The Broken Block

Subject: Family Housing
Location: Tacheles, Berlin
Scale: Building / City planning
The Broken Block is an attempt at pointing at a hidden potential in the city of Berlin. The given problem was to stop families from fleeing to the dreams of the suburbs around Berlin to realize that the grass was not greener on the other side.

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The Broken Block does not propose, as many other projects do, to try and create a suburbian village in middle of the city. We do not believe that is advantages. Instead we propose to unlock the secrets of the hidden courtyards of the city and awake a family dream of living with the central city.
The project is based at the Tacheles site which was bombed during WW2 and still remains largely unused.

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We have used the context of the location between the thriving “big city” and the cosy apartment blocks residential areas. A giant, modern bank resides in the south western corner of the block which makes the city figuratively speaking “crashing” into the residential areas.
This collision is the key to our planning of the area. The principle of the Broken Block results in blocks that break apart and opens to the public which gets access to the semi private courtyards inside each of them.

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Berlin is full of old and intimid courtyards which unlike most other cities around the world are open for the public. Here, behind the big city streets are a social life of cafes, stores, meetingplaces and playgrounds. This social opening and the meeting between the residents and the city is the very potential can unlock the urge to choose the city instead of the suburbian grids.
By breaking the block apart we both signal the moderne architecture, the dramatic history of the area and the special location between the city and families. We choose to point very cleary at this potential. It is then up to people to choose if they want to journey further into the residential areas to discover the better hidden secrets.

Open Source Credits:
Blender – 3D content, Visualizations and 2D sections
Inkscape – 2D graphics, icons and diagrams

In collaboration with Kasper Munk, Denmark.

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