Located idyllically at the bank of the river Altmühl in Eichstätt, the multistory building complex with its terraced balconies sets new standards of urban building. The complex is structured in two building sections that blend in well in the scale of the “Spitalstadt” development site. Their central location close to the station, the urban building reference to the Willibaldsburg castle in the west and the panoramic views to the historic residential city as well as the monastery all contribute to the outstanding settings for superior living and working.
The clearly defined building lines and edges of buildings facing the city bound the streetscape. Closer to the river the buildings dissolve into a scenery of balconies and terraces. The barrier-free residential units are staggered in vertical as well as in horizontal direction and are also stepped in order to provide views to the river and to ensure favorable orientation towards the sun. Additionally, bright materials used for balconies and terraces permit daylight to penetrate deeply into the interior spaces. Along the street the ground floor is dedicated to commercial uses and includes rooms of the university. A public walkway cuts across a planted, light-filled inner courtyard and leads through the building to the river. From here the public uses situated at the ground-floor level as well as the apartments can be accessed. The complex accomodates a total of 50 residential units, with sizes ranging from 45 sq m and 120 sq m and with a wide range of different floorplans, such as front-to-rear apartments, corner or duplex apartments as well as apartments that are accessed by balconies. What all apartments share is that each one has access to the exterior.
The landscape concept of Behnisch Architekten includes a green courtyard as a communal meeting point which is connected to the meadow landscape by means of a spacious external staircase. The succession of enclosed-open spaces which alternate with sheltered and more exposed spaces create a continuous landscaped space.
Designed with reticence, the façades towards the streets feature loggias, while the timber-clad façades looking out over the Altmühl exhibit a diverting and lively mix of projecting balconies and terraces. The mix deliberately reveals the different typologies within, so that the building’s exterior becomes an expression of the human scale. The prefabricated wooden frame construction of the façade presents a highly efficent possibility to reach the intended KfW 40 standard and, additionally, optimizes the living space through the integration of insulation on the construction plane.
Behnisch Architekten was founded in 1989 and works out of three offices – Stuttgart, Munich, and Boston. These offices are directed by Stefan Behnisch and his partners Robert Hösle (Munich), Robert Matthew Noblett (Boston) as well as Stefan Rappold and Jörg Usinger (Stuttgart). From the outset, the social dimension of architecture has been a fundamental aspect of the firm’s design philosophy. The search for innovative and sustainable solutions making optimum use of natural resources has produced a rich variety of buildings, each of which responds to specific user requirements and site conditions. Among our recently realized signature projects are the Karl Miller Center at the Portland State University (2017) and the AGORA Pôle de recherche sur le cancer in Lausanne, Switzerland (2018). Over the years the practice has established an international reputation as a firm that combines design excellence with advanced expertise in sustainability.
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