Quartier am Wald

Metropolregion Berlin-Brandenburg


Countryside Estate Regeneration

Our client had purchased a run down estate in the forest zone on the outskirts of Berlin. The forest environment and historical context called for an exceptional project. If designed with the right sensitivities, it would become the secluded retreat that the regional and international business elite would like to be part of. 

Our preliminary analysis showed that to attempt to save any of the old structures made no economic sense due to their poor technical condition. Moreover, their low architectural and historical significance made the decision to start from a blank site easier.

Balancing Act

The Client brief called for approximately 50 thousand square metres of net sellable area – mostly in large units that would each be allocated with a substantial loggia or terrace area. The project would be low rise with a limit on the number of units per building (to ensure exclusivity) – and needed to be entirely pedestrianised to retain the forest retreat feel. Even though functionally all prospective users would require upwards of 2 parking spaces per unit – which had to be accommodated in structured parking. The masterplan was developed allowing for discreet roads to semi-basements shared between blocks – well disguised by smart use of landscaping features. To determine the optimal level of density the various options proposed by our team were set out on site and during site visits with the Client the correct balance of density i.e. building mass vs distance between units was agreed to.

Modular Design – Variety Disguised by Modularity

The residential buildings were designed along modular principles – to allow for a semi-customised feel. Potential residents were allowed to determine the area and layout of their unit (within the options provided by our system) – which through modularised design would then be integrated into the final building plans. To ensure the feeling of exclusivity several façade typologies were developed that could be applied to the building types across the site – giving the feel of an organic development – rather than one that came out of a considered mathematical process.

Decentralised Amenity Design – Sustainable Feel

The Client held a strong belief that the elite searched for highly contemporary forms rather than the regional style frequently found in suburban health spa developments. Hence the design was modern in form when this was combined with natural materials applied to internal finishes a unique product was created that was in many way sustainably sensitive. 

The final touch to the equation was the provision of numerous amenities within the project territory. Spa, restaurants, children’s club and centre, mini market as well as extensive sports facilities. All accessed via the well-structured network of pedestrian routes. To ensure the residents could host their guests comfortably – a services apartment function was located in one of the blocks – with the full-service offering ensuring the community was able to enjoy the pleasures of outside visitors without it impacting on their home privacy.

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