July 7, 2018 - ifau | HEIDE & VON BECKERATH - Residential and studio building on the site of the former Berlin flower market (IBeB)
e-flux Architecture
July 7, 2018
July 7, 2018


ifau | HEIDE & VON BECKERATH, Residential and studio building on the site of the former Berlin flower market, Berlin, 2012–18. Photo: Andrew Alberts.

Residential and studio building on the site of the former Berlin flower market (IBeB)

ARCH+ features 77: Ökonomien, Biografien, Situationen: July 11, 6:30pm, with Verena von Beckerath, Giulia Bruno, Peder Bugge, Dania Burger, Anke Dorndorf, Beate Gütschow, Tim Heide, Christoph Heinemann, Susanne Heiß, Jinok Kim-Eicken, Martin Fuller, Armin Linke, Anh-Linh Ngo, Christoph Schmidt, Rosario Talevi et al.

Lindenstraße 90/91
10969 Berlin


The former central flower market is situated in the historic Südliche Friedrichstadt in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. The actual market hall is used by the Academy of the Jewish Museum, which stands across the road. The surrounding areas are characterised by post-war housing and in particular buildings that were constructed for the 1984/87 International Building Exhibition, as well as by a variety of cultural facilities and creative enterprises. Several galleries, a higher education institution for design, changing exhibitions, temporary projects and public art collections are to be found together with the publishing house Springer Verlag and the TAZ daily newspaper. The site’s attractive and central location near Friedrichstraße suggests that the present mix of uses, which includes inexpensive housing in the neighbourhood, is at risk in the foreseeable future. It was planned to redress this trend, notwithstanding the current need for development, by launching a concept-linked award procedure for the central flower market site. An innovative multi-stage qualification process was developed in collaboration with the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg local authority, the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, local stakeholders and independent experts, whose aim was to support the ongoing project and assure the quality of architecture and urban development. The development objective for the plot south of the hall was to establish a diverse and mixed pattern of use for a wide spectrum of residents. Owner-occupied artists’ workshops and apartments, cooperative housing and studios, space provision for social associations and commerce were part of the programme, which would establish a new building group and hence lay the foundation for the residential and studio building on the site of the former Berlin flower market (IBeB). The main idea for the project, which was initiated by the architects ifau and HEIDE & VON BECKERATH in cooperation with the Selbstbaugenossenschaft Berlin eG, was to offer a mix of live and work units that would meet the needs of artists and creative professionals. The starting point for the building’s layout and design was a collaborative and socially mixed utilisation concept. Moreover, the comparatively low land prices allowed the cross-subsidisation of cooperative living and studio spaces within the project to be part of the proposal. 

The architect´s interpretation of the binding local development plan makes use of the maximum permitted building volume. The architectural concept is based on three connected horizontal access cores as well as the relation between the building envelope and five internal atriums. These parameters describe and inform the type of units and integrate the building into the neighbourhood. The access at ground level lies outside the building in the south. It accommodates two of the three entrances as well as access to various studios—some of them multi-storey—a garden, communal utility rooms and a basement. Another access on level 1 is linked to the green atriums. Small south-facing apartments are accessed from this central corridor while the north-facing rooms are linked internally with the units above, which can also be accessed directly via single-run staircases. The upper access route is situated outside the building on level 4. Here too, access on two levels is provided, albeit vertically mirrored. Additional studios, a shared space and a roof terrace, including optional reserve areas on a deck above are also proposed. All apartments and studios have different sizes, room heights and standards of fittings. They can be combined and some of them even linked directly in the design development stage to adapt the spatial concept to the occupiers’ needs. The underlying principle is that units in the centre of the building are arranged in modules over a depth of 23 m while units at the ends of the building relate to their surroundings. The apartments and studios on levels 0, 1 and 4 and at the ends of the building have barrier-free accessibility. The structure is a combined cross-wall and column construction. All ground floor spaces are transparent and can be extended into the adjacent public areas. The building envelope combines ceramic elements, windows and fixed glazing in its facade. Generous balconies are situated in the south and west.

The owners and representatives of the cooperative will jointly develop the project’s social and spatial focus. In view of this, the public and semi-public interfaces with the neighbourhood are given specific attention. The building is designed with cost-efficient prefabricated components and could be mostly constructed to the energy efficiency standard 70 of the German Energy Saving Ordinance using mainly environmentally sustainable building materials. Access concepts and floor plans are flexible to accommodate possible conversion and retrofitting as well as adaptation to changing demands. The design of the floor plans for the 66 apartments is both demand-based and user-oriented. Seventeen studios and three commercial units are designed as blanks so that the different needs of individual occupants can be incorporated in the standard of fittings. The decision-making process determining the type and position of communal facilities and the development of a binding standard for fittings took place in close collaboration with the building group.

Project development Selbstbaugenossenschaft Berlin eG in cooperation with ifau and HEIDE & VON BECKERATH
Architects ifau | HEIDE & VON BECKERATH
Client IBeB GbR (Selbstbaugenossenschaft Berlin eG | Ev. Gemeindeverein der Gehörlosen in Berlin e.V. | Private owners)
Completion June 2018

The IBeB is part of An Atlas of Commoning: Orte des Gemeinschaffens, an ifa exhibition in collaboration with ARCH+. German premiere at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, Berlin-Kreuzberg, from June 23–August 26, 2018. The exhibition will then tour internationally for about ten years.  Overseas premiere: 2019 in Pittsburgh (USA), in cooperation with the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, click here.

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