New development of a lightweight-concrete
residential building Magazinstrasse 17, Berlin

Situated between Alexanderplatz and Schillingstrasse, between East German Plattenbauten and the Kino International, between Karl-Marx-Allee and a historic residential quarter, Magazinstrasse is a product of Berlin’s urban history. Catercorner to the authoritarian grid used for planning a socialist capital, the street juxtaposes seemingly irreconcilable historical buildings from Berlin’s Gründerzeit era against Soviet prefab. In this context, m17 is both a facilitator and conciliator, repairing the urban fabric. It is an avant-corps at the end of a block, a residential building with a commercial ground floor. It hews to the historical street line with one perforated stone facade in the Berlin tradition while offering a bridge to the landmark-protected Plattenbauten with its radically modern frontal facade. It is an attempt to continue building at a site of negation.

Lightweight concrete is the material of its stone facade. One wall, one material. The concrete is insulating and load-bearing; nothing is hung or clad in front of it. The stone solidity functions as both relief and insulation, while the timber-frame windows offer light, warmth, and visibility—or not, if desired. Solar shades enable lower energy costs in winter, and the storage capacity of the mass-wall construction ensures a pleasant indoor climate in transitional seasons. Floorplans follow the urban design: living rooms face the frontal facade, while smaller rooms run along the perforated facade.

Planning/Realization: 2017-2022
Construction phases: 1-5
Residential units: 11
Business: 1
Living space: 1.207 sqm

Project development: SmartHoming GmbH, Berlin
Landscape: friedburg & Co., Berlin

Project photos: Simon Menges, Berlin

Architektur Preis Berlin 2023, Honorable Mention