“The design impresses in terms of both planning and architecture, […] laying the groundwork for a mixed district on what has until now been a single-use site." Bernd Rubelt, Head of Building
The brief here was to develop the area around the Stern-Center retail centre in south-eastern Potsdam into a central residential district. Key requirements were to tie the development into the surrounding built environment and offer high-quality architecture that is both sustainable and affordable.
The project comprises four 60m-high residential towers with a gross floor area of 60,000 m2 that will accommodate some 650 apartments. Visible from afar across the surrounding plain, two blocks will flank the shopping centre to the east, and two to the west
Careful configuration and green space
In each pair, the towers will be slightly offset and rotated in relation to one another, ensuring good natural lighting for all the apartments, while the varied façade gives the development as a whole a positive appearance. Open spaces and a meeting/social area on the first floor are designed to foster a sense of community. Thanks to the intelligent energy concept the roof spaces will be largely free of technical plant and so landscaped, creating two islands of green and panoramic views from the roofs.
Building spacious and sustainable housing doesn’t have to carry a high price
A range of apartment sizes and layouts is made possible by the functionally neutral space created between the façade and the core, meeting the call for affordable homes. The 2- and 3-bedroom apartments benefit from the height of the towers and the views of the surrounding countryside, while French windows soften the transition from inside to out. The simple construction style provides the option of loggias.
Affordable, sustainable architecture
Unlike traditional housing schemes, which generally only manage to meet German energy-saving standards by fitting programmable ventilation systems, this project shuns the high operating costs and short service lives of high-tech solutions. Instead, the floors, ceilings and core walls all act as efficient thermal accumulators. The regular structure leaves the choice of construction method to the client. Both timber and traditional skeleton construction techniques are feasible for, ultimately, it is the time-honoured tools of the architect that reduce both construction and operating costs.
“The winning design is […] perfectly suited to the location, offering modern, contemporary architecture that blends successfully into the existing built environment and so enhancing the entire district.” Andreas Mattner, Managing Director ECE Development