Office and residential complex,
Bahnstadt Heidelberg

In modern cities, the boundaries between residential, working and leisure are blurring. What is needed are living concepts that permit the functional integration and convergence of different areas of life. Eike Becker_Architekten demonstrates how residential, shopping, leisure and working can be interlinked intelligently with the Colours ensemble of buildings in the railway city of Heidelberg, consisting of four apartment buildings, an office building and a listed signalling tower. The design, which was awarded 1st prize in a competition, convinces with its sophisticated design, sustainability and short distances.

Colours is programmatic not only in the mix of uses, but also in terms of architecture. With four different types of houses and deliberately different façade designs, the quarter brings colour and liveliness to the largely "white" railway city. Depending on the position of the sun and the time of day, the coloured façades show a different face. Framed and structured by aluminium profiles, which are themselves a mirror of their surroundings. The lively architecture thus brings out the diversity that is at home in Colours.

Colours Living opens up multifaceted residential perspectives: urban villas and apartment buildings are designed in such a way that they do justice to a wide variety of living concepts and styles. The infrastructure is just as diverse. Everything you need in your life is within walking distance: kindergartens, a primary school, cultural facilities, sports and leisure facilities, cafés and restaurants as well as shops and services. The Colours office and retail building offers companies flexible office and shop space for individual business ideas.

Urban area

With the new building area category of "Urban Area" adopted in March 2017, the Federal Government has set the course for urban development that is geared to reduced land consumption. This tool can be used to re-urbanise those areas that were previously separated strictly. Residential, working and shopping can now move closer together. This makes it possible to create additional resdiential space in inner-city areas in which no further densification was previously permitted. The conversion of brownfields and derelict industrial sites into urban areas is likely to further promote the development of lively neighbourhoods. Instead of a separate coexistence, real living together becomes possible – between the types of use, between tradition and modernity, between urban vitality and decelerated oases of peace.

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