Institut
für
unkonventionelle,unkonventionelle,urige,unterhaltsame,ungezogene,unfassbare,ultrageschmeidige,umfassende,unschädliche,unwiderstehliche,unglaubliche,unbeschreibliche,urbane,umweltbewusste,unbeschwerte,unerschütterliche,unwirtschaftliche,unerwartete,unverbesserliche,ungewöhnliche,unvergleichliche,umwerfende,unkomplizierte,unverbrauchte,unnachahmliche
Baukunst
EN | DE
CONTACT
ABOUT US
PROJECTS

_I
I_
¯I site plan
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Baugruppe D2


Newbuild of a residential and commercial ensemble for a housing cooperative.

Location: Donaustraße 2, 12043 Berlin-Neukölln

Year: 2018 - 2022

Team IFUB*: Johannes Krohne, Bernhard Kurz, Miguel Lopez, Mikus Druviņš

Together with:
Winfried Härtel / Project development - www.winfriedhaertel.de

Client: Baugruppe D2

In press: Bauwelt 05/2023, ARCH+ No.251 2023, CUBE Berlin 02/2023, Baukultur DAI 5/2023, Vanity Fair Italy No.45/2023, architektur.aktuell No.12/2023, Architektur Berlin / Building Berlin No.13 03/2024

Baugruppen

are a popular approach in Berlin when it comes to creating new living space. Several parties join forces, pooling their common interests and finances, to build one or more houses. Baugruppen combine the advantages of a condo (privately-owned units) with those of a housing cooperative (shared-ownership of communal spaces). The beauty of this model? The future owners are involved in the process from day one and can take an active role in the project’s concept and design.
_I
I_
¯I site overview
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The plot

at Donaustraße 2 was only partially built on when the former occupiers, a workshop and garage rental company, went out of business. The site was then sold to a cooperative of several young families. Planning the new development proved complex, to say the least. The elongated plot included one small area facing the street that lent itself well to building, but also a large, narrow courtyard that also needed to be utilized for living space. The rising cost of building land and an already stretched housing situation in Berlin meant that maximizing the use of the space was a fundamental requirement.
_I
I_
¯I street view front building
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The designated building plot, situated on a small T-junction at the southern end of a long street, the Pannierstraße, formed a gap at the edge of the block that needed to be filled according to building regulations. To respond to this specific location, the new

front building

was designed with a striking pinnacle, visually echoing the streetside gables of neighboring buildings and balancing the varying eave heights of adjacent ones to the left and right. The facade, with its punctuated windows and contrasting base, further contribute to the building’s harmonious integration into the urban space. The first floor is comprised of two commercial units to revitalize the neighborhood. The colorful glazed clinkers, reminiscent of Neukölln’s facades of the 1970s, also provide a visual reference to the plot’s rear building.
_I
I_
¯I rear view
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
To the

rear

of the front house are generous, south-facing balconies, which hint toward a special feature: all residential floors of the front house are designed in such a way that they can be used as either one large or two smaller apartments.
_I
I_
¯I Convertibility front building
Plan: IFUB* I¯
Provisioning for future

conversions

is an essential factor in the design of durable and long-lasting buildings. That is why the apartments in the front house have been designed so that they can be easily divided or combined at a later date.
_I
I_
¯I bird's eye view garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The

garden house

in the courtyard was built onto the existing fire wall and staggered in height to comply with the legally designated setbacks. The south and east facing decks were designed as terraces to provide maximum outdoor amenity space.
_I
I_
¯I fire escape
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
As this view from the front house to the garden house demonstrates, even fire walls can look good! Fire safety regulations require that the open

fire escape

on the front of the garden house be surrounded by non-combustible materials. By incorporating this measure, it was possible to avoid designating space for fire department access, so the whole courtyard could be transformed into a garden. Bicycles and wastebins can be stored in the basement, thus keeping the area uncluttered. The fire-proof, colored clinkers appear to spring from the front building’s ground level to the facade of the garden house, spreading right across it and literally reaching for the sky.
_I
I_
¯I garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Volume restrictions imposed by building regulations meant that the floor plans in the garden house are significantly more heterogeneous than that of the front house. From the compact, 1.5-room apartment to the 6-room maisonette, the

