Pringle Richards Sharratt first worked in Berlin on a project for model housing at the 2001 building exhibition on a site at Buchholz-West, sponsored by the City of Berlin. As a result of this, the practice was invited by a major housing developer – Gesobau – to enter a competition for new housing at Westend, Berlin-Charlottenburg, close to the Olympic Stadium. The design won the competition and included a mixture of single family houses and maisonettes.
The houses are a modern interpretation of terraced housing, very common in Britain, but little known in Germany. The houses have a central atrium, with bathrooms located in the middle of the building, rather than in rear extensions as found in the traditional English model. They also have a raised ground floor level, giving two entrances onto the street, thus providing considerable flexibility in use. The basement entrance can be used as a utility entrance, an entrance for a home business, an entrance for teenage children to live independent lives, or to provide access to a ‘granny flat’ in the basement.
The interiors are flexible and provide the opportunity for the houses to adapt to the changing lifestyles required by the occupants, as they develop with growing families, businesses and hobbies, through to retirement and old age.
Individual gardens are provided for all single houses and each maisonette has either a garden or a roof terrace.