Water, woods & well-being:
Urban clinker brick dwellings in Berlin's Grüner Salon
Admittedly, ‘Fünf Morgen Dahlem Urban Village’ – the name coined by the project developers for this commercial and residential project – is something of a mouthful. However, the long-established residents of Zehlendorf in the affluent southwest of the metropolis probably could not care less: the neighbourhood where Berliners once celebrated the ‘German-American Folk Festival’ is still popularly known as ‘Truman Plaza’. Instead of an entertaining diversion, the area now offers Mediterranean living flair state-of-the-art comforts, and architecture with a timeless appeal.
Just over a hundred metres east of Berlin's famous Grunewald forest and its lake chain, the ‘Fünf Morgen Apartments’ were constructed on a 5,300 m² plot of land, according to a design by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten. The new ‘village in the city’ consists of five individual buildings, each of which houses 79 residential units on three or four floors, as well as nine commercial units and a day-care centre. With large window surfaces, and spacious balconies and roof terraces, the loft-style apartments are ideally tailored towards families, while offering exceptional lifestyle flair.
Even from a distance, the high-quality décor of these apartments is reflected in the harmonious mix of materials making up the architecture of their facades: while each base storey is clad in travertine, sand beige Ströher clinker brick slips adorn the upper storeys and each of the penthouses, which are set back on two sides. The KSP architects have accentuated the floor slabs with horizontal white cornice strips. As three-dimensional projections, they add a graphic quality to the facades, and combined with the symmetrically positioned window surfaces, give the buildings a perfectly balanced, pleasantly ‘grounded’ appearance.
The planners have achieved a particularly expressive, vibrant effect with the clinker brick surfaces by selecting various slim long format brick slips, laid in wild bond format combinations. In order to match the colour and feel of the clinker brick slips as far as possible to the natural stone cladding, Ströher, as a brick slip specialist, has produced a special series to meet the specific requirements of the project.
In the facades of the ‘Fünf Morgen Apartments’, the brick slips demonstrate that clinker offers interesting and personalised possibilities, not only as a ‘pure’ facade design, but also when mixed with other facade materials. For this concept, the Ströher range presents a multitude of colour gradations, as well as fired and glazed effects with the most varied outcomes imaginable. Last but not least, architects and planners receive sound advice on all functional and installation-related questions regarding brick slip facade design.