• ecovillage Hanover

    With the development of the ecovillage in Hanover, there is a great chance to make an important contribution to future-oriented urban development. One of the most specific features of the ecovillage, and its guiding principle, is sufficiency. To possess more by sharing more: a highly flexible approach that, here, is not only preached but also practiced. In addition to a co-working space and several workshops, ecovillage also offers common rooms in the buildings and gardens that belong to and can be used by everyone, and there is even a special guest house for visitors to stay the night.

    The nucleus of the urban design is the lively village square, that is surrounded and framed by the commons. This is the green heart of ecovillage; where water is being managed, food is being produced and the spirit of community is being lived.

    One of the drivers for the development was the ambition to become a CO2-neutral settlement. Everything is built from wood, and the sealing of the surfaces is being minimized as well. Biodiversity is promoted and gray- and rainwater are treated and cleaned with the help of a plant-based sewage treatment system. After being directed into a biotope-like lake, it seeps away and evaporates, or serves the residents to water their gardens.

    The mobility concept also sets high goals with regard to future viability: it focuses entirely on local mobility. (local public transport, as well as pedestrian and bike path traffic). In concrete terms, this means only 0.2 parking spaces per residential unit are provided. In return, however, there are generous areas for bicycles, rental stations, handcarts, etc. A direct connection to the light rail system rounds off this concept.

    The neighbourhoods, which are connected to each other and to the centre by the commons, consist of differently sized clusters. These clusters comprise various building typologies, which in turn provide space for a wide range of apartment forms. This 'democratic' housing mix promotes social integration and creates strong neighbourhoods.

    ecovillage can be regarded as a pioneer in a long-overdue discussion of principles in which frugality is pursued as a philosophy.

    All facts

    500 residential units
    900 inhabitants
    5 hectares total area
    2 hectares of garden land
    3100 m² of commercial space
    2500 m² communal facilities
    Start of construction in 2021
    Completion in 2026
    More information: ecovillage-hannover.de

    in progress
    2020
    30539 Hanover
    Germany
  • Residential Crown Carpark Windmühlenstraße

    The residential crown is a prototype of settlement 2.0. Rooftops of retail and office buildings as well as parking garages are activated, attractive locations are opened up, existing infrastructures are used more efficiently and the mixture of programs in the city center is improved. The existing parking garage is complemented with penthouses as part of the renovation of façade and entrance area. These residential units distinguish formally from the existing building structure and simultaneously give the building a harmonious completion. Entrances and circulation of the building have been reorganized so that independent addresses for the car park and the residential building are clearly recognizable. The residential building is accessed (barrier-free) via a representative lobby on the ground floor with exclusive elevators that lead directly to the central, landscaped residential courtyard. The residential units are accessible from this common space. Each apartment (50 to 120m²) has a spacious, private terrace overlooking the rooftops of the city.

    completed
    2015
    Windmühlenstraße 3
    30159 Hannover
    Germany
  • Embassy Residences

    How to organize attractive family living and low energy housing in a high-density city center?

    Our award-winning design for the Embassy Residences in Albania provides high-quality, family-friendly, and low-energy housing units in the city center of Tirana, one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe.

    The project responds to the mayor's ambition to limit the growth of the city and to counter sub-urban developments with a more diverse range of housing typologies. On top of a commercial plinth and two parking levels rises a series of stacked villas, connected by a semi-public stair. This serves as alternative circulation and additional, shared informal outside space to the apartments. 



    The floorplans protect the privacy of the apartments but allow residents to sit on their porch or use the staircase to access their apartment when in the mood for a chat or a Friday afternoon drink. Research has led to a compact build-up of irrigated substrate layers that can support rich vegetation on the stair, balconies, and roof terraces.

    The facade consists of two layers arranged according to insolation. A basic glass layer is protected by a secondary shading layer of anodized aluminum where it is not protected by surrounding buildings or cantilevering volumes. This results in high transparency on the one and low energy costs on the other hand in addition to preventing the building from the hot Mediterranean sun whilst still guaranteeing an elegant look.

    under construction
    2018
    Rruga Asim Zeneli, Tirana, Albania
    8303 Tirana
    Albania
  • Family Villa

    A listed villa of the 1850ties was converted into two family apartments. The large garden is used collectively. The 1st and 2nd floors were redesigned in relation to the needs of a couple with five children. Spaces „suitable for everyday use" are created and at the same time, the special character of the historic building with its ornamental elements and valuable wooden floors is strengthened.

