Post-World-War settlements exist in many countries around the world, and this suburban setting in Mannheim, Germany, is a little bit different to most. With the designs being as much art as they are architecture in SATORI & SCOUT's minds, this 27,000 square metre squared residential project redefines suburban living with individuality, diversity and a community spirit somewhat respectful of its yesteryears.
A former US army barracks site (Benjamin Franklin), this project has been devised by MVRDV and is to be built by Traumhaus, a company that specialises in standardised homes. With a vast array of public spaces and gardens in between a plethora of homes, the soon to be new village is a catalogue of dwelling and landscape principles and typologies, whereby each plot is designed specifically with a set demographic of home-owner in mind. Flirting wonderfully with extravagance yet remaining hugely traditional, the idea of variety and being essentially experimental art will hopefully bring about an innovative approach to social access. With the aim of transforming village life with its modern twist, the local councils hope for a richly diverse community and that all residents will thrive in what can only seem to be a very happy place.
With a network of pathways and green spaces, sports parks and eco-environments (such as fruit alleys / butterfly gardens etc), each of the homes' gardens are essentially an extension of the public parklands, whereby everyone's plots are tailored to their respective first-home-owners' requests. When you look at the design, you can't help but think that whether the home-owners are students or elderly; single occupants or large families, the individuality of each household will contrast really nicely with the former usage of the Barracks, and the playful / colourful transformation is both refreshing and fun (put simply).
Some of the homes are eco-friendly (for the environmentalists), some are monochromatic (for the traditionalists), some are single storey (for the elderly), some are highly compact (for the budding expansionists), whilst some are a combination of demographics, mixing affordable student flats with single occupancy homes. The diversity is really welcoming to see, and with the sole intention to prevent gentrification or community isolation (which has often been the result of many re-developments over the last 50 years), this development seeks to be a model of the future.
Would you go for an extravagant plot with exuberant colours and a high-modern room layout, or would you simply normalise yourself to a more reserved home design and take great pleasure in the colourful gardens of your community? Discover more about the German "art" re-development at MVRDV.nl.
Photography credit : MVRDV.nl