The architecture is designed to integrate the building into this growing neighbourhood, without being intrusive. The building is unobtrusive, yet expresses itself in its own distinctive and sustainable way.
“The architecture is designed to integrate the building into this growing neighbourhood, without being intrusive. The building is unobtrusive, yet expresses itself in its own distinctive and sustainable way,” says architect Sarah Rivière about her vision for the building, constructed in winter 2016/17, which filled a gap between existing buildings in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. Together with the client, she designed the new building to be flush with the adjacent buildings, blending in seamlessly, assuring sustainability, and contributing to cooling the urban microenvironment during the heat of summer.
This living wall in Glogauer Strasse does much more than simply lend the neighbourhood a degree of aesthetic appeal. It forms part of the sustainability strategy for the building, which occupies a corner lot, and therefore has a positive impact on the overall well-being of people in the area. The plants absorb noise and dust, creating a pleasant microclimate. They grow vertically up a support structure that is anchored in the brickwork, ensuring the façade remains green all year round. When residents step out onto their balconies, they are entirely surrounded by plants. There are more green oases on the roof terraces and in the newly cultivated inner courtyard.
This living wall is made possible by a concealed, ventilated support structure, which is 16 m high and securely anchored in the wall of Wienerberger bricks. The six-storey building has a monolithic structure from the first-floor up, and the multi-storey construction is built from perlite-filled Porotherm bricks. The insulation-filled bricks make it possible to build without additional external insulation, which increases the intrinsic value of the building and permanently minimises maintenance costs. The bricks have optimum fire protection, acoustic insulation, and thermal insulation properties. The internal walls are also built using unfilled, flat Porotherm bricks, which regulate the room temperature and humidity, and ensure that the living environment remains pleasant all year round.
Facts & Figures
Project nameSix-storey residential building with vertical living wall, Berlin, Germany
ArchitectSarah Rivière, RIBA
Perlite-filled Porotherm blocks
Year of completionWinter 2016/2017