    To reestablish the former spaciousness a multitude of fixtures and walls were demolished. The roof was reconstructed according to current energetic standards. The first floor serves as an entrance area with a large hall leading to the kitchen and the balcony. The master bedroom and one kid's room are orientated to the garden. The former ballroom as the heart of the building is used as a dining and living room. The space has an impressive size (55m2, 6m high) and is decorated with an ornamental ceiling that was preserved and - where necessary - restored. A gallery is installed into the ballroom as a slender glass-steel-structure: The stairs are suspended from the gallery to keep the parquetry untouched. The second floor is reserved „for kids only" and features four rooms, a play hall, and a bathroom. The staircase between the two floors is enhanced in its spaciousness by opening up a part of the ceiling. All design and constructive measurements were undertaken in detailed consultation with the institution for historic preservation.

    completed
    2012
    Von-Alten-Allee
    30449 Hannover
    Germany
  • Dürres Beach Hotel

    When designing the Durres Beach Hotel in Golem, Albania, CITYFÖRSTER faced the challenge of creating quality within an unpromising context. Golem, a popular beach resort, enjoys a prime location on the sea and is set in a mountainous landscape. However, the village has suffered from uncontrolled development, resulting in a sprawling blanket of buildings. The site for the new hotel is located in the third row from the beach and faces a highway on the other side.
    On the other hand the site boasts a beautiful forest of mature Mediterranean pine trees and forms an anchor to a potential urban plaza in the south. In order to overcome the challenges, we designed a building rooted in the Modernist tradition, a compact building block surrounded by greenery. This layout provides the entire building with light, air and space, and secludes the rooms on lower floors from their direct surroundings. An elevated roof gardens compensates the footprint and adds to the overall quality of new hotel.
    All rooms have highly finished interiors, as well as balconies offering different views – either towards the sea, towards the mountains, or towards the trees. Each balcony is cladded in natural stone from different regions in Albania, which creates a distinct rhythm in the façade. The west façade corresponds to the adjacent buildings, whilst the east façade follows the patterns of trees. The end result is positive eyecatcher, clearly visible from the highway and the sea.

    under construction
    2017
    Shkembi i Kavajes, Rashbull, 2021, Albania
    Golem
    Albania
  • The Rubber House

    The Rubber House as a price winning project in the Eenvoud/ Simplicity competition was selected to be built in Almere, Netherlands, as one of 12 experimental housing projects. In volume and style inspired by the simple and archetypal Dutch barn architecture the Rubberhouse forms a simple asymmetric double pitched roof inhabiting 2 storeys, in combination with a single pitch roof with one storey. The resource saving construction consists of massive wood panels from cross-laminated timber. The outer walls and the roof surface are clad with black EPDM foil. In contrast to that the atmosphere of the inside is characterized by the natural warm surface of the massive wooden walls. The utilization concept proposes small private rooms in favour of a generous open plan living area. Clear lines of sight through the entire building support the robust, open space sequence and allow visual connections into the adjacent forest. The living room can be expanded via the large sliding glass doors onto the terrace. The high degree of prefabrication allowed for a building period of only three months.

    completed
    2011
    De Eenvoud 15
    1319 Almere
    Netherlands
  • Office Building. New Lands Commission

    The design for the landmark building of 5.500sqm, housing the New Lands Commission, will be a symbol of the new spirit of transparency and efficiency, bringing together the currently dispersed Land Sector Agencies. The building has an important symbolic impact due to the recent nationwide establishment of the land registry and is to represent a new All-Ghanaian identity. The design responds to local climatic and social parameters throughout all scales. All design-elements, from the urban setting out to the building's shape and its materialization aim towards natural and sustainable performance, fulfilling several functions at the same time. The circulation system forms the core of the building, spiraling upwards between two rings of offices on different levels. By breaking the clear separation between floors this system provides a continuous movement, bringing the NLC together on one continuous floor, with a variety of perspectives in and throughout the building. The parametric design of the outer appearance of the building guaranties functional performance whilst allowing for aesthetic variation. The diamond-shaped bamboo panels all follow the lowest sun-angle providing shade and filtered natural light at the same time.

    in progress
    2010-2015
    Ghana Survey School, Achimota Rd
    1757 Accra
    Ghana
  • Green Wave. Glitnir Bank Hq

    The design concept 'Green Wave' generates a holistic image and a characteristic coastal skyline for the site of Kirkjusandur in Reykjavik, Iceland. Two design principles characterize the appearance of all buildings: The dynamic shape of the wave as an aesthetic concept and the integration of green spaces as vital elements of functional and atmospheric quality. The new headquarters of Glitnir Bank, a nine-storey building addressing the prominent highway Sæbraut, will be the key figure for the future development. The elevated entrance plaza is secluded from public flow on ground level and sheltered from heavy winds coming from the shore. Open working spaces can be organised and subdivided flexibly. Winter gardens on each floor increase internal lighting, provide space for informal communication and create a comfortable atmosphere and climate. A decentralized ventilation system and a heating system based on geothermal energy are implemented, which are economic in maintenance, space-saving and highly energy efficient. The façade consists of tilted glass elements creating a "deep skin" that reflects natural and artificial light in different angles.

    Idea
    2006/07
    Laugarnesvegur 52
    105 Reykjavik
    Iceland