At the southern tip of Berlin's Plänterwald, where the path ends abruptly on the banks of the Spree, there is an unusual house of the artist Anselm Reyle and the architect Tanja Lincke on the site of the former GDR water police shipyard.
Fascinated by the morbid presence of the abandoned industrial site, it was decided to underline its condition by an architectural and artistic re-appropriation, resulting in the transformation of the main building of the former shipyard into a real ruin. Besides the conversion of the auxiliary buildings on the site into studio spaces, a new residential building, which in its materiality and appearance is gently reacting to its immediate context, was constructed and finished in 2017.
The essence of the property is primarily determined by the ruin and its garden. Distinctive fragments of ruins in a sculptural arrangement are combined with a seemingly wild planting of perennials, grasses and trees such as birch and vinegar tree and the strongly geometric forms of the lawn. These elements form a unity that picks up and exaggerates the romantic atmosphere of the orphaned industrial site and at the same time deliberately stages the view of the Spree.
For an unobstructed view over the water, the living level of the new building was raised. The ceilings and floor slabs are centrally penetrated by a light concrete core and rest on six supporting pillars, which were constructed using raw wood formwork to match the character of the surroundings. In order to disturb the longitudinal flow of the core as little as possible, the partition walls between staircase, kitchen and bathroom - all bundled together in the core - are made of glass blocks. This typical element is also found in some existing buildings, including the directly adjacent boathouse. A free standing shelf unit made of Zebrano wood veneer divides the living area into zones, while a long cabinet unit creates two bedrooms, the backs of which are made off plastered clay panels to regulate the indoor climate.
Due to the elevated view of the Spree, the river bank is not visible and the water seems to flow underneath. In contrast to the narrow windowless core, the living level opens outwards all around. The material presence of the glass façade with its anodized elements - also a reference to the 1970s - emphasizes the physical appearance of the building, thus appearing to be a shell construction to which a glass façade has been added. Its intentional ambiguity regarding construction period and function allows the building to be naturally embedded in the area, creating a visual continuity between architecture and nature.