The lack of inexpensive housing can be felt in a lot of of the world’s big metropolises nowadays, whether or not that is New York, Paris, London, or Hong Kong. The exact same goes for Berlin, which at this time has one particular of Europe’s most popular housing markets—meaning cost-effective housing is scarce, even though housing charges have shot up. The nearby federal government has produced a sequence of tries to interesting things down not too long ago, with Berliners—of whom a substantial the greater part are renters—supporting a proposal to seize 240,000 models from “mega-landlords” and folding them back again into the city’s reasonably priced housing stock.

Besides this grassroots push to soften the stranglehold of company landlords, there is certainly also a shift to make additional new houses out of present structures. Some of east Berlin’s Soviet-era buildings—dubbed “Plattenbau” for their prefabricated concrete slab structures—are of particular fascination, as they present a lot of prospects for versatile ground plans.

Irrespective of the Plattenbau’s track record as a little bit of a monotonous fixture in eastern areas of Germany, the absence of very affordable housing has intended these considerably dreary and standardized buildings are hunting considerably far more beautiful. Studios, like France’s l’atelier Nomadic Architecture Studio, are supporting to remake these drab interiors into elegant contemporary properties, as they did for 1 young spouse and children from Berlin.

Tim Van De Velde


The studio’s new plan, nicknamed the Domesticated Square Apartment, measures 947 square ft (88 square meters), and primarily transforms what employed to be a two-bed room apartment into 3 bedrooms and an office environment. As the architects demonstrate, this structure hat trick was facilitated by the comparative adaptability of the Plattenbau typology:

“Berlin’s urban situation of housing is largely described by ‘Altbau’ and ‘Plattenbau’. The Atlbau is the classical architecture from the late 19th century with substantial ceilings, thick bearing partitions and a framework of significant corridors and passages with non-hierarchical rooms. The Plattenbau is the article-war architecture housing bloc, with rational and orthogonal shapes. The largest benefit of the Plattenbau is that there are, in most of the instances, no structuring walls in the areas, which offers the opportunity for a blank web site for a renovation.”

Tim Van De Velde


This distinct apartment is on the fourth floor and is the good thing is positioned at the close of the condominium block, which means it has sun publicity to the west, east, and south.

Tim Van De Velde


The new design requires far more programmatic aspects than the former layout, which bundled only two bedrooms, an enclosed kitchen area, and a smaller dwelling place. To produce the new scheme, the architects opted to arrange matters all-around a “central and open up catalyst.” In this scenario, a multifunctional, primary dwelling area that serves as a typical gathering house for sitting down, walking, ingesting, displaying textbooks, and even an indoor hammock swing. The designers say:

“The end result [of this new layout] is a domesticated square, surrounded by a collection of compact mono-practical rooms: entrance hall, office environment space, intimate corridor, guest room, kitchen area and terrace. They all have a immediate access to the central square and nourish just about every other with various interfaces and associations.”

Tim Van De Velde


Branching off to sides of this “domesticated sq.” are the rest of the elements, like the kitchen below, which capabilities designed-in cabinetry and appliances to save area and reduce visible muddle.

Tim Van De Velde


To retain the kitchen’s minimalist physical appearance however visually intriguing, some polycarbonate elements have been extra here to offer you a hint of what’s driving it.

Tim Van De Velde


Balancing out the additional open aspect of the communal residing areas are the extra private regions of the bedrooms, rest room, and office on the other aspect of the condominium. These are hidden guiding a wall of picket content, which integrates storage cupboards all over, as very well as an intriguing laser-slice window.

Tim Van De Velde



The bedrooms, like this visitor space we see here, have storage built-in beneath the mattress, and versus the partitions. To continue to keep mild flowing in the course of the residence, the doorways have dematerialized into whole-height, polycarbonate panels that slide to open and near, and are translucent ample to allow sunlight by means of without having compromising privacy.

Tim Van De Velde


A more “personal corridor” below is sectioned off from the relaxation of the condominium, supplying pathways into the other two bedrooms, lavatory, and property business.

Tim Van De Velde


Below is the grasp bedroom, which has its very own home windows, integrated under-mattress storage, and a modular shelving unit.

Tim Van De Velde


This job is a wonderful instance of how aged housing can be transformed into a thing new and refreshing. Ultimately, Berlin’s situation for readapting its existing housing stock is not distinctive to Berlin on your own the exact same approach could be utilized to lots of metropolitan areas all above the world—certainly, it can be element of a greener option to the world wide housing disaster.

To see much more, go to l’atelier Nomadic Architecture Studio.



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