Designed by the german office of UTArchitects a historic farm estate was converted into a training center for carpenters and restorers run by the Restoration Center Berlin.
Building on the past
Located in the southern part of Berlin, the estate was founded as a plantation in the 18th century. The farmhouse was built on the foundation of a demolished building during the 19th century and was expanded twice later. During GDR times, the building became run down, the barns were demolished and garages were built in the work yards.
The basement of the farm house was dried out, the roof and facades have been refurbished. Along with the restoration of interior wood fixtures, some original wall and ceiling paintings have been exposed and restored.
The demolition of garages allowed the new workshop building to create the original u-shape of buildings around the yard. Rooms for administration and training classrooms are located in the farm house while practical training is held in the workshop building.
The workshop is designed as a building which opens up towards the yard and the farmhouse. The external geometry of the workshop strongly references the old farmhouse but is lower in height, thereby allowing the farmhouse to remain recognised as the lead building of the ensemble. The new building retreats to the background and appears as an open shell with the interior connecting to the yard.
The facade and roof of the workshop form a continuous surface creating an enclosed space containing the two levels of workshops. The sheltered exterior, machine hall and workshops in the mezzanine are separated by glass walls allowing communication between the trainees and offering views into the yard from all corners of the building.
While the facades towards the farmhouse and the yard are fully glazed, the street facade is predominantly closed with only vertical window slits. On the yard side, the metal roof cantilevers up to four meters in order to create sun and weather protection as well as for sound protection for the neighbouring apartment buildings. The area under the cantilevered roof can be used for temporary storage, as an extension of the workspace, for training lectures or for breaks during the warm weather months.
The workshop has a low cost wood frame construction, structurally reinforced by floor beams and stairs. All materials are of simple origin -facade and roof surfaces have corrugated metal sheets on the outside and painted drywall panels on the inside. All other surfaces on the inside are made of spruce wood.
Both buildings are heated by a central wood heating system, wood being supplied from the leftovers of daily activities.