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WWA Archittekten

Residential complex in Utting: 25 like pearls on a string EN/IT

City / State: Utting / Germany

Green meadows and trees frame the view and let you take a deep breath. Between the 25 new timber hybrid buildings of the Schmucker site, there are remnants of an ancient barn. We are in the countryside, in Utting on the Bavarian Lake Ammer, where WWA Architekten from Munich realised what they do best: sophisticated, efficient housing

 

Do you know that feeling when everything comes together perfectly and there is almost nothing that bothers you? You can also have this feeling about spaces and buildings, entire housing areas. When architecture and the manner in which it is placed, the relationship of individual buildings to each other, creates ‘liveable’ spaces that all have their own character, one can speak of successful spatial sequences. In such a case, archi- tecture is able to provide its users with an enriching offer that is suitable for everyday life. When is some- thing like this created? If responsible architects not only design buildings but consider the spaces between them as equally important

 

Differentiated spatial sequences

The new Schmucker housing area in Utting by Lake Ammer is so natural in its differentiation between exterior and interior spaces, so comprehensible in its sequence of public, semi-public and private spaces, that you are inclined to wonder why more housing areas do not have this quality. In Utting, which counts 4,000 inhabitants, architect Gerold Heugenhauser and project manager Patricia Ezcurra were responsible for this quality. But that everything ran smoothly up to the mplementation phase is also connected to the munic- ipality itself, which exercised the right of pre-emption to reserve a plot of land in a perfect location for subsi- dised housing and developed it itself as a builder.

 

Affordable sustainability

A total of 88 affordable and subsidised flats were cre- ated with the new buildings. Their living areas range between 38 and 110 m², each with a balcony or terrace, and are divided into 1 to 5 rooms, some of which are located under the monopitch roof. The flats are rented at a net rent of 11.50 € per m², which is reasonable for rents on Lake Ammer. The goal is a heterogeneous and socially mixed neighbourhood that is a good fit for the place, with the intention that, in the long run, social and economic sustainability can be achieved. With a municipal housing subsidy of 13 million euros, it was possible to get together the construction and develop- ment sum of 30 million euros for the project launch. In 2017, an architecture competition was announced across Europe which WWA Architekten won.

 

The ‘architectural recipe’
A
scattered development was used to densify the centre of the municipality despite sufficient building density. The architects designed six structures for the 13,000 m² site that are composed of 25 houses with a monopitch roof “shifted” against each other. From an urban plan- ning point of view, they are extremely well placed. Not only do the 25 houses cleverly conceal their actual total size of roughly 9,000 m² of usable space above ground, but the smaller building widths made it possible to also keep the distance to the neighbouring properties small, as Patricia Ezcurra mentions.

 

Green areas instead of fences

It must be pleasant to live in this new housing area. The new tenants can enjoy an urban lifestyle in a mod- erately densified residential area in the country. On all sides, views open up to green and planted gardens. Instead of fences or hedges, the architects designed generous and well thought-out threshold and open spaces. The site has a cheerful touch to

it. You can walk back and forth between the houses, but if you have a feeling for good coexistence, you will immedi- ately know which paths or sides of the houses to avoid because they are more private than others. The resi- dents benefit from the car-free passageway enabled by a commonly used underground car park. Children can safely play on the playground, and though it is located in the middle of the site, it is used by all children in the area. A community room that can also be used by external clubs is located in the first house on the main road. So people will run into each other, get acquainted with each other and network the new residents of the Schmucker site and its neighbourhood. What is beauti- ful about it, says Heugenhauser, is that the public can also use the green spaces and common areas.

 

Neighbourhood work
Gerold Heugenhauser speaks a little faster and tells us why the Bavarian village community was impressed
with their design: “You have to have a topic that touches the locals if you want to be successful as an architect. In Utting, that topic was clearly wooden construction in a natural area.” So it was about not losing the green quality of the local character in the new development. With a series of information events that took place in the village during the planning phase, they were able to create a broad acceptance for their architecture and the new neighbours.

 

Ecologically sound construction

The groups of houses were built in five construction phases between January 2021 and December 2022 in timber hybrid construction. This means that the roofs, ceilings and walls are made of timber and the lift shafts, stair cores and basements were constructed with rein- forced concrete. The reduced colour concept of the exte- rior pairs nicely with this construction-level material concept: pre-greyed spruce boards and dark grey PREFA R.15 roof tiles set the tone. All the connections, windows and balcony railings, but also the fire flashing in the façades between the storeys have the same dark colour as the aluminium roof. “PREFA came into play when the timber construction company produced the first sample façade. Due to the material, but also on account of the product range that can offer all the necessary connec- tions and drainage elements from a single source, PREFA was the ideal fit for the concept of the efficient housing area” is how Heugenhauser explains the reason why no other roof covering was used on the 2,950 m² roof area. This way, they were able to implement the tone-in- tone colour concept which visually unites the offsetting building structures, adds Patricia Ezcurra.

