.

The design is aiming at achieving a unified impression integrating the volumes into the structure of the surrounding. At the same time, it presents a definite independence. By using uniform materials the ensemble is recognizable, but has its own identity. A red, almost dark purple brick color was chosen for the façade that can also be found on the public buildings of the surrounding.

 

Location: Langenhagen, Hanover
Competition:VOF-procedure2015
Client: City of Langenhagen

A Children’s House in Hanover

A competition was tendered for a new nursery in the north of Hanover (Langenhagen-Kaltenweide) asking for a design providing room for 80 children. Additionally, the building should also be used by the adjoining day-care center and primary school allowing for a flexible use of space. Therefore, a multi-functional floor plan had to be designed in regard to fair requirements for each age group. The designated plot of land has 1,600 square meters and can be built on in consideration of 960 square meters of play area.

Based on this information, we designed a rectangular structure that is shifted and parallel towards itself on the almost triangular area optimally taking advantage of the property shape. By positioning the building at the south-west border the space is organized into exciting areas forming a differentiated exterior space. At the same time, the desire of the client to keep the tree population is fulfilled as well.

The façade revives the motif of the rural barn architecture. By using clay brick for the gable roof and gable walls the volume receives an impression of simple robustness further enhanced by the natural materials.

Besides the group rooms for the children, the building provides a foyer creating a generous entrance situation, a café, a movement space and rooms for the staff and homework. An elevator provides access to the second floor.

Within the building, easy to follow paths facilitate the orientation. Much light and various views into the green exterior emphasize the friendly and comfortable atmosphere.

While planning the nursery, only environmentally friendly materials were considered for use.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 1. Prize 2011
Client : Region Hanover
Constriction Period: since 2016
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 7.800 m²

Learning Center for Social and Emotional Development

The school is the largest learning center for social and emotional development in Lower Saxony. The design for the new construction is a three-storey building that is dominated by glass and air inside thus becoming light and clear.

Two covered atria and a green inner courtyard ensure a friendly and light atmosphere. Large windows let the light flood the rooms and allow for calming outlooks into the green surrounding. Transparent, glazed staircases simplify the orientation. Located on the same property as the existing learning center, it marks the prominent and calm scenery with the large plane trees behind – without affecting the tree population.

The three-storey and 110 meter long school building also marks the transition between the broad nature and the artificial schoolyard. By its independent position on the property it narrows the way in along the street thus presenting a gate-like entrance situation. In combination with the existing trees the ensemble presents a modern learning campus with a clear urban link and own identity.

The intertwined spatial structure creates a comfortable atmosphere. Following the contrast of “entirety and personal support”, “community and individual”, “agora and cella”, “hard shell and soft core”, the school demonstrates strength and liability to the outside, yet it is precise and light inside. Nature and landscape are incorporated into the building design as a pedagogically concept.

 

Location: Friesoythe
Competition: 06 | 2018
Client: City of Oldenburg

School Elisabethschule in Friesoythe

The school „Elisabethschule“ was required to be of high quality from every angle – with regard to function, economy, design, and ecology. The old and the new are now connected – the interior and exterior as well as the outdoor space follow the current demands and types of learning, thus, expressing its aesthetic design and the basic idea of the content-based concept.

The urban position – freshly thought

With the planned extension of the school evolving into a modern and appropriate learning center it confidently inserts itself into the urban context. Within the design concept, newly defined edges mark the public space along the northern part, at the same time connecting the sidewalk and parking space to the existing gym. The architectural, urban posture thus forms the design strategy for the development of a holistic concept with a respective identity. A school –freshly thought – that is understood as an all-day place of living and learning.

Extension and existing buildings

The design expressively refers to the overall ensemble of the school – the new annex formulates the continuance in the best sense: structures, typologies, and qualities of the existing ensemble are analyzed and inserted into the building masses within a consequent distribution. Necessary interventions and partially conversions in the old building are planned in order to translate the objective of a modern ensemble.

Schoolyard and entrance – be visible!

The area of the new school is accessible via the kiss-and-go-area in front of the complex. This forecourt is separated from the public space by a building structure of gates and storage rooms, thus, guaranteeing the most possible security when arriving and leaving the school property. Circular islands with wooden seats, a green center and newly planted trees pose a high quality atmosphere at the same time offering a waiting zone for the pupils. The clear structure and direct connection to the main entrance ensure a smooth passing of the traffic when picking up children from school. The waiting area for mini busses at the street prevents a traffic jam on the school area. The forecourt becomes the connecting element and a central arrival zone for the pupils.

Schoolyard and exterior space

By developing a high quality outdoor area and inspiring learning place north and east of the new school building, a play and learn area opens up, sensitively inserting itself into the existing structure. Framed by valuable trees, an exciting sequence of spaces is created that presents various play, sport and retreat areas, also realized in different materials thus haptically following the chosen differentiation.

