2010 Shortlisted Entries
Architects for Health are Pleased to announce the short list for the 2010 Student Competition is as follows:
2010-215 Andrew Thompson
2010-217 Lauren Dutton (S)
2010-220 Tim Thikaj (S)
2010-239 Frank Trautmann (S) (2010 Winner £1250)
2010–241 Ewan Cooper(S)(2010 Runner-up £750)
2010-246 Steven Baumann (S)
2010-248 Svetlana Nesterushkina (S)
2010-256 Hayley Moreton (S) (2010 Third £500)
2010-275 Sayan Skandarajah and Niall Patterson (S)
2010-306 Jan Giehler
(S) denotes sample brief response
Sample images from the short listed projects can be viewed below along with the submitted supporting texts. The final round of judging took place on the 26th of August at the RIBA in London. AfH invited members, competition entrants (Shortlisted or not), academics and students to attend the award evening featuring short presentations from the short listed entries
AfH would like to thank all those who submitted projects to the 2010 competition which has been our most successful and most taxing to judge since the competitions inception in 2007.
Addiction Recovery Centre
KTH Arkitekturskolan, Sweden
Addiction is defined as the inability to control a habit or behaviour with harmful effects, and is generally considered to be a neurobiological disorder, that is with both physical and psychological components. People attempting to recover from addictions such as substance abuse or alcoholism are in a fragile process of progression from distraction to focus – a sort of “sensory re-awakening” where they must leave their old self behind and re-emerge a new self.
Treatment programmes for addiction vary depending on the type and severity of the addiction, from residential (in-patient) programmes such as recovery centres and clinics, to non-residential (out-patient) treatment such as support groups and extended care centres, providing care at or close to home. This project proposal is for a post-detox residential recovery centre that deals with the issue at it’s most acute.
Designing a centre for the treatment of addiction presents a complex and fascinating challenge, where consideration must be made for the special programmatic needs of patients and staff in this situation, and equally to the sensory, psychological qualities of the architectural solution. What are the qualities that might nurture an optimally progressive treatment process?
The high cost of treatment means that patients are often checked out too soon for proper consolidation. These patients are considered “recovered” in the sense that they are over their physical addiction, but the necessary psychological and spiritual treatment is incomplete. Relapses occur in two thirds of cases. Mostly these individuals are considered risky employment prospects, and many will remain on taxpayer-funded welfare long-term sick leave. This exacerbates problems of integration with “healthy” society, and feelings of low self-esteem that in themselves can trigger relapses.
Drawing inspiration from the archetype of a medieval monastery complex, the program has been sited and developed to create a feeling of retreat, a sense of community fostered by physical enclosure, participation in daily ritual, shared contribution and self-sufficiency.
The chosen site is a rural island on Stockholm’s lake Mälaren. The program has been located in proximity to agricultural areas on which patients work as part of the addiction recovery process. This provides productive occupation for patients progressing through their recovery, and in order to amortise the high cost of treatment indicated in the analysis, the resulting produce can be used on-site (reducing costs) or sold to wholesalers (generating revenue).
Patients recovering over a longer period would be given tasks and responsibilities contributing to the operation of their centre, furthermore creating the opportunity for interaction between newer patients and “veterans”, who understand their situation and can support and guide them through the progressive stages of recovery.
The spaces are clearly ordered, centred around courtyards that offer sensory experiences which vary daily and seasonally as a form of “experiental calender”, and which contrast with the natural landscape beyond the building’s boundary. The form language ranges from the domestic scale and simplicity of the residents rooms to the more expressive and thought-provoking therapy spaces, but the underlying theme throughout the entire complex is that of “simple pleasures”: this is not a luxury resort, it is a last resort.
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NecRomance…Cultivating Memento Mori(Response to Sample Brief)
Royal College of Art, London
Today the demand for human bodies far surpasses the supply. This results in premium price tags for human tissue and bones, with each corpse fetching between £7,000 to £65,000. Strategically located in the South-East corner of Regents Park, between two of the city’s biggest consumers of flesh, Harley Street and University College Hospital, NecRomance provides a new death process through body donation in order to meet this demand. Here, the corpse is skilfully and efficiently dissected before its components are sold to licensed medical institutions. In gratitude for these anatomical gifts, NecRomance provides complimentary funerary services in the form of a beautifully freakish mourning ritual.
