Photographs Gerhard Hagen ARTUR

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This housing complex was the winning project in a design competition open to the whole European Union. The competition brief placed emphasis on the concern that the people had for the environment in which they lived, the community, neighborhood and energy efficiency. Thus, much more than a merely functional house was required. Within an experimental housing program, 28 units with communal facilities were implemented in the northeast part of Bamberg's city center. The program is called "An Affordable House of One's Own" and aims to create compact buildings with low construction costs. The idea of this housing development without parking space (cars can be parked outside the residential area) rests on various points concerned with planning and the urban environment. The complex has a good public transport service and bicycle infrastructure, and there is a school and kindergarten in the neighborhood as well as a large landscaped area on the opposite side of the Regnitz river, which can be used as a recreation area.

The project aimed to find a balance between the social, economic and ecological factors. Privacy was also important for this community, which is reflected in the small squares and walkways integrated into the complex.

The buildings are oriented on an east-west axis, with the upper levels oriented north-south. There are three kinds of dwellings with three, four and five rooms as well as a kitchen and bathroom, with two bathrooms for the five-room units. All the buildings of a particular type have the same layout. The living room on the lower floor faces the garden on one side and the courtyard on the other. The floor plan is based on the idea of flexible space.

Given that the design does not include basements and storage space, places for stowing bicycles have been built outside.

Regarding materials, wood was chosen because of its ecological, economical and energy-efficient characteristics. The facades were built from prefabricated timber panels, substantially reducing the construction time, while the construction method used is highly effective in fulfilling energy requirements.







The search for privacy is reflected in the private patios and terraces as well as in the interstitial exterior spaces that create small squares and open-air leisure areas.

Side elevations to Heinrich-Semlinger stre

The buildings are set on an east-west axis, while the upper floor faces north and south. The living room on the ground floor opens onto the garden on one side and toward the patio on the other.

4 Rooms

5 Rooms

3 Rooms

Ground plan

First plan

Ground plan

First plan

Second plan _5_ 10ir

The housing blocks and community center (above) have been built with prefabricated wooden panels, a material chosen because it is inexpensive, energy efficient and sustainable.

Carmen Martínez Quesada

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