Shared Living in Berlin
Due to the number of employees rising in Berlin, the housing market is being upgraded. In cities like London and New York serviced apartments or shared living models are long established housing standards for urban nomads and now they are becoming increasingly interesting for the capital of start-ups.
SEHW Architektur has now designed such a building in the district of Moabit, Berlin. It is described as a living machine, feel-good house, nest and community hub made of wood.
Speaking to Premier Construction magazine, Prof Xaver Egger from SEHW Architektur said: “There was no brief, no design manual or anything like that. We turned the design of the site completely upside down and developed our own idea of future living and densification of the cities.”
The compact five storey building stands as a courtyard building in a typical Berlin block. It is orientated in building depth and cubature, on the adjoining neighbouring buildings, but projects out from the existing buildings through its modern façade-design made of anthracite-coloured plaster, floor length windows and metal balconies interconnecting pairs of residential units.
The buildings supporting structure is designed as a partition, with the supporting façade made entirely of wood. The only exceptions are the foundation and the core. The residential units of the ground floor are barrier-free; courtyard and outdoor areas are designed as green areas with a playground and provide areas for bicycles, prams and wheelchairs.
The ten residential units offer solutions to be able to live fully equipped ad-hoc. For the digital nomad, fast connections are important, not only to data networks, but also to social ones. Therefore, adjacent to the fully furnished private rooms, there are also high-quality communal areas which invite communication and facilitate the start in a foreign city. The private rooms are primarily designed for sleeping and working, while all other uses are designated for the common areas. Special features such as a large community kitchen for cooking and eating together create a feel-good atmosphere. In the communal area on the ground floor, next to the laundry room, is a large dining area for parties, as well as a lounge bar and home cinema. The house has state-of-the-art communication and security technology.
Xaver added: “We have received a big and positive reception – not only in the architectural environment or architectural magazines, but also in the economy and culture sections of well-known German newspapers. As it is a rather small project, we were not expecting such a big and positive reception. Now we are the number one studio for innovative residential concepts, as well as prefab experts and are gaining even more perception and more residential projects. Our small and almost hidden black house is getting more and more important for our studio.”