STACKED HOUSE - BERLIN 2013
The Weissenseer Spitze is traditionally inhabited by artisans and the building fabric consists mainly of houses with workshops attached. The two modern artisan dwellings which make up the house are composed of stacked Interlocking spatial volumes on 4 floors each. They expand and contract on each floor according to the demands of each family in a constant interplay between sliding and retracting, action and reaction which is accommodated by a wandering concrete core.
The walls are robustly constructed from exposed insulating ceramic blocks, their eventual performance intricately linked to later gradual finishes on a micron scale. Coatings are applied to reveal rather than hide the ceramic beneath. Thus the exterior is coated with an organic damp-proof membrane and the children's rooms brightly painted rather than hidden beneath plaster. This robustness contrasts with the fineness of the triple-glazed aluminium windows and frames which create deep interior niches and lend the ceramic blocks a hitherto undiscovered nobility. They bring even more light into the interior and with it reflected images of the outside world and also serve as seating and shelving.
The clients are creative professionals who intervene in the spaces on a large scale with their own self-built elements. The challenge was to create spaces of a quality robust enough to not only allow but embrace these interventions while retaining their own unique qualities. Spaces which are loose enough to absorb change, clear enough to maintain their identity.