Gonzalez Haase AAS — vGGG Building — Berlin, Germany
With the completion of their first residential project — vGGG Building, the Berlin architects Judith Haase and Pierre Jorge Gonzalez (Gonzalez Haase AAS) have added an elemental piece to the spectrum of their work. The building closes a gap between buildings on an unusual street: Ohmstrasse, which lies in the east-west border zone between Berlin Mitte and Kreuzberg, connects the more urban section of Köpenicker Strasse with the somewhat out-of-the-way Rungestrasse. The entire street is landmark-protected, which makes the addition of modernist-inspired architecture a challenge, but at the same time accounts for the appeal of the project.
Though dutifully respecting the landmark-protection laws, the facade breaks visually with its surroundings. The building reacts to its environment at a more complex level, which can only be experienced when you enter the building and encounter the architecture from within. Here, the defining element of the design was the view from inside to the outside, and, conversely, how natural light is guided from the outside in. The windows are positioned to facilitate light being guided naturally from one side of the building to the other. Shortened walls that end 50 centimeters before reaching the ceiling, and thus allow light to penetrate into neighboring rooms, help augment the amount of daylight.