Metsä Wood sees new living space potential for German cities
Due to advancing urbanization, there is an acute lack of living space in many metropolitan cities. An attractive solution to create new living space is to add wooden storeys to existing buildings. To make this approach more popular, Metsä Wood carried out an architecture competition “City above the City” last year. One of the honored works, “Dachkiez”, is designed to Berlin by Sigurd Larsen Design & Architecture.
Focus of the competition was to point out how wood can solve the problems of urbanization. Centrally located buildings in the world’s metropolises formed the playground for architects and students to design an innovative timber addition that would provide more living space. In total, architects from 40 countries designed concepts for 69 metropolises around the world using Metsä Wood’s Kerto ® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) as the main building material.
Berlin’s winning project “Dachkiez”
What the architectural firm Sigurd Larsen Design & Architecture designed for the competition was a timber extension to a 270-meter-long residential complex in the Heinrich-Heine-Straße in central Berlin. A characteristic of the Heine district is the prefabricated construction style of the 1960’s, which makes the area look like a grey concrete desert. Here, Sigurd Larsen saw great potential for a timber extension, which not only increases the living space, but also places an optical emphasis on it.
“Kerto LVL is a lightweight, structurally strong and at the same time well-insulated building material that can be easily processed. The light-weight wood construction is a first-rate solution for the Dachkiez project. Instead of building just on the open spaces, new residential areas can emerge on the looming roofs in a growing city,” emphasizes Sigurd Larsen.
The “Dachkiez” concept consists of two layers: First layer – a barrier-free green park designed for recreation of residents –would be constructed directly on the existing roof and, as a second layer, on top are the new wooden living units made entirely of Kerto LVL. The living units extend like a sprawling village on the entire house length of 270 meters and highlight the horizontal orientation of the building.
The living units are based on a modular system offering different compositions for varying housing needs. The standard module consists of common room, bedroom and a bathroom elements which works for singles and couples, whereas supplementary plug-in modules make the apartments suitable also for small families or residential communities.
The “Dachkiez” concept shows that the integration of timber additions to existing buildings can be a significant solution to the increasing housing shortage in urban centres. In the future, this approach should be given more consideration, as it not only aims at fast creation of more living space, but also make metropolises more sustainable and liveable.
Join the Open Source Wood Initiative
Metsä Wood is calling on all architects and engineers to share their innovation in wood construction. The objective is to share knowledge about prefabricated elements and grow the use of wood in construction. Metsä is now sharing its own innovations and offering €30,000 in prize money during 2017 to exceptional designs. Read more at www.opensourcewood.com