 

From experience

It is not the first time that WWA Architekten Wöhr Heugenhauser Johansen PartmbB are in charge of such an urban development design. The Munich office, which is based in a spacious attic in the borough of Schwabingen, has been successfully completing var- ious building and design tasks for several years. In addition to their office in Munich, they have another location in Stuttgart. Their building tasks are scattered all over southern Germany, but they have also realised residential buildings located on the Potsdamer Platz (a public square in Berlin) and villas in New York City.

 

Building class
Gerold
Heugenhauser, one of three partners, is often in the public eye for his office. He is noticing some reti- cence in the building industry at the moment, which is caused by high interest rates and is making people become more cautious about investing in new real estate. “You can tell that things are slowing down for us architects as well,” says Heugenhauser, sounding more reflective than concerned, “we can enjoy the calm right now, since the times will certainly come when there will be more building and renovating.” And there is something else that Heugenhauser and Ezcurra are thinking about right now. In the future, builders and architects will be able to individually agree on certain building specifications in a new building class, at least in Bavaria. Building class E intends to promote experi- mental approaches and simpler construction methods. This also means fewer building regulations, which have led to an increasing mechanisation of construc- tion. According to Heugenhauser, this building class is a necessary step towards creating sustainable and affordable architecture. “It will be an exciting time and there will finally be more of an architectural variety when this is implemented.


“Why don’t more housing areas have this quality?”

 

Roof after roof
Roofing, roof trusses, tinsmith work and metal façades have kept Oskar Urban on
his toes in both smaller and larger projects. Until late 2022, he and his co-workers car- ried out all the roofing work and structural sealing of the 25 charming monopitch roofs on Lake Ammer in Bavaria

There are a lot of things that Oskar Urban has to do every day: for example hold a family business together where his wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law and 18 people are employed. Nevertheless, he passed the over- all management on to the new generation last year. The business is what it is today thanks to him and his wife. The two of them began back in 1991, with a 25 D-mark trade license in their pocket. Even in the very begin- ning, when he was working on every roof on his own, it was obvious that the company Oskar Urban Dach would cover more than small roofs in the future – the 25 monopitch houses in Utting in 2021, for example. His wife still knows the square metres covered by heart: 2,950 m² of roof area. In several construction phases, they laid R.15 roof tiles, in certain sections Prefalz in P.10 dark grey and a suitable PREFA roof drainage.

 

While the team was gaining important experience creat- ing connections on the roof of the first house of the new complex, they could already see how the other houses were being built in prefabricated timber construction. “That was perfect for optimising,” says Urban, who is still pleased today about this special characteristic of the construction site that made it possible for them to refine their working method with every house, every roof. Urban was in charge of the entire substructure of the monopitch roofs, the monopitch roof ends, the connections to stairwells and lift shafts, the flashings of the vapour pipes and the external drainage of all house groups in the project.

 

In order to complete the construction site on time, they used the advantage that aluminium can be processed and installed irrespective of the given temperature. “We practically worked non-stop at Lake Ammer from October 2021 to November 2022,” Urban comments, standing in front of a large sketch of the project in his office. What they have in common with the architect and the general planner is their demand for good and pragmatic planning. According to Urban’s credo, the most important thing is that buildings are functional and the roofs are weather-proof.

 

Talking About WWA Architekten

WWA Architekten is an architecture firm that aims to meet the highest aesthetic, economic, and energy standards. Their buildings, characterized by formal sobriety and modern design, are designed to respond to external conditions and reflect the identity of the place and the people who inhabit and use them.

WWA’s architects specialize in administrative and residential construction, developing innovative office concepts and covering all areas of work, from urban planning to direct living and working environments. In the field of residential construction, they design buildings that integrate perfectly with their context. The modern combination of different forms of use, which is progressively replacing single-purpose buildings, as well as the modernization, renovation, and maintenance of existing buildings and infrastructures, are fundamental parts of their work.

Founded in 1990, WWA Architekten has completed numerous successful projects and has distinguished itself in various competitions. For many years, the firm has successfully supported its clients in the realization of construction projects. The international team at WWA works on a variety of themes and projects from its offices in the heart of Munich. Since 2000, a second office in Stuttgart has managed all the performance phases necessary for project realization.

 

Area Schmucker

Country: Germany

Project, location: residential complex, Utting

Category: new construction

Architects: WWA Architekten

Installers: Dachdeckerei Urban

Roof type: tegola R.16, sistema smaltimento acque

Roof color: dark gray P.10″

Photo credit: © PREFA | Croce & Wir

 

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T. +39 0471 068680 – F: +39 0471 068690

office.it@prefa.com  www.prefa.it

 

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Patricia Ezcura | Gerold Heugenhauser

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