The ritual draws from the primitive instinct of the bereaved to regard human remains as potent symbols of identity and memory and utilizes scientific advances in the manipulation of biological systems to cultivate tissues beyond the body. A community of ‘scientist-artists’ fashion curiously macabre mourning objects from cell cultures of the deceased. These new entities are located on the blurred threshold between living and dead, grown and constructed.
The process of cultivation generates a new death ritual for the bereaved as the incubators in which the mementos are grown also function as memorials to the deceased. They are visited by the bereaved who monitor the life forms, feeding and nurturing them as they grow. After the growth period the objects enter the outside world. The bereaved can touch and be touched by these new life forms allowing a unique and novel communication between the living and the dead.
The mourning spaces are embedded within the clinical programme. They are staged in elaborately dressed sets suspended from a clinical scaffold. The design explores the tension of the eroded boundaries where the two worlds collide and intertwine.
Although the project is set within a fantastical and fictitious narrative, it is based on current issues surrounding death. The project aims to question our current processes for dealing with death and to highlight our loss of any social construct for the bereaved, especially those whose loved ones bodies have been donated to science. Through the imagined morning ritual it suggests that death can be celebrated as a beautiful transformation and the bereaved can indulge in their period of mourning in a more public way rather than grief being a purely private affair, shunned from the everyday. Currently most deaths occur within the clinical environment of the hospital or hospice, the architecture of which does little to respond to the emotional and psychological requirements of the dying or the bereaved. This project proposes a new building typology which accommodates the functional clinical requirements of dealing with the body but also the emotional and sentimental requirements of the bereaved. It questions how these two elements can co exist within one institution.
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The Beginning & The End (Response to Sample Brief)
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture
The first part of the project consists of an analysis of the objective logistic conditions, which are present within the healthcare system. The Flowchart attempts to illustrate that the suggested project prioritizes the interaction between the patient and the environment equally as much as traditional time efficiency considerations.
Rigshospital and Bispebjerg hospital in Copenhagen Denmark exemplify two very different approaches to hospital architecture.
The Rigshospital (1960-78) is characterized predominately by its time efficient module based building system, where the sensory experience of the patient has little importance. In contrast Bispebjerg Hospital ( 1913-), based upon the pavilion system, seems never to forget, that the hospital exist for the benefit of the human and not the other way around. An example of this is the way pockets of green areas are intimately integrated in the overall layout of the buildings and the attention to detail in the estethic expression.
Design Principles, Consideration of Space & Environment
The Birth Clinique
As a general theme, whether it is the choice of materials, dimensions, light conditions etc, I have aimed to intensify the sensuous qualities and the way the light interacts with the interior. The practical requirements dictated by the daily routines, width of doors, ease of access to equipment and facilities, sterility and so forth has been consciously integrated in the totality of the building, as well as the contextual considerations.
One of the contextual considerations consists of the principle of having incorporated the different slopes of the roofs in the fifth facade.
The building consists of three floors. The ground floor is primarily dedicated to the procedures relevant to the pregnancy. (Operating theatre, examination facilities, offices, reception, toilets and storage). The first floor is reserved for the patient, and the family of the patient if present. (Private spaces with individual bathroom facilities, shared kitchen, dining space, and storage). The second floor is occupied by two rooms meant for physical therapy, birth preparation exercises etc. Additionally a minor storage space for exercise equipment is added to the floor.
The Hospice consists of one large main building (300 m2) and four separate quarters 70 m2 – 120 m2) which facilitate up to two families. The entire hospice consists of a one floor, one level solution that has been chosen in order to give the residents of the hospice maximum freedom of movement with a minimum of physical effort.
This layout also increases the perception of safety because needed staff is always very near by. The overall idea is to optimize access and workability of space while softening the architectual expression in order to make the building more organic.
The individual parts of the Hospice are joined under one shared roof, placing the hospice as a fan-like structure in the landscape, maximizing visual access to the qualities of the surroundings.
The Pavilion of Parting
When sudden death occurs, relatives often must part with their loved ones under sterile and impersonal conditions.
