House 13, “The House for Gardening Friends”, has been renovated and rejuvenated, through a sensitive adaptation of the existing fabric coupled with a reinvention of the private and common areas and a new imaginative ecological landscape, in accordance with the desires of the student residents. The new interventions stand out in bold relief against the existing fabric without compromising the building’s character.
In order to encourage a mixture of students and a multifaceted living facility, seven different room types have been developed by combining the small existing 10sqm rooms in different constellations. Small single rooms at ground floor have been retained but enriched by either shared pink terraces or direct access to the newly landscaped garden where students can plant and grow their own vegetables. On the upper floors two or three small single units have been combined and installed with a new bathroom and living area which is shared between 1-2 students.
The communal kitchens have been expanded and transformed to be the core of the collective, every-day life. Existing transom windows, on the northeast facade, have been supplemented by new large wooden windows which naturally illuminate the kitchen and living space, provide niches for reading and views to the herb garden, outdoor living room and sports ground..
As part of the overall energy strategy the existing protected facade has been renovated in line with conservation guidelines and the existing building systems have been ecologically overhauled including a new solar heating system and grey water recycling.
The ecological landscaping and public space around the building form a significant part of the design. New programmatic interventions that play between the qualities of pulsating city and laid back rural life, punctuate the area in order to reanimate the previously disused public space. The new ‚town square ‘in front of House 13 serves as a focal point for the entire campus, opening itself up towards the city. To the rear, the ‚outdoor living room‘ and sports ground provide a quieter recluse from urban life where massive stone seats and terraces can be frequented by those wishing to sunbath or play basketball and oversized external living room lamps create a serene atmosphere for a summer pic nic at dawn.
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