A small architecture in Germany reimagined as a community epicenter

Studio undjurekbrüggen transformed a sequence of garages into an essential collective space standing as an idea of sustainability, by involving the local community and reusing existing materials.

Luise 19E is a project in which attention to the environment, constructive clarity, and community processes converge. The architecture is simple: a low volume, with solid bricks to define the mass of a compact parallelepiped, and large windows to mark the rhythm of the main facade. Surmounting is a high concrete beam that crowns the building, onto which a series of sheet metal structures are attached, acting as shading and projecting roof.

But this simplicity hides a design history that is anything but obvious. Originally, Luise 19E included four garages, which would have had to be demolished due to the severe deterioration. However, the young studio undjurekbrüggen won a competition by envisaging the conversion of the building into a community center, involving the inhabitants and reflecting on the sustainability of the intervention. This derives from the desire not to demolish the building but to preserve the perimeter walls, consolidating them and rethinking the interiors as a large room open to residents.

Undjurekbrüggen, Luise 19E, Werder, Germania, 2023. Photo Hannes Heitmüller.

The partitions were then carefully broken down, and the bricks reused for the external arrangements. A succession of wooden beams characterizes the internal roof, while a roof garden creates a new soil, rebalancing the land consumed by the building.

Luise 19E thus reflects on the minimal action, on the possibility of adapting architecture from a perspective that is attentive to the ecological footprint, making even a small structure habitable. This gives back an idea of sustainability that starts from the existing and its possible transformation as a project resource for the future.

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