This project suggests a separate Pavilion of Parting (300 m2) in an attempt to make the process of parting as personal and intimate as possible. The private nature of this Pavilion has been considered in the positioning of the windows and in creating diffused lightning to create a peaceful atmosphere. This Pavilion contains 9 rooms for the deceased, two washing rooms and 2 day rooms overlooking the green scenery.
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Hospice for Advanced Progressive Ill Children
(Response to Sample Brief)
Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany
Eight hospices for the special needs of children exist in Germany up to date. All of them are build outside the city in a rural context, and within this outsourcing of the ill and dying they disappear from the public perception. Working against this disappearance my hospice is planed in the urban context of Weimar, a midsized city in the green heart of Germany. It follows special rules to preserve the guest’s privacy, but clearly takes advantage of the site in the city and uses its synergies, e.g. medical facilities for the ill and a rich cultural offer for the parents. My main concern is to face those problems and give them an address, an institution in the city. Weimar has a population of about 60‘000 inhabitants, has a well known historic city center with lively cultural offers and plenty of green parks.
The peaceful site of the hospice lies beneath one of the parks and is surrounded by classic villas from the late 19th century. Close to the site you can find the buildings of the Diakonie of Weimar, an institution dealing mainly with elderly and runs a school for disabled children. All those facilities and knowledge could be used by the hospice as well. The building of the hospice integrates a public kindergarden. This integration should highlight another synergy: instead of isolating the ill and disabled outside the city, my hospice will try to integrate them in the city together with all the safe and sound children.
The building of the hospice forms a long meander that runs up the slope on the site. The whole form is made of an unique material which symbolises a community, that helps grieving families to survive their personal loss, rather than a hospital. None of the functions could be read clearly from the outside, but the sloping terrain and the forming of the meander helps to separate both functions: a public garden with the connected kindergarten opens to the city and articulates the public address. Whereas the rooms of the hospice are grouped around a private patio. This patio fully helps to protect the families from the outside interest. The two gardens are separated by the section of the building that hosts the common surgeries, such as rooms for therapies, a swimmingpool, kitchens, rooms for massages, etc.
Idea of the strict border between the areas is to leave it up the guests whether they want to meet or not. Instead of designing a building which forces the children to do so. Specialy the ill children of the hospice have run through endless lasting hospital visits which easily can traumatise them. Some of the kids may aged just 2 years but have seen probably more hospitals than any adult. The interior of the hospice tries to be as plain and simple as possible in order to give the children a surrounding which relates to their age and growth, but avoids the clinical white. Some of the children could die in these rooms, so it is important to give them a room with dignity and lots of space for own decoration: e.g. lots of natural lights in the rooms, plenty lines of sight to the nature outside, enough rooms open for all families to allow the growth of community actions, the use of natural materials such as wooden walls and concrete flooring.
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The re-location of the Post Office operations at Mount Pleasant to Swindon in the near future has prompted us to look at the potential of this large site to become a new part of the city. Situated in Clerkenwell, culturally and geographically an area beyond the city proper, the area is historically identified as an area of gardens, spas and religious communities. Situated on the course of the River Fleet, now buried and merged with London’s sewer system, the Mount Pleasant site still retains an echo of the riverine topography that reveals the old course of the Fleet as it continues down through Smithfield and Holborn, eventually joining the Thames at Blackfriars.
PROPOSAL: FLEET RIVER BURIAL PARK AND CITY GARDEN
The proposal aims to knit the site into the surrounding urban grain by completing terraced streets along its borders thereby creating an interior realm through which a sustainable urban drainage system restores the flow of water within the Fleet’s catchment area and creates an informal city garden.
Within the garden a series of funeral chapels sit amongst the reeds and bulrushes on the eastern bank of the Fleet. This space is enclosed by a columbarium which wraps around the perimeter of the site and a brick terrace which houses chapels of rest and accommodation for mourners.
“They do not let death have the last word. We have to regard this in its most elementary significance. It is not a religious affair or a transposition of religion into secular customs, mores, and so on. Rather it is a matter of the fundamental constitution of human being from which derives the specific sense of human practice; we are dealing here with a conduct of life that has spiraled out of the order of nature.” H. G. Gadamer
The burial ground needs to inhabit the same space as the public, more profane world of the garden. Only with this adaptability will the new model work as a usable solution to burial grounds in some future ancient London.
