GRAFT has planned a new residential quarter adjoining the River Havel in the centre of Oranienburg, north of Berlin. The 15,500 square metre site is bounded to the south by a side-arm of the river, to the north by the traffic-free Louise-Henriette-Steg, and to the east by the Lehnitzstraße from which the residential underground car park is reached.
Situated between the old town centre and the train station, the site offers an optimal combination of proximity to local amenities, attractive waterside residential qualities and good transport connections. Linear residential blocks along the Lehnitzstraße and the Louise-Henriette-Steg frame the existing four warehouse buildings of the former wharf and three new freestanding buildings. The expressive projecting and receding elements of the facades lend the blocks a meandering appearance, breaking down its size into smaller volumes that give definition to the surrounding space at different scales. Two gaps in the structure establish a visual connection to the central courtyard and the historical grain warehouse as well as the axis leading to the main railway station.
The 37-metre-high “Speicher” – a large grain warehouse at the centre of the project – is a monumental landmark at the heart of the complex, rooting it in the cultural history of the town. The design of the surrounding residential quarter embeds it in the overall composition.
Aligned with the warehouse are three freestanding, four-storey waterside buildings whose open frontages offer views over and access to the green spaces along the waterfront. A promenade provides access to the waterfront, in turn underlining the permeable, transparent and open design of the residential complex.
The residential quarter comprises a mix of 264 apartments of different sizes ranging from two to five room apartments with flexible floor plans and balconies facing the waterfront. The otherwise restrained and carefully placed building volumes are fronted by a staggered composition of loggias of varying depths and widths that give the buildings a vibrant appearance and each apartment a unique, individual character. The central green space serves as a complementary communal public area for all residents and is directly accessible from the ground floor apartments.