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David Kohn wins Berlin apartments contest

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David Kohn Architects (DKA) has won its first major commission outside the UK - a new 6,720 m² residential complex in Berlin

Working with local practice Nord Studio, the Camden-based firm saw off Barcelona’s Arquitecturia Camps Felip in the invited competition to design the £15.5 million commission south of the Tiergarten park.

DKA was the only British studio on the 10-strong shortlist, which included Valerio Olgiati, Aires Mateus, Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Monadnock, and 2017 Serpentine Pavilion designer Francis Kéré.

The 75-home Lützowufer project for German developer Euroboden will deliver a new landmark building overlooking the Landwehr Canal at the western end of the Mitte district close to Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie and Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonie building.

According to DKA, its seven-storey proposal was inspired by the Elizabethan Burghley House (by Robert Smythson, 1587) in Lincolnshire and includes bay windows and a landscaped roof terrace.

The development contains a range of ’different-sized homes’ including studio apartments, garden maisonettes, 2-3 bed apartments and a series of penthouses - all of which will be dual-aspect.

222 cbp luetzowufer 3 view roofterrace forbesmassie copy

222 cbp luetzowufer 3 view roofterrace forbesmassie copy

The architect’s view

The proposed development draws upon the site’s historic context, and seeks to mediate between the very different architectural languages of nearby buildings: robust 19th century industrial buildings and a sequence of Postmodernist blocks.

[We] were also inspired by the links between German and British architectural culture, explored in Herman Muthesius’s 1905 Das Englische Haus which details the particularities of British homes such as the diminutive architecture of bays, inglenooks and a concern for a building’s silhouette.

In response, the seven storey building is characterised by a zigzagging principal façade, where a combination of pressed metal panels and terracotta tiles is used to provide rich textures and fine detailing. This lively façade creates a series of crisp bay windows to each apartment, as well as a set of enlarged bays highlighting the main building entrance and community event space.

References to architectural history – specifically Burghley House and what John Summerson described as a ‘prodigy house’ - continue inside with open fireplaces in many apartments. A shared picturesque rooftop garden is a playful communal space, bristling with terracotta chimneys and lanterns that reference both English prodigy houses and the chimney of a nearby factory building, and bring new rhythms to the roofline when viewed from a distance.

Facade panel [DKA]

Facade panel [DKA]

Facade panel [DKA]

Project data

Architect: David Kohn Architect, London in cooperation with Nord Studio, Berlin
Team: David Kohn (DKA), Jan Liebe (Nord Studio), Benjamin Boehringer (DKA), Adam Perkins (DKA), Tom Whittaker (DKA), Daniel Norman (DKA), Kate Ivinson (DKA)
Client: Euroboden GmbH, Munich
Structural engineer: Price & Myers, LondonM&E consultants:
Skelly & Couch , London
QS: PBM, Berlin
Façade consultant: Montrésor Partnership LLP
Graphic Design: Mark El-Khatib
Landscape: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, London
Acoustic: Müller-BBM
Project manager: Jo Topel
CAD software used: Vectorworks, Rhinoceros 3D
Gross internal area: 6,720 m² (GEA minus 4 per cent)
Gross external area: approximately 7,000m²
Construction cost: £12.5 million - £15.5 million gross
Construction cost per m²: £ 2,214 net (per m² gross area)

222 cbp luetzowufer 4 sketch facadedk copy

222 cbp luetzowufer 4 sketch facadedk copy

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