 

Location: Hanover, Laatzen
Competition: 2010, Acknowledgement
Client: City ofLaatzen

Center for Education and Health in Laatzen

Within the urban restoration measure for the center of the city Laatzen, the market square is the location for the new Center for Education and Health. The building concept foresees to include the urban environment and to integrate two construction sites in the surrounding of the market square.

The market square itself is bordered by the town hall and multi-floor apartment buildings; neither does it define an open space nor does it present any urban orientation. Our concept develops a multilayered design strategy for the center and its close surroundings.

The Education and Health Center will be integrated into a “Green House” occupying the space as a solitaire and at the same time structuring the market square. The “Green House” is a garden and presents a contrast to the existing urban cityscape. Lushly greened pergolas with a lively play of light and shadow create a special atmosphere that invites to sojourn and relax. At the same time, it strengthens its surrounding with an individual identity. The room schedule is organized in a simple and functional volume, built in conventional solid construction. Like that, it forms a proper base for a sustainably, ecologically oriented building.

In a second development stage, the house will be completed by a media center and a library. The third stage includes the construction of an eight storey building parallel to the street, thus formulating clear edges. In the ground floor, the market square will be revitalized by shops and gastronomic offers, the upper floors provide apartments.

 

Location: Wolfsburg
Competition: 3. Prize 2012
Client: City of Wolfsburg

A new annex for the vocational school in Wolfsburg

An extensive restoration was planned for the artisan’s district in Wolfsburg in order to gentrify the area. Therefore, the city of Wolfsburg tendered a competition with 25 participating architecture offices to modernize and restructure the vocational school that is situated within the district. The existing building was asked to be restructured, completed by a new annex. Also, part of the project was a new design for the schoolyard and entrance area. The competition aimed at finding a high-quality and functional design for the school and the concomitant revaluation of the quarter through a newly designed free space.

Our design is a consequent continuance of the existing building structure. The annex takes the height, axis and façade structure as a given pattern thus doubling the building volume. The clearly designed floor plan of the existing school is used for the new annex as well. The upper floors are organized simply and offer rooms for teaching, teachers and further offices. Contrary to that, the ground floor is designed openly and flexible with various possibilities for different uses, e.g. community activities. The annex – as well as the existing school – follows the clear proportions and presents a powerful gesture. The motif used for House A – an all-round glazed base with strongly emphasized pillars – is integrated into the design following the basic concept.  The rooms and functional areas are organized as landscape islands and can be rediscovered in the exterior design. Insights, outlooks and different perspectives offer a transparency welcoming pupils, teachers and visitors.

The vocational school develops into a city component with an own identity connecting the project to the structure of the surrounding. Between the new construction and the school a generous distance of 17 meters allows for an east-west crossing towards the schoolyard and adds another outdoor area to it. Yet, the newly designed forecourt presents the beginning of the ensemble. Accentuated by rows of trees the plants support the visual experience of the cubic volume presenting a meeting space, communication area and arrival point. The very pronounced exterior design is open to future developments offering a space for various usages and opportunities. When transitioning towards the gym soft hill shapes and a green lawn dominate the area. Different outdoor furniture like benches, a stage and a deck emphasize the free space design; colored spaces for different usages support the central idea. The consistent form language promotes the idea of a “free space” and creates a place of variety and high quality for pupils, teachers and residents.

 

Location: Hanover
Competition: 1. Prize2011
Client: Carl Schumacher GmbH
Construction Time: 2012–2013
Work Phases: 1–5
Gross Floor Area: 9.200 m²

Eight Nurseries in Hanover

In cooperation with MOSAIK architects we realized eight fully accessible nurseries in a passive house standard. The buildings are situated in eight different locations within the city of Hanover, offering 745 places for the children. They each feature an individual color and material concept.

In 2010, the county capital Hannover launched a procedure for realizing the nurseries. The respective locations are marked by gardens and landscape, inspiring the designers to the central theme of “house in a garden”.  The results were two building types: the building with a stacked storey and the villa, both harmonizing with its surrounding. Large, clearly structured windows form a rhythm that defines the entire building. By individually designing each house, the nurseries respectively receive a unique appearance.

The foyer in the center of the ground floor forms the meeting and waiting point for the parents. Direct visual axis towards the dining and multi-purpose area as well as the way to the staircases, the lift and the outdoor space support the communicative meaning of this space. Within the building type “villa” an accessible glass floor visually connects the foyer to the upper floor offering a play area. At the same time, it presents the spatial focus of the second level. A wooden construction surrounds the glass square and provides a storage space for the personal possessions of the children.  A generous skylight offers an unobstructed view of the sky above thus resulting in a sunbathed and protected play area.