Brief

Precast concrete TT-beams were used in the construction of a 6-story housing complex in Berlin. The architects selected prefabricated materials to counter preconceptions about the construction method.

 

Insight

Named Wohnregal, the warehouse-style block was constructed form prefabricated concrete elements, with pillars and beams that support slabs to create the potential for wide-open rooms.

The individual stories have no structural walls inside and span 13 metres from the facade to facade. Occupants can insert their own drywalls into the spaces to divide them according to their lifestyles.A type of precast concrete beams called TT-beams were used for the construction.Two curtain walls on Wohnregal’s east and west facade are formed by floor-to-ceiling glass doors, turning the sheltered spaces into covered balconies and walkways.

The sliding glass doors can be opened in summer to naturally ventilate the building.Outdoor staircases covered with stainless steel mesh zigzag up the side of the building, turning a functional element into a visual part of the block’s facade.The decision to use prefabricated materials was motivated by Berlin’s increasingly expensive house prices and a desire to change preconceptions about prefabricated design as too prescriptive.

“The ambition was to bridge two apparently contradictory challenges the housing market in Berlin is facing,” said FAR.

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Production: Double-Tee Connection

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