mix of living spaces

ensured that the individual wishes of all the new residents could be catered for. Another highlight: instead of a balcony, the apartments on the first floor each have their own small garden.
_I
I_
¯I wooden facade
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
One special feature of the build is the use of different materials on the facade. The front house is clad in

larch wood,

which, due to its broad format panels and jointless installation, compliments the uniform plaster facades of adjacent buildings, while at the same time showcasing the rather unusual timber sandwich construction method. White-glazed wooden windows and galvanized steel flashing complete the facade.
_I
I_
¯I Clinker brick slip facade
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The

glazed clinker brick slips

were sourced from a local manufacturer near Berlin. A cheerful, brightly colored design on the base of the front building and fire wall of the garden house becomes a unifying element to both buildings.
_I
I_
¯I aluminium facade
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Non-combustible cladding was not only necessary on the walls surrounding the fire escape, but also the entire facade. Therefore, in addition to the clinker brick slips, untreated (and hence 100% recyclable) corrugated

aluminum

sheeting was selected for the rest of the facade. Wood was approved for the outer wall itself, as well as balconies and windows, allowing the front and rear building to speak to each other not only via the window design, but also through the material. Colored fabric awnings complete the picture.
_I
I_
¯I garden and front house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Three facade materials at a glance: Larch panels on the front house, aluminum on the garden house and colored clinkers on both buildings. The windows, featuring the distinctive cross grid, were installed 45cm above the ground and hence serve as possible

windows seats.

_I
I_
¯I courtyard
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The gardens along the length of the courtyard house are assigned to the adjoining apartments. The central

inner courtyard

between the garden house and front house is reserved for the whole residential community and features a directly accessible common room – a flexible space for a variety of uses. The private gardens deliberately lack fences and are partitioned off using planted boarders – which, like all other the other plants used in the plot, bear edible fruit. Moreover, every possible vertical and horizontal surface has been planted up, though it will take a few years for these plants to reach full bloom.
_I
I_
¯I View from the roof terrace
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
To promote a sense of community,

roof terraces

on both buildings can be accessed and used freely by all residents – and offer fantastic views. From the roof terrace on the front house, you can see all the way down Pannierstraße to the Görlitzer Park.
_I
I_
¯I Terrace garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
At the southernmost end of the property is the largest maisonette, with a wonderful, sheltered

terrace

that will become even greener as the plants get established. Visible in the background are nesting boxes for swifts.
A glance at one of the garden house’s first floor apartments at nightfall highlights the beautiful transition from reflection to revelation, visible through the large wooden

lift-and-slide door systems

featured in all the apartments.
_I
I_
¯I passage
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Providing the option to combine or split the apartments at a later date came at a (ecological) cost. Because the walls on each floor are offset, timber loadbearing ceilings and walls would have been more complex and expensive to build, especially with regards to sound-insulation requirements. For this reason, a

hybrid construction

was chosen, combining a solid structure with wood-based enclosure. The solid structure can been seen in the central passage, where the exposed reinforced concrete provides the robustness necessary for the building’s most frequently used space.
_I
I_
¯I Central passage
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Quick and convenient: automatic doors in the front building provide access to the

central passage.

