FAR frohn&rojas is a networked architectural design and research practice located in Berlin, Santiago de Chile and Los Angeles. Through its name the office acknowledges both its geographically distributed anatomy as well as the increasingly widened professional scope that is literally shaping its work. With its distributed setup the office seeks to appropriate corporate models of global presence and distribution as its own effective means of production. One of the studio’s latest projects is the Wohnregal, a 6-storey building housing life/work ateliers.
It was built using pre-cast concrete elements common in industrial warehouse construction. Underlying the choice for this serial construction technique was the ambition to bridge two apparently contradictory challenges the housing market in Berlin is facing. On one hand the industrial pre-fabrication offers the benefits of serial construction techniques such as cost-savings and shorter construction time lines thus addressing the rising construction cost for housing. Countering preconceptions that serial construction automatically implies a standardization of the inhabitable unit itself, the Wohnregal at the same time offers a maximum range of different life/work ateliers for an ever-broadening bandwidth of urban life styles.
The pre-cast concrete structure with its long spanning TT-ceilings facilitates such variety as it offers a clear span from façade to façade without any structural walls needed on the interior. A curtain wall consisting of large-scale standard sliding doors is used as the façade. It allows for the interior to be opened up to its surrounding during the summer months turning the living space as a whole into a loggia. At the same time this curtain wall offers a maximum presence of the gridded pre-cast concrete structure both to the inside as well as to the surrounding.
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Photography by David von Becker