Many of the streets and buildings just north of downtown Berlin are highly soughtafter residential areas. The neighborhood near the Volkspark am Weinberg, the Church of Zion, and Kastanienallee, which at least since the early nineties has represented the epitome of Berlin’s development into a place of cultural creatives, is at the top of the list.
The Berlin Courtyards are located right here, on a block formed into a non-symmetrical trapezoid by its four surrounding streets and characterized by the typical Berlin mixture of living and work space. The four front buildings of Fehrbelliner 45–48 have side wings and rear buildings that extend deep into the block. Whereas numbers 45 and 46 are classic Berlin residential buildings, the two short side wings of numbers 47 and 48 are defined by a rational architecture, that is, the yellow brick structure of a multi-story factory built in 1876 and used by the Secura Works for Fine and Electromechanics. While the new construction runs the length of the entire complex, the project not only includes the row of four buildings on Fehrbellinerstrasse to the northeast, but also the building on Brunnenstrasse 25 at the southwestern end of the property.
The front buildings and side wings of the five residential buildings on the outer sides of the block will be completely renovated, and in the buildings along Fehrbelliner Strasse the ground floors and mezzanines will be fitted for commercial use.
The Secura Works complex—including two side buildings, two lateral buildings, and two courtyards—offers lofts with floor spaces of 110–270 square meters. Some on the ground floor and second floor as well as the sixth and seventh floors have been designed as maisonettes. The new penthouse crowns the old factory with a lightweight steel and glass construction.
On the side of the right wing of the factory building is an addition that extends the full height of the older building’s firewall and has a striking appearance with its undulating outer skin facing northwest. The apartments in this section have an attractive feature for the inhabitants, because their rooms encompass the new building of the addition and the old factory. Directly opposite are three threestory townhouses with a very similar façade, alternating between convex and concave, with a southwestern exposure and terraces on the roof. These six units are designed to suit the needs of small families.
Overall the Fehrbelliner Courtyards include a good 150 apartments ranging between about sixty and 300 square meters, all equipped with maximum comfort in terms of their interior fittings. In the buildings at Fehrbelliner Strasse 47 and 48 one encounters lofts with hard surfaces and sharp edges and corners, which are inherent to the robust structure of the Secura Works building. At Fehrbelliner Strasse 45 and 46, however, one finds living spaces whose outer edge curves gently.
Thanks to the landscaping and paths created through the property, which has a significant incline, the terraces and garden at the back give the sense of being in the middle of “nature”—even in this densely constructed environment.