The Werkhof area on Lehrter Straße, located north of Berlin's Central Station, evolved from a group of buildings that were erected for the Prussian army at the end of the 19th century. After the end of the Second World War, the ensemble has been used by artists and craftspeople, who transformed it into a lively creative quarter, adding extensions and new buildings since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 2009 Sauerbruch Hutton renovated and extended their own studio spaces located in Haus 2, a former uniform factory and the largest of the historic buildings on site. While the colour, material and detailing of the upper façade are in deliberate contrast to the base of the building, its rhythmical articulation derives from the lower portion’s listed landmarked brick façade. Inside, contemporary and spatially flexible offices with have a bright and open character, while conveying a creative yet representative atmosphere while and maintaining the industrial aesthetic of the original building.
As part of this extension, a supplemental volume was incorporated to house the studio and apartment for conceptual artist Karin Sander. A series of rooms unfolds across two levels. Places of quiet concentration complement the larger studio and evoke an atmosphere of both productive activity and intimacy.
At the entrance to the site, a new building with apartments and offices was erected in 2015. The exterior massing of Haus 9 is a response to the planning regulations that govern the development of the plot. The building adopted the high ceilings and generous windows from its historic neighbours, as well as the simple, repetitive structure with which they have accommodated a wide variety of uses. Its interior layout, however, changes from floor to floor depending on the kind of living and working spaces preferred by individual members of the cohousing group.
For the time being, the most recent addition to the ensemble was Haus 6, completed in 2017. This residential and studio building occupies the plot between a historic brick building and a contemporary structure in exposed concrete designed by the architects Augustin and Frank, housing studios for the artist Katharina Grosse. The building’s height and roof profile mediate between these its two neighbours. The façade’s slightly undulating stainless steel cladding irregularly reflects the surroundings irregular, lends lending the building a quasi-fluid character.
With this ongoing process of conversion and extension, the Werkhof area presents itself as a vibrant urban space with the potential for future growth and constant change along with its residents.
- Revitalization and addition of a historic ensemble with apartments, studios, offices and workshops
- 1998 — 2017