Built in time for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, its architect, Walther Wickop, responsible for German settlements in Poland, was no stranger to the idea that architecture can embody an ideology. Of this the clients were deeply aware. Protected extensively as an historical monument, our many proposals were refused by the authorities. Thereupon our infiltration was covert using furniture, fittings, colour and rethinking how one uses and moves through spaces as architectural devices. We used resolutely modern materials and coatings in bright colours, reused and bound unrelated existing pieces introducing unexpected insertions in existing elements. A well-behaved music room becomes an Oriental lounge, a sitting room a central workspace and translucent elements reveal their contents. The Olympic House has at last rediscovered the playfulness that games should inherently have.
A prototype which provides private, acoustically protected rooms for people forced to live in emergency quarters. It consists of 12, 14 or modules of folded cardboard, cable binders, rope and fabric, all of which have been classified as B1-Fire-retardant. It can be carried, assembled and adapted easily without the use of tools, by the people who occupy them. The whole system arrives in complete in a flat pack, can be taken by the people to their new abode and costs a fraction of those currently used. If it is no longer needed it can be stored flat or recycled with paper waste. It has been shown in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, The Austrian Parliament, Schloss Glienicke and is currently in discussion for deployment on a large scale nationwide.
This area is traditionally inhabited by artisans where living, working and growing food co-exist. The new dwellings are no different, composed with 4 floors of stacked Interlocking spatial volumes accommodated by a wandering concrete core. Built with just one layer, exposed insulating ceramic blocks rendered apparently fragile. The energetic performance is intricately linked to natural ventilation, sunlight and later gradual finishes on a micron scale. The special aluminium frames surrounding the windows create deep interior niches, casting light reflected images of the outside world deep into the house and serving as seating and shelving. The challenge was to create spaces of a quality robust enough to absorb the large scale interventions of the clients and still retain their architectural qualities.
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