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Project typ: Masterplanning Residential


Location: Berlin, Germany


Time: 2014


Status: in Progress

Falkenberger Aue


Significance of the contract

The contract for the development of the area by the street “Falkenberger Aue” is trendsetting and exemplary in many respects. The five-year period of the contract allows much expertise and planning certainty, which guarantees a sustainable planning for a project of this scale. Besides, the developer accepted a B- plan- change, so that the greatest possible quality can be delivered to the inhabitants. The landscape architects were incorporated into the design processes from the beginning. This holistic approach generates an added value which is benefiting for all partners on a long-term basis.

Over the next few years, a settlement originates within the development north of the street Ahrensfelder Chausse. As part of the Berlin outskirts, it will offer space for up to 2,200 people in about 750 house units.


Genius loci and reuniting nature and culture

During the drafting process, it was of major importance to explore the special qualities of the place at first. Because the existing green areas were the strengths of the place, e.g. the proximity to the lake Gehrensee and the close public park, the natural powers were significant factors in the draft. Even though the almost rural character on the edge of the city strongly influenced the design, the draft for the settlement had to transform the place and set own artefacts in order to create its own original identity.


Thus, from the strengthening of the prevalent potential, and the addition of a clear urbanistic appearance, a residential area is finally created which masters the balancing act between culture and nature. The qualities of the place are not just seized on, but are serving an identity development, adapted and strengthened.
Despite the given architectural density, the Auenflügel (engl.: meadow wings) is dominated by its green surrounding. Due to the circular arrangement, the quarter offers a maximum surface for nature. The concept itself fits into the tradition of a garden city by Bruno Taut, a field which has hardly been touched architecturally for over 70 years. The concept for “Auenflügel” mantains an early modern tradition which opposes the aesthetic lack in the suburbs. For this purpose, intelligently structured and suggestive staged common rooms and road systems are exemplified, as well as a sustainable green concept adjusted to natural processes. Because the planting of the whole area already started before construction, it served as a crowd-puller, marketing tool and “negative space” for the slowly growing “positive space” of the houses.


House typologies Auenflügel: Unity by variety

In a visible way, the urban figure is developed within the two wings with a clear peripheral and core development. Typologically, the groups of houses are divided into peripheral, sectional and square developments. The buildings on the periphery form the city’s edge were primarily developed towards the garden. Beside the strong interlinking with the green areas inside the Auenflügel, every house has a small front garden which protects against views. Also inside, split-level floor plans provide for maximum privacy. At the same time, daylight shines deep into the houses via the patios.


The sectional development inside Auenflügel distinguishes mainly for its designed comparison of regularity and individuality. Following the quote of Blaise Pascal about diversity and unity, symmetric and asymmetric themes were seized on which create a connected overall picture of the residential quarter (“Plurality which is not reduced to unity is confusion; unity which does not depend on plurality is tyranny”).


Accordingly, a modular system was developed for the roof to enable variable enlargements. Finally, due to the different constructions, the settlement appears to be grown. Moreover, new views arise on the private terraces. Generally, the development on the square typologically corresponds to the sectional development, on account of its central situation, however, it rather follows an urban character.


Another urban characteristic of the settlement Auenflügel are the road sequences. In particular, the stratifications of the different paths allow the occupation of the urban space by the inhabitants. A necessary street development exists for cars, however, only 30km/h zones and play areas. Moreover, the quarter is covered in a network of run- through paths usable for walks or bicycle rides. At last, the path system exists of the so-called “dung ways”, small paths which offer rural retreat and communication places. The streets, ways and paths bring together the whole quarter. Besides, the river matrix of the road system with organic scenes breaks through the right-angled, almost cartesanic logic of the constructions. According to a painting of Piet Mondrian relations and abbreviation possibilities are portrayed, which admit individual ranges of movement. Additionally, a shopping center and a Kita will be realized near the settlement.