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Bakema Tower

Berlin, Germany
1 of 8

The Berlin house was only realized after 1959, but the layout and the model view were showed in the catalog of the Interbau of 1957. The complex offers a split-level system characterized by its internal structure and external effect: the floors are not simply stacked on top of one another, but are divided into half- Which are connected in the middle of the house by inner staircases. The supporting scaffold consists of parallel bulkheads standing transversely to the longitudinal axis. All the vertical units are placed in the center of the house: the main staircase and the elevator, the inner staircases of the larger dwellings to the right and the left, the escape staircase at the northern end, and a large solar loggia at the southern end Meeting place for the house residents and as a play area for children was provided.

To understand the innovation in terms of costs and effort, the corridors are placed every third floor in a specular way. With this arrangement the larger apartments receive rooms on either side of the house, the first level into which the entrance leads, always the kitchen and the living room with loggia, the second the bath and two bedrooms. Also, on the east side and the west side of the stairs block, the apartments are shifted, so that the one-room apartments appear alternately on the east side and on the west side, each framed by the two sleeping floors of the larger apartments, their living rooms With loggia on the other side of the house.

The house is not only complicated to describe, it is also complicated to build, and so it is not surprising that it, although with great delay, could only be realized under the special conditions of the Interbau and not for a previous similar project on 1957-1959 for Netherland's settlement. For the residential housing projects of the van den Broek and Bakema offices, which were built shortly afterward, in the early 1960s, in new settlements at Hengeloo and Leeuwarden under the leadership of J.M. Stokla, a project manager of Bakema office, the scheme was modified and simplified.

Relation with Le Corbusier's Unit

The idea of opening up several residential areas from a central aisle and thus reducing the traffic areas of the house in favor of the residential areas is derived from Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation. By dividing them into half-floors, which are not part of the scheme of "Unite," Stokla was able to pass through each of the three apartments to both houses while maintaining the desired moderate square meter of 92mq per unit. The smaller Unit in Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation in Berlin (61 square meters), on the other hand, end at the central wall and thus receive only light from the east or west. Only the larger maisonettes (100 square meters) on the top floors comprise, in addition to the entrance level, a unit from east to west. Stokla, therefore, sought in his design a combination of the advantages of conventional line construction with those of the Unite d'Habitation. The colored loggias made of small mosaic tiles in blue, yellow and red articulate casually the striking layering of the projectiles: on the east and west sides every color appears only once; On the front side - in each case assigned to the next higher loggia row - twice. The continuous rows of windows with a uniform vertical division form a light, paratactic element in the facade composition, while the deep, transversal loggias convey the larger bar of the living units on the facade.

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archibald, November 1st, 2019
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