The aim of the Variowohnen funding program was to create flexible and affordable living space for students, trainees and senior citizens. A recently finished project from the program was realized in Bochum by ACMS Architects that provides accomodation for students.
The project consists of three L-shaped buildings, each of which is accessed and interlinked via an external staircase. Linked to this is a two-storey building with east-west oriented living spaces and a single storey building with a southern orientation. This creates three inner courtyards facing the sun and shielded from the four-lane Universitätsstraße. All living spaces are barrier-free and have been organised in the form of one to four-bed apartments. On each floor there is an additional communal living and working space with use of shared kitchen facilities. At a higher level, common rooms are available as study and recreation rooms.
In order to implement greater flexibility and reusability as well as optimising construction time and quality control, a high level of off-site prefabrication was carried out. A shell with long-span slabs supported on steel beams and prefabricated concrete columns allows maximum flexibility. The non-load-bearing outer walls prefabricated from wooden panels enabled fast construction times with the highest insulation standards and CO2 savings of over 400 tonnes compared to solid construction. The compact design with good orientation to the sun enabled the economical implementation of the passive house standard. A photovoltaic system was installed to further reduce the primary energy consumption. In the DGNB overall rating, the buildings achieved gold level, and even platinum in the area of ecology.
For the building shell, curtain-type, rear-ventilated façades were used, which were clad with wood, hot dip galvanized steel plate and fibrereinforced concrete panel strips. The façade cladding materials used fit together harmoniously and also take on different functions. In the area of stairwells and escape stairs, the hot dip galvanized façade panels also represent an excellent solution due to their non-combustibility.
For ACMS Architects, the contrast as a design element to the wooden façade also played a decisive role. Over the years, the hot dip galvanized panels will change from shiny silver to matt grey. In combination with the light brown façade elements, which change to grey tones, a unity is created across the individual components.
Photos © Sigurd Steinprinz, Düsseldorf