Residential building Wieslocher Strasse

Walldorf, GER

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The city of Walldorf is planning to expand its housing stock by developing two building plots in the new residential area "Walldorf-South 2nd phase", thus creating additional subsidized housing. As part of this initiative, new and attractive living spaces will be created for a wide range of the population, which can be utilized in the long term.


The development of the two competition plots holds great urban significance: it marks the entrance to the new residential area at the city's entrance, serving as the northeastern "backbone" of the neighborhood, shielding the residential area from the noise of Wieslocher Straße and acting as a sophisticated interface. It forms a clear spatial edge towards the street and creates a counterpart to the comparatively small-grained surrounding buildings towards the southwest. The placement and height development of the buildings follow the development plan. The facades are divided into the base floor and upper floors, combined with different materials and proportions, which dissolve the strictness of the perimeter development. From the perspective of pedestrians, the base zone serves as a mediator: generous passages, entrances to staircases, and underground garage entrances break up the large-scale framework and create a sense of appropriateness to the location.


The entire development - including house entrances, garbage rooms, and underground garage entrances - is located on the street facades, allowing the inner courtyard areas created by the perimeter development to be used for differentiated design with a high quality of stay. All garbage rooms have been integrated into the ground floor of the buildings, making them easily accessible for residents and waste disposal services. The parking spaces are mostly located in two underground garages, which are accessed via Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Straße. Additional parking spaces have been arranged above ground directly on Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Straße. The bicycle parking spaces are also mostly located in the underground garages, supplemented with additional above-ground bicycle racks at the entrances of the buildings. The two buildings are each traversed by a spacious and multifunctional pathway. It serves as access, meeting zone, retention area, play and rest area, and provides a direct connection to the neighbors located to the southwest.


For economic reasons, elevators have been omitted in the buildings without attic floors. However, the open stairwell is dimensioned in a way that retrofitting an elevator shaft is possible, allowing the apartments in these buildings to be reached without thresholds.


Wood as a renewable resource, carbon-free energy generation, and compact and energy-optimized construction make a significant contribution to climate-friendly building. Due to the requirements for energy-efficient construction and the general goal of using a high proportion of renewable resources, the author proposes that the buildings be predominantly made of wood in terms of construction and finishing: The exterior shell will be constructed using timber frame construction. For fire protection reasons, the structure will be encapsulated with gypsum fiber boards. The facade will be clad with vertically oriented wooden slats. Horizontal steel bands will divide the facade and serve as fire barriers. Load-bearing interior walls and ceilings will be made of cross-laminated timber elements. The cross-laminated timber ceilings will have a visible wood underside. This implementation deviates from building regulations. Alternatively, the cross-laminated timber ceilings can also be encapsulated in compliance with building regulations. A robust industrial parquet is proposed for the flooring. Wood/aluminum constructions are planned for the windows. The basement and underground garage are designed as concrete structures. STATEMENTS ON THE CONCEPT'S ECONOMIC VIABILITY Despite the differentiated floor plans, the structural framework of the buildings and the arrangement of supply and disposal shafts are consistently stacked on top of each other. Through serial and standardized construction and a high degree of industrial prefabrication in timber construction, economically viable buildings and a short construction time can be ensured. The structural framework, in general, is separate from the finishing, allowing for future adaptability of the floor plans.


The use of wood as the main construction material should also be reflected in the design of the facade. Therefore, a vertically oriented wooden facade made of colored stained wooden slats is proposed. In the area of the ground floor, the wooden construction is clad with a plastered wood fiber insulation. The base is made of colored precast concrete elements for moisture resistance. Horizontal steel sheet bands divide the facade and serve as fire barriers. Retractable awnings on the loggias, vertical awnings as sun protection on the windows, and folding shutters on the ground floor create an attractive play of movement in the statics of the building. Through the awnings and shutters, the user can control the desired level of privacy or views, and summer heat protection is ensured. The inner courtyards, mostly covered by underground garages, are extensively greened and receive a modeled courtyard landscape with hills and depressions as retention areas. The greenery of the courtyards is continued on the facades: the end walls of the buildings are completely greened, and generous plant troughs on the loggias complement the greenery.


The facades on the northeast sides facing Wieslocher-Straße act as sound barriers, shielding the residential area and courtyards from noise. To prevent sound from being transported into the courtyards through the passage openings on the ground floor, the surfaces of the passages are made sound-absorbing, and glass panels are installed as a protective measure in front of the openings at the property boundary. These panels blend in with the overall appearance in their color-coordinated transparent design and form a visually appealing entrance to the passageways.


The urban planning parameters have been maximized in the development of the buildings. As a result, a total of 64 apartments are being created on both properties. The range includes 1.5-room and 2-room apartments, as well as 3-room, 4-room, and 5-room apartments, and cluster apartments for 2 or 3 residents. The mixed composition of apartments on each floor, catering to seniors, singles, families, and shared living arrangements, promotes intergenerational communal living and social diversity. Accessibility has been taken into account, and 18 apartments are fully wheelchair accessible. To make living on the ground floor more attractive, the level has been raised to the raised ground floor.

  • Location
    Walldorf | GER
  • Year
  • Typology
    Residential Buildings
  • Status
  • Client
    City Walldorf
  • Procedure Type
    Non Open Realization Competition
  • Team
    Roger Christ | Julia Christ | David Lee Hunter
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