As a critique of post Victorian ‘method’ over ceremony, that puts work ethic and efficiency at the centre of public life, this passage has generated the thesis of my proposal.
Gadamer’s observation that living with dead, civilises the living resonates with recent calls from the Association of Burial Authorities on the subject of urban burial grounds:
“New Cemeteries: Should be located adjacent to catchment areas to reduce travel, encourage local burial in the style of an “urban village”, and designed for use as passive leisure parks as well as for disposal of the dead. Rather than vast cemeteries for inhumations and interment of ashes, small intimate parks could be created, in particular for ashes, within the urban environment.”
The middle of the 16th Century saw the dissolution of the religious precincts that populated the banks of the old River Fleet. The Church of England brought about the London property market as the constituent parts were tactically gifted off to the kings associates. The eradication of catholic ceremony from English life made way for the tide of Commerce and industry that has since been the cultural driver of the metropolis.
By proposing a new city structure that mixes civic and domestic buildings with accommodation for the living and the dead, the Fleet River Burial Ground & City Garden could serve as an exemplar for new urban development that provides a place for high and low ceremony/sacred and profane aspects of life that might endure and shape the future of the city.
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Cemetery for Unknown Citizens
(Response to Sample Brief)
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
Traditionally cemeteries provided respite from the frenetic activities of the city and a place within which to acknowledge the dead as the cities former citizens.
The project proposes a cemetery for London’s unidentified citizens of which there are an estimated 1000 unidentified bodies in the United Kingdom at any one time. These bodies represent many of the social, economic and cultural issues experienced in almost all western cities. They are the remains of the city. However, this is not an attempt to reconcile those who have not fitted into generic social ranking or who have deliberately sought anonymity, nor is it an attempt to bestow religious blessings to lost souls. The cemetery is nondenominational and nonconformist to style.
Consequently the project intentionally ignores conventional cemetery architecture that acts as an agency for privacy, security and exclusivity that inadvertently curtails the horizon of experience – reducing noise-transmission, differentiating movement patterns, suppressing smells, stemming vandalism, cutting down accumulation of dirt, veiling embracement, closeting indecency and abolishing the unnecessary, reducing the experience of life, and death, to sterile inanimate shadow play.
The cemetery retains the functional components – a mortuary, parlour, columbaria, ossuary, and an unmarked grave – however, a labyrinth of contiguous spaces cognisant of the relationships between one another attempts to reintroduce the realms of the dead and living to propagate interaction of a social and existential capacity. There is no glamorisation of the horrors of death or fetishisation of the disgusting, rather the emphasis falls on the placement, and displacement, of bodies in relation to one another in the immediate context of the site as well as the city. It is a place for acknowledging the cities nameless characters – a house of the dead.
The architecture in accordance manifests as an assemblage of common place materials – chain link fencing, brick, steel I sections, scaffolding, grates and hoarding – and begins to construct a layering of boundaries and vistas creating a labyrinth of intersections of negotiation between conditions of continuity and discontinuity, life and death.
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(Response to Sample Brief)
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC)
When asked how would they prefer to die most people answer “sudden, instant, painlesss”…
There’s a lot of fear and misunderstanding of death in modern societies…. Yet famous thinkers and spiritual teachers are talking about the beauty and the ultimate liberation that death brings with it.
“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings” Socrates
Can we stop fearing and embrace this experience of dying? Can we try not to miss this one-in-a-life-time chance to actually find out what is death?
The main idea of the project was to create a hotel where people can live their final days and die… a place where you can consciously live through the experience…to actually face death instead of hiding from it …an opportunity to finally understand…
The main component of the hotel is an individual capsule that shifts taking the person through the transition from life to death. There’s no certainty, no guarantee – what used to be a floor becomes a wall and a wall becomes a ceiling – you have no choice but to constantly readjust, to drop all preconceptions, everything that you thought you knew, to open up to new knowledge… to take each moment as a new discovery …. At the final stage, when the line between life and death is crossed the individual capsule with the body inside is burned.
