샤롯데 아파트먼트의 가장 큰 특징은 도시와 건축의 밀착된 환경조성과 이를 통해 발현되는 새로운 장소성의 정의에 있다. 베를린 시내 중심부에 위치한 지리적 특징은 건축물에 아이텐티한 캐릭터 구현을 요청하며 다음과 같은 외형적 특징으로 실현된다. 베를린 시내를 내려다 보는 뷰포인트를 확보하는 전창 -바닥에서 천창까지 투명한 글래스로 열린 각 세대- 과 이를 지그재그 형태로 구현하는 파사드로 디자인된다. 이는 하이퀄리티 도시생활을 표방, 현대적인 다양한 라이프 스타일을 제공하는 주거 타이폴로지의 강한 어필로 표현된다. 구불거리는 파사드는 거친 노출콘크리트가 생성하는 픽쳐 프레임과 거주자의 안전을 보장하는 스테인레스스틸 메쉬 및 난간으로 구체화 되며 9층 높이의 총 28세대 유닛에 독창적인 주거공간을 제공하여 준다. 그리하여 도심내 협소한 대지는 새로운 장소성을 부여, 주변에 시선을 한몸에 받는 캐릭터 빌딩으로 자리하게 된다. 분명 작게 좁게 똑같이 만들면 적은 비용으로 많은 이들에게 분양 할 수 있겠지만, 누가 과연 이 특색없는 얼굴을 가진 이에게 관심을 가질 것인가? 샤롯테 아파트먼트의 선택은 현명한 것이다.
reviewed by SJ,오사
Apartments “Charlotte” – a great success for the developer as well as marketing. Within weeks, and long before the commencement of building works, all flats within this central Berlin apartment house nearby Checkpoint Charlie were sold. Carefully designed floor plans ensure a high quality of living and generous full height windows offer fascinating views of central Berlin.
Balconies are attached to the building like scales and create a meander like rhythm along the façade. To avoid impairing this well-balanced building front by rough and heavy balustrades, balconies are safeguarded by a delicate stainless steel mesh. The tapered form gives this freestanding corner building a charming and self-confident appearance.
A freestanding building must be able to stand on its own merit, even if it is located in the middle of a city. The following success story illustrates how well this approach worked in the case of a nine-story apartment building in Berlin-Mitte: All 28 apartments were sold within one week of listing. The team behind this accomplishment consists of WI Concept, Michels Architekturbüro, and Berlin Capital Investments. In early 2014, the remaining finished units were handed over – with the exception of one, which they were not willing to part with…
“‘The building shouldn’t fall over“, explains architect Andreas Michels. “Fall over visually that is” he adds. “Freestanding corner buildings often appear as though they are tilting forward.” Particularly, when the addition of compact balconies visually weights down the facade. To avoid this, Michels set a clear counterpoint. “The top bay visually lifts the structure upwards and sets a crowning accent.” When glancing upward one perceives a swooping motion ending in a distinct point. This is enhanced by the balconies, which adorn the apartments from the second story up. In reality, this is an illusion. The roof is as flat as the floor slabs. The front of the building consists of exposed concrete corner slabs, which taper back towards the sides of the building. This tapering will allow for an easy connection to future neighbouring buildings.
Currently, the 347 sq.m site is surrounded by open spaces and expansion areas for future federal buildings. For the time being, “Charlotte” will remain the only apartment building on Charlottenstraße. The design of the building attracts passersby and buyers alike. In December 2011, all 28 units were reserved within one week of being placed on the market, and only four weeks later all contracts were signed. Maik Kettner and Johannes Weil (CEO of WI Concept) refer to it as “a testament of success.”
Shortly after purchasing the site, Kettner hired an established real estate agency, and took on a lead role in monitoring the progress of the project. “Our clients were waiting for this type of building project,” explains Thomas Zabel, managing director of Berlin Capital Investments, and responsible for the sales of the apartments. “Our early involvement in the project allowed us to gear the design towards the needs of our clients.”
Michels Architekturbüro developed tailored floor plans for Zabel’s clients, resulting in ready-for-salepackages, which “sold like hotcakes” according to Andreas Michels. Perhaps also because the building features smaller units, which are perfectly suited as a second or third home for people looking to establish a hub in Berlin. Another contributing factor may be the fact that Germany’s capital is regarded as a safe investment haven on the international real estate market – about 70% of the buyers hail from abroad. Also, it’s location near Berlin landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie and Gendarmenmarkt made the property very attractive to investors.
A third of the available 135 sq.m apartments were purchased by people looking for a permanent residence, such as Thomas Zabel who fell in love with “Charlotte” and moved in himself.
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