The “Anker Gardens“ of Bielefeld

The “Anker Gardens“ of Bielefeld

BI, Germany
Project Year
Roman Mensing

The “Anker Gardens“ of Bielefeld

KRESINGS as Architects

The new residential quarter right in the middle of downtown Bielefeld recognizes the potential of history, conveying this potential into the present. The large-scale industrial architecture of the area of the former incorporation “Anker Werke AG“, a company specialized in the production of sewing machines and cash registers, has been kept up, with this area having been transformed into a new urban quarter by means of some minor changes. Additional incisions made at the corners of the perimeter block development break up the existing structures, thus creating an interior zone filled with light and loaded with new contents. At the same time, the staggered positioning of the entrances leaves the sense of comfort of the garden unaffected and sustains the original character of the industrial scale. This approach has resulted in the creation of a revegetated interior space which – by means of its design – serves both as a community garden and as an area allowing barrier-free surmounting of the rising terrain. Apart from the use for commercial purposes in the southern part of the ground floor, the ensemble of buildings first and foremost provides space for 102 apartments that are full of personality. The structural design of the previous factory buildings has been maintained throughout, and the heritage-protected front of the main building, alongside with the bridge, has been restored in a careful manner. This has led to the creation of spacious living areas flooded with light, and thanks to their high ceilings and their picture windows, these areas have a loft-like character of extraordinary kind. The projecting penthouse apartments, which are built onto the existing structure, constitute a quite particular highlight. With their bronze-colored metal cladding systems and the deliberate cantilevers positioned at the incisions, they clearly reflect and underline the conceptual idea of an inner-city ensemble that carries on the history of Bielefeld, making this history lively and perceptible.

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