Decoded Ground
Family Lofts
Fractal Cloud


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Family Lofts
Project status: preliminary design 2008
Client: Friedrich Wassermann
Team: smo architektur
Location: Cologne, Germany
Area: 8000 m2
Cost: 15000000.00 €

Urban design – idea
The site of the formal fright terminal at the Clarenbach church in Köln-Braunfeld has been used for decades as a parking ground. At the front of the Aachener street the popular Braunsfeld market is taking place several times a week. The desolate condition is caused by the adjacent railway line and unfavorable cutting of the plot which is only accessible from Aachener Street. On the other hand, the site is situated very urban in the heart of Braunsfeld with connections to bus and railway lines amid shops and surrounded by spacious green areas. Our idea is to urbanize this unattractive “non-place” and win it back as a special place for the city and Braunsfeld inhabitants. At first, the railway line will be covered to eliminate the level of noise pollution both for present and future inhabitants. Moreover, a parking lot will be created on the underground, in order to create a generously planned expanse of space which can be used for the market, cultural activities and also the church receives an adequate forecourt. In the next step the newly formed railway tunnel is being overbuilt with five residential buildings in form of family lofts. With these measures the existing green structures are not only preserved but can even be enhanced.

Architecture exclusively puts its special construction on display- the thing that keeps it physically conjoined. The structure on the other hand was developed with the aim to generate highly flexible and individual outlines. Formally a multilayered, filigree structure has been created, which offers diverse perspectives to the viewer and simultaniously provides plenty of space for phantasy. The storey height of 3.00 m and 3.50 m are stacked variantly to bring the various room sizes in relation to their heights in this way. The spatial sequences can be organized horizontally or stacked vertically. The balconies and terraces of each floor are placed in such way, that the privacy of the inhabitants stays respected in the urban density.

Ecological aspects
The considerate interaction with the enviroment and energy through efficient heating and drinking water consumption as well as the implementing of innovative and renewable energy become a special consideration.