Transformation "Gelbes Viertel" Neue Grottkauer Straße / Carola-Neher-Straße / Erich-Kästner-Straße, Berlin-Hellersdorf

Client: Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Hellersdorf mbH (WoGeHe)

1. Prize, competition, Brasil Arquitetura, São Paulo 1997, "Worldwide Projekt" Expo Hannover 2000

Concept: Urban upgrading of a residential Quarter with 3.200 apartments, prefabricated construction Typ WBS 70. The Client intended to upgrade and loosen the monotony of the long housing blocks, with a colourful "South american" image. Three South american architectural offices and their contact architects were invited. Brasil Arquitetura won with five essential elements: a colour scheme, keeping the character of the prefabricated construction elements, introducing wooden elements for balconies and passages, using decorative elements (tiles) with grafic motives of the Kadiweu Indians from Mato Grosso Brazil, that structure the long facades and bring life to the walls in the passages. For the design of the tiles a special competition was organized in Mato Grosse among the women of the tribe. In the public areas two large-sized sculptures by the brazilian artist Amilcar de Castro und Elisa Bracher were positioned. 

Planning and realisation took place in 18 month under inhabited conditions. After physical analysis an additional thermal insolation could be foregone and the facades could be kept respecting the prefabricated identity, showing the joints (in the Mid-Nineties most of the prefabricated housing complexes were covered with insulation, their identity disappeared).

A  colour scheme and special treatment of the surfaces was developed together with the company STO.  20.000 windows were exchanged, 14 passages renovated , as well as 150 staircases and building entrances. Roofs, balkonies and utility shafts were renovated. 1.500 balcony balustrades were removed and replaced by "Muxarabis", grid structures made of larch-wood, optional the balconies could be closed with glas partitions. the Muxarabis were also used for the entrances and as ceilings and overhangs in the passages.

Elevators for the 6 storey hight buildings were not required.

Part of the overall concept was the landscape design design with thematic gardens. Five landscape architectural offices participated, among them Büro Haan (Forgardens) and Glaßer & Dagebach, and AG Höschel Merkel. 

Team NM: Pedro Moreira with Brasil Arquitetura (São Paulo), engineers: Baukö, Bauplan, Köpenick, project management: Gepro GmbH