As part of the development of the northern Ahrensfelder Chaussee on the outskirts of Berlin, GRAFT planned a new residential district that will provide space for up to 2,200 people in 750 housing units. GRAFT developed three housing typologies that refer to the site’s green, rural surroundings: peripheral, field and square developments. A mix of symmetrical and asymmetrical façades creates coherence while still maintaining a sense of variety.
The design process paid special attention to the specific qualities of the site, drawing inspiration from its natural surroundings, for example Lake Gehresee and the public park nearby. GRAFT’s design for the new urban district builds on this potential, giving the Auenflügel quarter (English: meadow wings) a specific urban character infused by nature. The circular arrangement ensures that there are numerous pockets of nature within the district.
The urban figure comprises two distinct wings with clear peripheral and core developments. The housing typologies are grouped into peripheral, sectional and square developments, with the buildings on the periphery forming an urban edge, their interiors oriented around an inner garden. The green areas within the Auenflügel are interlinked and every house has its own small front garden for added privacy. Split-level floor plans create flexible yet private spaces and allow daylight to shine deep into the houses via the patios.
Within the Auenflügel, the houses offer a mix of regular and individual configurations. A modular system was developed for the roof construction to enable flexible extensions, and the different types of construction help create the impression of differential growth as opposed to instant uniformity. This flexible mix of types and configurations creates a sense of unity through diversity.
The road and path network of the Auenflügel district combines road infrastructure for car access with a network of small pedestrian and cycle paths that pass through the entire neighbourhood. These small paths incorporate places to sit and enjoy the surroundings or interact with neighbours. The streets and paths sew together the entire district, and provide pedestrian access to its shopping facilities and kindergarten.