Reela Nentwich & Niklas Fissel @ first year Architecture Master at Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin.
The project „post Post“ explores the reuse of a highrise in Berlin into a combination of working, living and a graveyard on the roof, a whole life cirle.. The name post Post derives from the double meaning of the word itself. The latin word for -after, and the name of the German postal service which inhabited the building the past 40 years. With this wordplay the project tried to transport the idea of something new that comes after the Postal service.
Who influences you graphically?
Both of us always seek visual stimuli and therefore can not really spend a day without constantly seeking inspiration. This time, besides collecting simple impressions from everyday life, we took this inspiration from analysing a large spectrum of collages by Mies van der Rohe’s early works as well as KooZA/rch’s projects which immediately convinced us in their expressiveness, clarity and style. The idea of a collage might seem too simple, almost trivial, however for us it served as a great method to explore different uses graphically.
What prompted the project?
The work was created as part of an academic project that required the rethinking of an unused Berlin skyscraper. The use was freely selectable. Due to a large lack of apartments in Berlin, we have decided to focus on a residential use. We were lucky that in this case a conversion to a living space was easy to implement. The large ceiling heights and the partial dissolution of the ceiling grid made our work much easier.
How did you develop the idea of a whole life process for the building?
In the course of the project, we have analysed urban processes and structures in the vicinity of skyscrapers thoroughly. Many well-known examples such as the Unite d’habitation have pursued the idea of creating vertical cities. But this idea did not go far enough for us, we thought that there was even more to urban life. Here we got help by the “Berliner Block”, a highly condensed complex of urban life, which can include a daycare center, as well as a cemetery.
How does the building sit in context and relate to the city?
To the South the residential tower is surrounded by much smaller residential buildings. To the east is an open piazza, which is necessary to give the skyscraper the space it needs due to its height. The open area is designed for the surrounding residents to
have a communal space where they can meet, spend time and different events can take place.
How important was the montage as a medium through which to test and explore initial ideas quickly?
For several days, we conducted mass studies in which we reshaped the same basic body of the skyscraper over and over again. When we finally approached a shape that we were satisfied with, we wanted to test out a new method. That’s why we took photos of photomontages and added new elements to our building. This allowed us to get rid of the first rapid impulses and test them on a larger scale in a skyscraper. As a result, several ideas of our project got a first shape, such as a larger opening in the facade or a broadening of the base.
What role did these then play in the development of the project itself?
Scale relations and proportions have evolved rather naturally from the very beginning. Through a lot of trial and error we finally had a facade that we liked very much.
How does each method of representation (plan, section etc) help you to explore and reveal an aspect of the proposal?
The focus of our university is very close to practice. It means that from the beginning we work with realistic conditions. However, as we both enjoy developing utopias, it is always exciting to see how we can combine our ideas with current planning law. That’s why we always develop every idea from different perspectives. The constructional cut is particularly important.