VDK&C4 factory is a common work-, production- and above all meeting place for two small companies. The project is situated on the outskirts of the city on an industrial site dominated by concrete industrial halls. Without denying the context, the building on the prominent corner plot tries to counteract the anonymity of the surrounding buildings, creating a recognizable “place”. By shifting color, composition and form, typical elements and materials from contemporary industrial construction are abstracted, so that they acquire a new peculiar character. Heart of the building is a triangular courtyard, which breaks the rational rectangular shed, creating a collective meeting space and providing the interior spaces around with light and a view into the greenery. The garden divides the building into three parts: the joinery, the coffee roaster and a storage area. On top of the lower storage area is a communal roof terrace, which can be used by both parties.
‘San Riemo’ is the first housing project realised by the KOOPERATIVE GROSSSTADT, a cooperative founded in 2015. It is designed as a spatial infrastructure that allows for pluralistic forms of living within one robust basic structure. The possible plan of the apartments is outlined by concrete beams on the ceiling: room-units have a neutral size of 14 square meters – just big enough for a living room and not too lavish for a child’s room. Larger rooms are created by combining several room axes into one unit.
The large kitchen in the center of every unit is not purely a place for cooking, but at the same time a living entrance hall and large distribution space that allows for a non-hierarchic organization of the surrounding rooms. The spatial variety arises as the structural grid is filled with non-load-bearing drywalls. The residents themselves decided which grid axes should be filled with walls, how open the connections between rooms are, and where doors are positioned. By adding doors between appartments, the possibility of swapping rooms with neighbouring flats was implemented in several units. Many appartments also share larger rooms with neighbouring flats: sometimes up to 4 to 5 appartments share a common room that can be freely programmed.
The structure allows for flexibility in the near or far future: neutral room sizes, rooms that can be switched back and forth between different units, and the possibility to add or remove partition walls within the concrete skeleton. The heart of the house is an open communal area on the ground floor. This 4 metre high hall extends from the main entrance as an inner street through the whole house. It serves as a circulation space, laundry room, communal kitchen, library, stroller storage, workshop, and much more besides. On the way to the stairs and elevators you meet neighbours doing their laundry, baking cookies together and exchanging books.
The semi-attached house situated between a quiet street on the outskirts of Ghent and a popular birdwatching nature reservoir is standing shoulder to shoulder as the submissive counterpart to the taller and larger neighbor house. Due to the ground conditions and several previous alterations, the construction had been weakened, resulting in it starting to tilt. Rather than demolishing the building, we decided to add a supporting structure in the form of a tower. This open steel tower serves as a new gate to the property and made it possible to relocate the entrance from the ground to the first floor. The new position of the entrance also allowed us to lift the common living areas from the dark groundfloor to the two upper floors, offering the view to the green landscape behind the house as well as providing more daylight. The house is realized with an extensive use of reused elements and materials from different buildings in the area, such as windows, doors, stairs, timber, bricks, roof tiles and even insulation.
Located in the fields on the edge of the city, Meschenisch is a place strongly associated with its large-scale housing development from the seventies – which became famous for its severe social problems in the past. The Sport Club Meschenisch, as a meetingpoint for children and young people is of great importance for the social integration of a huge diversity of cultural and social backgrounds. Despite the extremely tight, publicly funded budget, the new clubhouse presents itself confidently and optimistically and offers a clear identification for the young people and adults of the neighborhood. The compact and wheelchair accessible building offers changing rooms, sanitary facilities, offices, and a multifunctional club room inside. A wide outside staircase offers space for spectators of the football game.
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Büro Juliane Greb is an architectural practice. With a fixed basis in Gent and a secondary base in Cologne, we are working transnationally on projects in the belgian and german context. The office was founded in 2015 by Juliane Greb and joined by Petter Krag as a partner since 2017.
Collaborators: Anna Hugot, Olaf Koulen, Vittorio Romieri
Juliane Greb (*1985), dipl. ing. architect, studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University and Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, graduated from RWTH Aachen in 2011. After completing her studies she worked at architecten de vylder vinck taillieu in Ghent, where she was responsible for several realized projects and competitions. From 2015 to 2017 she worked as a freelance architect for osar architecten in Antwerpen as well as starting her own practice in Ghent. Juliane is teaching at the University of Antwerp and TU Delft.
Petter Krag (*1978), ma. architect, studied photography and architecture at Oslo Fotokunstskole and Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo. During and after his studies he worked for various offices, including Christian Kerez in Zürich and architecten de vylder vinck taillieu in Ghent. Since 2017 he joined Büro Juliane Greb as a partner.
Civic Design Conference, The Non-Sexist City, December 2022
San Riemo, Seminar Urban Base LUH Hannover, June 2022
Baukulturwerkstatt Dortmund, December 2021
Two for One, TU Kaiserslautern, December 2021
Werkvortrag Studio Integral Architecture TU Graz, June 2021
San Riemo – 33 Erkundungen BAU ONLINE Kongress München , January 2021
Werkvortrag Gasthaus RWTH Aachen, December 2020
San Riemo „Wie wir leben wollen“ Architektenkammer Hamburg, October 2020
Werkvortrag RWTH Aachen, May 2018
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Studio Maarten Gielen ROTOR, July 2022
RWTH Aachen, Lehrstuhl für Wohnbau und Entwerfen, studio M1″Wohnwandel” May-August 2022
KU Leuven, campus Ghent Sint Lucas, Studio Olivier Goethals & Floris De Bruyn, January 2022
TU München, Lehrstuhl Raumkunst und Lichtgestaltung Vertretungsprofessur Reem Almannai & Florian Fischer, January 2021
RWTH Aachen, Gasthaus Lehrstuhl Raumgestaltung, December 2020
TU Darmstadt, Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Wohnungsbau Prof. Elli Mosayebi, July 2018
ETH Zürich, Departement Architektur Prof. Christian Kerez, May 2016
KU Leuven, campus Ghent Sint Lucas “Spitsweek”, March 2013
Op zoek naar collectief wonen als alternatief voor commerciële projectontwikkeling
Our concept “Open for Maintenance / Wegen Umbau geöffnet” was selected by the expert commission chaired by Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum. The commissioner of the contribution is the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction. “Open for Maintenance / Wegen Umbau geöffnet” aims to demonstrate the opportunities and potentials of the upcoming tasks for sustainable, social and inclusive architecture and urban design by means of concrete examples – and thus translate the Biennale motto “The Laboratory of the Future” by Lesley Lokko, curator of the 18th Architecture Biennale, into practice. Topics such as repair, maintenance and care as well as new alliances and forms of solidarity in architectural practice are at the center of the German contribution.