The slightly sloping hall leads bicycles, strollers and mobility aids effortlessly past the colored mailboxes directly to the parking area in the garden house basement. Thanks to Berlin's regulations for providing ample non-motor vehicle parking, underground parking for cars was not considered necessary – and indeed, was for many reasons not desired. This not only saved CO2 and financial costs, but from the outset, was the sole factor enabling the green courtyard.
_I
I_
¯I Staircase front building
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The staircase in the front house

is a reduced, solid construction, without any unnecessary finishes. Reinforced concrete and unrendered sand-lime brick, painted white, characterize the look. The elevator doors bring tones from the clinkers on the facade into the house and provide splashes of color on all floors.
_I
I_
¯I Ceiling above the entrance corridor
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The building services concept

is based on an exhaust-air heat pump that generates domestic hot water from the exhaust air of the apartments and provides passive air exchange via external air vents. The system is combined with district heating and photovoltaic modules on the roof to support the operation of the heat pump.
_I
I_
¯I Living room and balcony front house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The balconies

on the front building combine the advantages of loggia and balcony. They provide both a sheltered area protected by side walls as well as an airy space extending past the facade, through which more light can fall on the balcony.
_I
I_
¯I Living room and terrace 4th floor garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The interiors

of the apartments were co-designed by the residents. For the ceilings, there was the option of either a plastered finish or inexpensive, exposed concrete. Residents were also free to choose their own flooring, tiles, bathroom and kitchen fittings.
_I
I_
¯I Interior staircase Garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Residents were also able to call on us for support when designing their interior spaces. Seen here is the

interior staircase

designed by IFUB* for one of the maisonettes in the garden house.
_I
I_
¯I Kitchen ground floor summer house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
In the same maisonette,

the kitchen

was designed to match the staircase. As a healthy material for living spaces, spruce coloured with pure linseed oil paint was used for the fixtures.
_I
I_
¯I Detail staircase
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The staircase in detail:

spruce finished in colored linseed oil meets oiled oak. Complimenting the design are oak recesses for use as grips.
_I
I_
¯I Kitchen ground floor garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The second maisonette in the garden house features another beautiful

kitchen,

this time designed by the owner, which also harmonizes perfectly with the apartment’s green staircase and stair rail.
_I
I_
¯I Kitchen GF garden house
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
In a smaller apartment in the garden house, the kitchen was designed in a similar way. Purposefully placed

mirrors

enlarge the space.
_I
I_
¯I Kitchen 1F front building
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
IFUB* also designed a

kitchen

in the front house. For optimal use of space, the kitchenette extends around the corner from the entrance hallway and into the living area.
_I
I_
¯I handle detail
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
A hallmark feature of IFUB* designs: thoughtfully designed

handle details

– here in two different finishes. This image shows a colored recesses in the oak fronts.
_I
I_
¯I bath
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯

The bathrooms

were just as individual. Starting with a standard tile available in many different colors and formats, a multitude of designs was possible. These 10x30cm tiles in three color gradients were laid vertically.
_I
I_
¯I bathroom with shower
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Another

bathroom with shower

features gradients of a different color.
_I
I_
¯I bathtub
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
For this resident, 10x10cm tiles were used to create a colored niche for his

bathtub.

_I
I_
¯I bath
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
Other

tiles

were also available upon request. Here, gray tiles were combined with small, brightly colored niches.
_I
I_
¯I Shower and bath
PHOTO: THOMAS STRAUB I¯
The residents could also incorporate their own ideas for the bathroom layouts and fixtures. Here,

shower and bath

with matching black fixtures were combined with plain white wall tiles and a terrazzo floor.
_I
I_
¯I Erdgeschoss/Souterrain
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Floor plan: ground floor

_I
I_
¯I 1. Obergeschoss
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Floor plan: 1st floor

_I
I_
¯I 3. Obergeschoss
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Floor plan: 3rd floor

_I
I_
¯I 5. Obergeschoss
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Floor plan: 5th floor

_I
I_
¯I Dachterrassen
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Roof terraces

_I
I_
¯I Längsschnitt
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Longitudinal section

_I
I_
¯I Querschnitt Vorderhaus
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Cross section: front building

_I
I_
¯I Querschnitt Gartenhaus
Plan: IFUB* I¯

Cross section: garden house

_I
I_
¯I Plan and implementation
Photos: Thomas Straub, Renderings: Mojoimages I¯
A little fun at the very end,

Renderings vs. photo

What are the pictures before construction and what are the pictures after construction?
_I
I_
¯I