HOUSING IN WOOD
For a site in Hamburg, at Baakenhafen -Hafen City, we developed a scheme for a highly sustainable housing blok for ‘Baugruppe Tor zur Welt‘. The project brief asked for an innovative, creative, sustainable and family friendly wooden building for 28 households. View to the river Elbe, noise influence of the harbour activities, flexibility of the floor plans up to the last moment, were to be integrated in a building with a maximum use of wood as the main building material. In collaboration with Frantzen et al we developed an 8 storey high wood-building with its own characteristic identity.
The question for an explicitly wooden building confronted us with an unexpected contradiction. Whilst Germany is known for it’s position on the forefront of sustainable design, regulations are still conservative and limit the use of exposed wood construction in building interiors. If wood can only be used hidden behind cladding, it loses one of it’s main functions as a characteristic tactile building material which needs no additional finish.
We dealt with this by focussing our efforts for on a maximum efficient use of wood as a construction material for the interior, while the wooden identity of the building is expressed on the exterior. Here the quality of wood is used to create intimate individual outdoor spaces, that combined form the collective expression of the Baugruppe’s ambitions.