The Terrassenhaus congregates different public and private uses: Co-working spaces, a café, a yoga studio as well as exhibition spaces and ateliers of different sizes. The building almost entirely covers the building site. Its form has maximized green spaces through the creation of terraces and roof gardens. The terraces are connected with stairs, creating the vertical distribution and fire escape system. All units can be independently accessed from the outside, thus creating addresses for the users and also enabling different mixtures of working and living as well as private and public functions. The interior structure of the building is very basic in order to be flexible and open for different uses and interiors over time. Two vertical shafts contain elevators, the technical systems and a bathroom for each of the 4 units per floor. The elevators connect the units directly to the street. These vertical cores contain connections for additional installations like kitchens or sanitary facilities. This means the interiors can be arranged by the different users in complete freedom. Moreover, the users can enjoy and participate in the different aspects and community facilities the building offers, ranging from roof gardens to guest ateliers or a rooftop sauna.
Located in Berlin-Wedding, the multi-use atelier and gallery building combines different forms of usage. Although the area has no binding land-use plan, a regulation from 1958 only permits the construction of commercial buildings. Yet at the same time, an ongoing grandfather clause also ensures that the area remains essentially a residential zone. In this context, the special status allows for a new building to be constructed, which serves as a commercial building but could become a residential site in the future. The project engages with the unique qualities of the location.
The building aims to provoke a typological update of the adjoining buildings: a typical 1900’s dwelling and a climbing hall. The site faces onto the suburban railway track, offering a wide view towards the south. The building’s levels are staggered, creating a ziggurat-like shape with six metre deep terraces on each floor and a maximized semi-public space in the ground floor, which otherwise would have been sealed off. Shifting the lower floors to the south creates a 7.50 metre deep covered sidewalk that functions as a semi-public plaza in front of the gallery space on the ground floor.
The depth of the units varies from 26 metres at ground level to 11 metres at the highest level. In this sense, the program of the units is aligned with the floor depth and subsequently the amount of light. Two external staircases at the back connect the different floors via the terraces, aiming for a more common and public use of the exterior spaces by the users, leading to a shared public roof space. Neither roof nor patios have extra drainage. Therefore, all surfaces are slightly tilted to drain the water like a cascade onto the garden. Built entirely in concrete, exterior and interior spaces are perceived alike, enabling the users to open their apartments through ceiling-high doors towards the terraces.
The fit-out standard follows the logic of indeterminacy: only the technical connections and sanitary facilities are pre-installed. The latter is part of the two concrete cores, which also house the elevators, reaching from the ground level to the roof top, as well as all technical services. The 5.7 metre stepped profile creates units of different sizes. Besides the gallery, a co-working space with meeting rooms, rentable offices, an artist’s residence and ateliers are in the building.