- Berlin, Germany
Charlie Living is the first block of a new ensemble of buildings that will repair many of the gaps around Checkpoint Charlie on the Friedrichstrasse in central Berlin.
The first section, a block with 241 flats and 48 serviced apartments, takes a different approach to conventional courtyards and creates a public green space in the centre that branches off the public urban areas as the focus for all four of the surrounding buildings. The space becomes part of the network of passages passing through the urban blocks and serves as a tranquil common space for the residents, shielded from traffic and tourists.
The section on the Zimmerstrasse comprises apartments for rent with a common room and reception, along with an apartment hotel, shops and a restaurant. Its two-storey, slightly recessed plinth picks up the line of the adjacent historical buildings and frames a glazed section that picks up the height of the former Berlin Wall at this point. This transparent, almost invisible structure becomes a connecting element that expresses the optimism and cosmopolitan character of the city after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The garden, planted with international plants, also extends to the westward façade of the building in the form of a row of planted trees on the façade. A roof garden completes this hybrid “garden city” in the heart of Berlin.