The Gleis Park Apartments offer the best of both worlds: nestled between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg and just a stone’s throw away from Potsdamer Platz, the idyllic location is close to nature while enjoying all the perks of big city life. Homeowners and tenants not only profit from the proximity to the 26-hectare green space; they also benefit from light-flooded rooms, quiet inner courtyards, and perfectly oriented balconies and terraces. At the same time the development has an urban flair, with no lack of leisure activities: the arcades at Potsdamer Platz, with their shops and restaurants, theatres and museums, are just a few minutes’ walk away.
High-quality living space
The architecture of the new builds at the former rail junction can be described as urban and unique. With their curved shape, the Gleis Park apartment buildings blend in seamlessly with their green surroundings. The four six-storey buildings appear to meld into one thanks to their skewed orientation and curved contours. They are framed by two distinctive, barrel-shaped buildings – parking blocks that allude to the multi-storey car park that previously stood on the site. Planned and constructed for what was expected to be a high volume of traffic, the car park designed by Renzo Piano was never fully utilised. An entirely different development was needed to breathe life back into the unused space in the city centre. Cologne-based Bauwens Construction GmbH & Co. KG took on the project with the aim of creating high-quality living quarters.
Functionality and visual appeal
When planning the new development, Berlin-based architectural practice KSP Engel preserved the blocks that stood either side of Piano’s car park. They now frame the residential complex. The 178 modern apartments, some of which are furnished, feature a whole host of conveniences including efficient floor plans, 2.8-metre ceiling heights, floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies facing the park, and high-quality décor. Proper surface-water drainage had to be ensured at various points throughout the exposed building complex. This called for a functional dewatering system that would subtly blend into the balconies, terraces, inner courtyards and entrance areas. The custom-made products offered by Richard Brink GmbH & Co. KG proved to be the ideal choice here. When choosing the solution, the project managers were impressed by the high quality and thus the durability of the Richard Brink channels and gratings, as well as the company’s reliable order processing and delivery.
Fultura channels were used at the transitions in the entrance areas and inner courtyards, and between the balcony and terrace flooring and the living areas. They are produced in lengths of 1,000mm as standard and feature height-adjustable stilt supports with articulated feet that help adjust the channels to a height of 55 to 80mm or 85 to 110mm. The company also produces bespoke solutions that are quick and easy to make and install – a perfect fit for the Berlin project that enables the channels’ installation height to be adjusted as required, ensuring barrier-free transitions. Over 1,300 metres of stainless steel drainage channels were manufactured in total with inlet widths ranging from 100 to 258mm depending on the installation location. The bespoke products were installed by the company Holzbau Richter, which was able to carry out the work quickly and easily thanks to the channels’ precise fit. All channel profiles were covered with stainless steel longitudinal bar gratings measuring 20 x 3mm. Not only the effortless assembly but also the refined, elegant look make for an impressive overall finish. The gratings contrast with the dark-coloured doors in the entrances along the access balconies and in the inner courtyards as well as with the glass façades on the apartment balconies. The adjacent light-coloured slab material used in the inner courtyard and terrace areas and the wood look used on the balconies and roof terraces set striking accents.
The installers were extremely pleased with the quality of the channels provided by the metal products manufacturer and with their easy handling despite the many custom-made elements. “Our colleagues at Richard Brink were always on hand with excellent advice and were quick to solve any problems. This meant we were able to complete the Gleis Park construction project to everyone’s full satisfaction,” says Dirk Richter, Managing Director of Holzbau Richter.