The Philosophy of Symbiosis

How to deal with a site that is narrow, left over and abandoned, yet with high potential? How to make the given difficulties and advantage?
What functions are needed, how can we create a building that is a benefit for the neighbourhood, that fits in gently and strenghtens the identity of the whole area?
Diverse functions reflect the diversity of the area, of each individual, directly or indirectly related to the usage of this building. The volume envelope is defined by its context, the adjacent buildings and gaps, roof lines and heights. The interior program is defined by the implimentation of the areas retail, living, recreation/play and since there is a strong need for kindergardens, the social facility should be a kids house.
The locations of those areas follow the needs to stengthen each component, to optimize its usability and quality. Directly accesable from the streetlevel are the retail areas, the pars and the semi-public first floor of the kindergarden. Above the retails area, the apartmenst are stacked. By lifting them up, we can locate them closer towards the non-shaded area, away from the busy street.
The kids house is based on a classical kindergarden layout, but according to the narrow plot and urban condition, its functions are stacked on each other, following an order from semi public to private and contemplating spaces. The connection stairs and ramps are a main feature of the kindergarden, the allow the children to expreience a spacious and exciting play area where the children meet and play together, using the slides or platforms to whatever they immagine.
The Apartments are facing north-south and created as open as possible. Some walls can me moved which allows the romm setup to be altered according to the changing needs of modern families, couples or single households.
The first level of apartments are single-storey units for the elderly with a short access to the lift and staircases. Connectinng corridors on the north facade allow access to the units. Further up, the apartments are duplex or triplex units with double height spaces, galleries and huge openings that creat light flooded apartments, each unit different like the individuals living in them.

By extruding the footprint, a long and narrow volume is created. The volume gets manipulated by the adjacent sloping roofs and street corridors, cutting the volume to fit into the context. These cuts allow an increase of sun exploitation and roof balconies. The main entrances to both building volumes is located in the gap. From there people can access the apartments and the kindetrgarden. Two more entrances are locate on both ends of the volume. They allow access to the shops and to the groundlevel / playground area. Access corridors is located on the north facade. It connects the apartments with a minimal usage of space. A corridor is needed on every second fl oor because of the duplex layout of the apartments. They conect to the corridor on one fl oor, the other is fl oating through the building from north to south in an open layout. This creates light fl ooded apartments with double floor height in  some parts.



All images, drawings and text © PHILIPPOHNESORGE 2011

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