L40 by Roger Bundschuh and Cosima von Bonin

Architect Roger Bundschuh and artist Cosima von Bonin have designed L40, a residential building for a wedge-shaped site in Berlin, Germany.

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The 2500 square metre building has cantilevered elements of more than 20 metres.

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Some apartments are enclosed by walls without windows and lit by skylights, while others are glazed with large windows overlooking the surrounding streets.

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The following information is from the architects:

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Construction begins on Berlin condominium project by Roger Bundschuh and Artist Cosima von Bonin.

Situated on historic Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin-Mitte, this 2500 sqm luxury condominium building takes unique advantage of its small triangular site. Breaking with the previously rigid Berlin urban planning codes, the building will present itself as a jagged study of cantilevering blocks, deep recesses and a dramatic opening of the typical Berlin interior courtyard, flooding this usually dark and uninviting space with light and air.

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Designed by Architect Roger Bundschuh with Artist Cosima von Bonin, the project started out as a simple bit of outdoor sculpture, really nothing more than a sausage stand with a large billboard on top. As it turned out, the original site was slated to become part of a larger, though very irregularly shaped site due to the relocation of the adjacent street back to its location in 1900 (part of an ongoing urban renewal plan aimed at recreating the urban fabric that existed in Berlin before WWII).

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The new project, though much larger, incorporates the sculptural approach and emphasis on abstract shapes that were formulated in the design of the original project. Black, exposed concrete gives the building an archaic and monolithic character.

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Cantilevering out more than 20 meters, the solid shapes of the apartments are at once dynamic and static, responding to and reacting with the hectic urban flow in this busy intersection, yet also anchoring the building firmly through their perceived weight and durable construction.

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The stark, sleek, pure white interior of the apartments is offset against the black and rough exterior of the exposed concrete, creating a dynamic tension between interior and exterior. This tension is further heightened by the large expanses of exterior walls without windows that reveal themselves to be brilliantly skylit interior spaces.

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No two apartments are alike. While some spaces are intimate, microscosmic spaces more reminiscient of the classic “white cube” of art galleries, others are posessed of no closed exterior walls at all and present themselves as radically open stages for contemporary urban lifestyles.

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The building is constructed completely in concrete. The outer layer of black, exposed leightweight concrete covers all exterior surfaces and is applied over a layer of thick foamglass insulation. The high mass of this construction, the extreme insulation values it delivers and the siting and insulation values of the glazing combine to situate the project at the forefront of sustainable planning schemes.

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In addition, the entire building is sound proofed by insulation applied to the basement walls. No part of the building actually is in contact with the surrounding soil, thereby assuring high levels of sound and vibration proofing in the apartments. The achieved “remoteness” from the hectic bustle of the surrounding traffic serves to reinforce the idea of microcosmic and serene spaces and contributes to the overall effect of contrasts and dynamic tension.

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