Multi-generational Housing Development in Freiburg
Pfeifer Roser Kuhn
Freiburg City GmbH
Usable floor area:
2,376 sq. m = 25575 sq. ft
In what ways does this project encourage inter-generational living?
Within the complex of buildings, there are a plethora of apartment types creating a variety of living situations. The project houses anything from single room units to family-friendly five-room dwellings, to apartments designed for the disabled. In turn, this variety encourages all sorts of people to call this development home and create an inter-generational environment. Furthermore the buildings have been rotated 90 degrees to break the street pattern and create semi-private outdoor area for residents to interact in.
How does this project demonstrate Universal Design or Barrier-Free living?
All units in the project are single-story units, thus encouraging the idea of aging in place by avoiding the need for stairs. Furthermore, twelve apartments are designed barrier-free, as well as twelve designed for seniors (a number of which are handicap accessible).
What other amenity does the project feature that caters to the residents?
Every unit within the project takes advantage of a corner situation, allowing a majority of the apartments to include a small outdoor patio space. Some walls are light weight construction, allowing easy future modifications.
How does the layout of the building enhance the users experience?
All apartments are located around a central, daylit, barrier-free core stairwell. Not only does this design element make for a more pleasant transitional space within the building/to apartments, but also fosters a community feeling, and thus becomes a place for social interaction. With a central circulation core, the apartments can be located around the perimeter, and in turn allow greater access to daylight as well as outdoor space.
How does the site enhance the project?
The buildings respond to the already established vernacular of the residential area streetscape by turning away from the mold and rotating 90 degrees. By doing so, outdoor, semi-private areas are created to be enjoyed by the residents and add a natural aspect to the project.
What sustainable measures does this project employ?
The project uses 18 cm thick thermal insulation and controlled ventilation systems to be more sustainable. Furthermore the windows are splayed on the exterior of the building to allow more natural light into the apartments and lessen the need for artificial lighting.
What public amenities are within the surrounding context of the project?
The surrounding area is substantially residential, with access to a major highway only minutes away. Bus stops are located a mere couple blocks away, making available public transit to the residents of the building.
Describe the interior, exterior, vertical and horizontal circulation
Entrance into the building occurs at a single point in each building. From there the user accesses the central and only circulation core in the building. Elevators, stairs, and hallways are all located off of this core, making it not only the vertical circulation of the building, but also the horizontal.
How do existing and created outdoor spaces enhance the design concept of the project?
The outdoor space of the project makes the immediate environment around the project more pleasant to be in, as well as more pleasant to look at.
What are the principal materials, assemblies, and structural system?
The building is constructed of sand-lime-brickwork covered in stucco, reinforced concrete slabs, and a set-back roof structure of timber framework construction.
Describe the entry approach to the building.
Entry approach is directly off the street, but not articulated well and appears somewhat confusing for visitors of the building.
-Central circulation core is space saving and efficient, combining vertical and horizontal circulation into one
-Daylit circulation area makes it more pleasant than a generic fire stair
-Access to outdoor space for every unit
-Spatial flexibility within apartments, making it easy to modify/adjust layout
-Variety of apartment sizes gives prospective tenants more options
-Location within a well established neighborhood setting it ideal
-Allotted area between buildings to outdoor space
-Eased window openings angled to catch maximum daylight
-Yellow balcony spaces promote brightness and reflection of light
-Central circulation space does not promote social interaction
-The building contains no space for social interaction
-Apartment units, although varying in size, are fairly similar in layout and design; very little individuality
-Outdoor space on the site is not designed and unpleasant to be in
-Building approach is confusing and is not celebrated
-Surrounding amenities are lacking
-All in all, the project does little to promote "multi-generational" living, which is what the project is named and supposedly known for.
"Christoph Kuhn Architekten: Runzmattenweg Freiburg." Christoph Kuhn Architekten. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.
Schittich, Christian, and Peter Ebner. Housing for People of All Ages: Flexible, Unrestricted, Senior-friendly. München: Edition DETAIL, Institut Für Internationale Architektur-Dokumentation GmbH, 2007. 130-31. Print.