Slender / Bender, Deadline, Berlin, Germany

"Bender" sits on a long narrow site in the center of Berlin that connects university buildings to the south with perimeter block housing to the north. The front half of the site was an overgrown bomb site, with a slender four story building surviving at the rear. The project, in which the architects were also the developers, involved a first phase of renovating the existing building and a second phase of constructing a new building at the front with the finished project creating a complex interweaving of the old and the new. Bender is also unusual because it integrates a mixture of functions on a very small site. The project includes shot-stay "miniloft" apartments, office space, long-term apartments, a shop and parking.

In the first phase the architects completely transformed the narrow original wing by renovating the apartments to create six minilofts, small apartments that function as comfortable and independent alternatives to hotel rooms. They were also designed to function as office space, allowing the building to react easily to changes in demand. On top of these, the architects constructed an award-winning two story family "house" with a roof garden.

The second phase is rooted in the first, and provides access to two floors and the roof-top house. Its main element are three bent stainless steel ribbons that unify the project, counterbalanced by a vertical rhythm that runs through the whole. The resulting building acts as a hinge within the urban fabric, striving towards a future that is grounded in the past."

Slender / Bender, published in New Concepts in Apartment Buildings, Barcelona, 2005 (pp. 10–25)

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