Port-o-Prenz Apartments

Port-o-Prenz Apartments

Architect
J. MAYER H. und Partner
Location
Berlin, Germany | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Apartments
David Franck

Port-o-Prenz Apartments

J. MAYER H. und Partner as Architects

Living in Prenzlauer Berg
Mothers drinking their latte macchiatos, “Bio-Berg,” Mauerpark hippies, an artists’ neighborhood: Prenzlauer Berg stands for so many clichés. The lively area around Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz combines them all. In fact, there’s hardly another part of the city that has undergone as dramatic a transformation since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The numerous building complexes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were extensively renovated after 1989 and the empty lots left by wartime destruction were mostly filled. With the construction, the residential structure of the neighborhood changed. Easygoing restaurants, small shops, and cafes replaced the popular bars and a unique subcultural infrastructure. A dynamic international flair shapes this Berlin neighborhood teaming with variety.

photo_credit David Franck
David Franck

During the post-war period, many of the lots left empty by wartime damage, like this one on Pappelallee, had been filled with single-story supermarkets that are now being torn down and replaced with architecture that combines retail with much needed housing: Port-o-Prenz is an example of this. It now closes the block, fitting in with the existing architecture and thus complementing the heritage-protected ensemble of buildings around Gethsemane-Kirche. The street draws a straight line to the horizon with a direct view of Berlin’s Television Tower. With Port-o-Prenz, we have succeeded in realizing a project with top living quality, combining closed housing blocks that fit well in the surrounding neighborhood with a generous courtyard; taking account of the limited space available in our cities and offering a concept that points to the future in regard to the current housing crisis.

photo_credit David Franck
David Franck

The inside of the block of the six linked buildings terraces to a playful, green landscape, resulting in a continuous and at the same time varied interior. Landscaped roof terraces and surrounding private plots combine to form a generous place of retreat in a lively urban environment. This flowing reinterpretation of the Berlin courtyards typical of the Wilhelmine period features views of the neighboring courtyards, resulting in a semi-public intimacy in which the residents of the new quartier can find a way to one another and to live as neighbors.

photo_credit David Franck
David Franck

In each building, Port-o-Prenz combines various apartment types, preventing segregation. 240 units with 1–5 rooms are intended for various clienteles. This spatial constellation allows for a balanced residential structure of students, families, singles, and pensioners. In case of a change in personal living circumstances, it is thus possible to keep the familiar location, the social surroundings, and the neighborhood, and to move within the complex. These flexible living options are promoted by the rich infrastructure in the neighborhood. Depending on location, all apartments feature a balcony, loggia, or roof-top terrace.

photo_credit David Franck
David Franck

The design of the street façade, with curved balconies and flowing transitions, reflects the organic flexibility and adaptability of the building concept. Wave-like, irregular balustrades run down the entire block. By way of slight color variations in the façade, the long gaze is divided into smaller units that correspond in terms of format to the architecture from the turn of the century, creating an optical link to the surroundings.

photo_credit David Franck
David Franck
photo_credit David Franck
David Franck
photo_credit David Franck
David Franck
Caption
Caption
Caption

Read story in Deutsch

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Magnificent Ghent Altarpiece takes centre stage as part of Saint Bavo Cathedral Restoration
18 Jan 2022 News
Magnificent Ghent Altarpiece takes centre stage as part of Saint Bavo Cathedral Restoration

After years of scientifically based renovation, the world-famous Ghent altarpiece by the Van Eyck Br... More

Cave-like Zolaism Café  offers a sensual and perceptual feel of returning to nature
16 Jan 2022 News
Cave-like Zolaism Café offers a sensual and perceptual feel of returning to nature

In Aranya-Qinhuangdao, China, Zolaism Café by B.L.U.E Architecture invites visitors in to esc... More

Playful atmosphere of Fuego Camina Conmigo Barcelona emphasizes art and creativity
16 Jan 2022 News
Playful atmosphere of Fuego Camina Conmigo Barcelona emphasizes art and creativity

On the third floor of a building located in the industrial neighbourhood of Gracia, Barcelona, the n... More

Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill passes away aged 82
14 Jan 2022 News
Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill passes away aged 82

Studio Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) just announced the sad news that their founder h... More

Cedar-clad OG House by Omar Gandhi Architect maximizes a narrow lot in the vibrant North End of Halifax
14 Jan 2022 News
Cedar-clad OG House by Omar Gandhi Architect maximizes a narrow lot in the vibrant North End of Halifax

On a narrow lot in the vibrant, historic North End of Halifax, this project combines the primary res... More

Sculptural Stormwater Facility by gh3* architects in Toronto tells a compelling story of urban water treatment
14 Jan 2022 News
Sculptural Stormwater Facility by gh3* architects in Toronto tells a compelling story of urban water treatment

Treating urban run-off from Toronto’s new West Don Lands and Quayside neighbourhood developmen... More

Top 10 Trending Products of 2021
13 Jan 2022 News
Top 10 Trending Products of 2021

A look back at the most specified products of 2021, including a retro table lamp, a classic light sw... More

17th century Amsterdam canal house thoroughly renovated with colour and creative details
13 Jan 2022 News
17th century Amsterdam canal house thoroughly renovated with colour and creative details

Originally constructed in 1675, this once neglected canal house has been renovated by Amsterdam base... More