The interior of the capsule consists of wooden blocks that can move in and out of the wall. These blocks are modified by the user according to his needs and the changing position of the capsule – they can act as furniture or steps. In the last stage these wooden blocks become the logs for the fire. After they burnt only an empty concrete frame remains. It can later on be refitted with new wooden blocks for the next person going through the experience or it can stay as a chapel -.a possibility for the family of the deceased to remember him within the walls where he died, within the space charged with the presence of his spirit…
Behind the capsule there’s a box compartment for the family members. There’s a lower level which is a room for the close ones and an upper level which acts as a ceremony hall during cremation. This space is reconfiguring together with the shifting capsule thus creating a link between the person dying and his close ones. The dying can feel the presence of his family, their loving support but in the end death is an individual experience – we can only “live through death” on our own…
The building of the hotel is formed by the family “boxes” stacked on top of each other to form a vertical wall with an individual capsule attached to each box. It is located on an island in India, in a narrow cut-out gorge that “embraces” all those going through the experience. The path along the edge of the gorge is for people to come in touch with the phenomenon of death, to contemplate about it, to experience the sensation of the edge… At the bottom of the gorge there’s a sacred pool essential for the death ceremonies in India.
It’s a hotel, a spiritual retreat, a final resting place and a place for remembrance…
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The Pub with Additional Principles Applied
(Response to Sample Brief)
Birmingham City University
Warpole’s book explains many of the benefits of hospice design, and why people may have a preference for dying there. He also points out one of the hospice movements possible failures;
‘The hospice movement is not without its critics…”a hospice should not be a place but a set of contexts which can be reproduced anywhere”’ was the opinion of one senior pastoral care worker I interviewed’ Warpole
After reading this I felt that it might be good to try and create this ‘set of contexts’ by looking at existing hospices and trying to find common features that make them successful. Perhaps by doing this, new hospices could use these principals in creating a brief or they could be applied elsewhere in places such as hospitals or nursing homes. (See sheet 1, which shows this set of contexts graphically) During my research, I found that the majority of hospices are funded by donations and fundraising, however many Charities have been hit badly by the recession.
I looked at the need to create hospices with reduced amount of capital. Perhaps charities would no longer be able to build brand new hospices as they have been doing.
I began to think of suitable settings for my hospice, and began to think of places that already had some of the features previously identified. This would immediately eliminate some of the contexts; I would have otherwise had to create.
During my research I looked at other peoples views into death, which also informed the choice of location. The ‘Day of the dead’ is a holiday for Latin Americans, on which they honour the dead and often hold parties. I completely agree with this view that we should celebrate a life, instead of mourning a death. My chosen building type was the public house, as it is a place where celebrations often take place. Again this is another sector which has also been hit quite hard by the recession, and there are now many pubs across the UK standing empty. I chose the pub as it already has many of the criteria previously identified that make a hospice successful.
I identified a pub in Macclesfield to be location of my site, which is the town where I currently live, and where I have noticed a recent decline in custom. In theory things that work here can be applied throughout many other towns in the UK, as Macclesfield is close to an average UK town. The chosen pub was also selected due to its status as a pub at the heart community, which is a key factor of a hospice identified by Warpole; ‘Hospices also have an increasing number of day patients and provide support for the family so they are moving towards becoming an active care and treatment centre at the heart of the community.’ Warpole
Overall, this project highlights some of the successes of a hospice as a place to die, and looks at a new way in which more hospices could be provided, as well as changing people’s attitudes to death.
I am not suggesting that a pub is the perfect location for a hospice, but that the theory behind using this ‘set of contexts’ could be applied in reality. The drawings are not a fully resolved proposal, but are an investigation into the concepts.
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The Alexandra Centre : Coma and Neural Trauma Recovery
(Response to Sample Brief)
Sayan Skandarajah and Niall Patterson
University of Edinburgh
This Investigation aims to examine the limits of the brief entitled ‘Designing for death: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise’ with respect to the state of coma:
D e a t h : Patients in a comatose state only exist or ‘live’ with the functional processes of their body; the heart beats and the lungs breath, consciousness however, is absent. We examine the proximity between between definitions of death and the state of coma and question the potential to further separate these two terms and their association. It still remains that our ability to communicate and respond to stimuli is the judge of our consciousness, for example, the Glasgow coma scale is based upon responses to stimulation, thus determining the severity of the condition. The scale awards points with regard to levels of visual, verbal and motor response, the scale ranges from no response to spontaneous and voluntary reactions.
H e l l , P u r g a t o r y a n d p a r a d i s e : It is the waiting, the uncertainty and fragility of coma that distinguishes these patients from others. What can be said of the experiences of these patients whilst existing in a state of coma? Based on their level of awareness, perhaps certain stimuli can puncture their unconsciousness such as sounds, voices and smells. Locked-in syndrome is an extreme state where the patient is fully aware of his/her surroundings but has only very limited responses with which to communicate. It is contact – both physical and sensory that aids a patient during their dwelling in a comatose state or ‘purgatory’. It is through contact we establish connection and through connection, communication.
T h e A l e x a n d r a C e n t r e f o r c o m a a n d n e u r a l t r a u m a r e c o v e r y : The proposal is a brief insight into the possibilities of the treatment of coma patients not only during their state of unconsciousness, but also to facilitate the full recovery after gaining consciousness including therapy – physical, psychological and communicative. The centre is aimed to enhance the dynamic between the medical staff, the visitors or family and the patients – establishing a core personal connection within individual wards, with an emphasis on stimulative devices. The centre is open to the public, not only to make use of the public programmes such as medical facilities, physiotherapy gyms and cafe but also to widen the public understanding – facilitated by research branches in the centre.
The proposed site exists within a complex of industrial units and the Leith docks in Edinburgh. The centre is located by the Prince of Wales docks on the Alexandra pier. The chosen site falls just within the periphery of a vast re-development, However, it was predominantly the concept of a dock that inspired us. The act of docking tethers a vessel temporarily between the land and sea, The design proposal attempts integrate this concept with regard to a state of temporary unconsciousness. Such a concept draws a powerful and romantically relevant parrallel with life and death.
Our design aims pivoted around the concept of stimulation and contact which became manifest in architectural elements that enhanced personal experiences within the building, with effects on light and space.
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Lake Experience: Rehabilitation Centre for Paraplegic Patients
Technical University of Dresden
The main issue when designing a rehabilitation centre is to design an architecture which supports and challenges the patient in all rehab phases. Since every patient has to deal with the new situation and the aim to reintegrate into society, to simplify the contact to society is the main design purpose of my project “LakeExperience”.
The site is located at the southern part of the peninsula “Hermannswerder” in Potsdam (close to Berlin) in Germany. The peninsula is developed by an avenue from north east. However, “Hermannswerder” is not well connected to the city of Potsdam, situated on the opposite lake shore. So the best way to reach the site is by boat.
Today, the site is neither visible from the “Templiner See” lake nor from the city, since it is enclosed by huge trees. The idea of my project is to take the site out of its isolation and improve the connection to the city of Potsdam in order to create a meeting place where patients and citizens of Potsdam come together. At this very prominent spot the rehab will become a landmark visible over a long distance just as connected to Potsdam via boat shuttle (expansion of the existing boat network). The aim to be more than a rehab but a point of communication and reintegration into society justices the clear cube form of the building and the position right at the shore of the lake (in the prolongation of the existing avenue). The area around the building will rest nature, just as beautiful as it is today.
The concept is to preserve the nature at the site and make it accessible. As a result, the connection of indoor and outdoor is a key topic to the project.
The rehab centre is divided into two parts – a public transparent ground floor and the more introverted area for the patients in the upper floors, protected by a supplement layer in the façade from visual insights but allowing outlooks. The materiality and openings of the entrance floor allow the landscape and the existing hiking trail to pass through the building. In this part of the building the majority of the public functions like the bath, the entrance hall and the rowing club are positioned.
In contrast to the floating landscape the upper part, covered in perforated metal plates cuts like a knife a viewshaft through the vegetation. Each floor provides (open) spaces to meet – connected by a ramp. The ramp – the leitmotiv of the circulation in the building – allows the experience of all nature qualities of the site, such as meadows, forest, reed and the lake. But at the same time it is a contribution to a self-evident barrierfree circulation in the rehab, connecting all public spaces in the building up to the roof terrace which provides a view to Potsdam over the treetops.
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