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Old People's Home in Wesel

Laid out in the form of two L-shape tracts, the development turns its back on the four-lane highway that cuts the site off from the edge of the town. On the other face, the buildings open out on to a garden and enjoy a view to the River Rhine. The outer street face, roughly 100 metres long, creates a shield against the noise of the road and makes a deliberate reference to the regional building tradition through the choice of materials. It consists of long wall slabs in red engineering bricks raised above ground floor level. The areas of brickwork are interrupted by glazed staircase strips and the transparent entrance hall. The formal language of the angular areas of the façade, in contrast, is something new and independent in this urban context. The ground floor, which houses communal functions, is entirely glazed, thereby creating the impression that the two upper floors of dwellings hover above the ground. They are supported by slender concrete columns. In contrast to the street front, the garden faces are articulated into areas of rendered walling and oriel windows. The glazed recesses along the corridors and the projecting bays at their ends bring light into the interior and create bright sitting areas where residents can meet. In compliance with local building laws, all dwellings have bay windows that allow even persons lying in bed an unrestricted view out. Singly or in pairs, these oriels form transitional elements between the indoor and outdoor realms.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 7/1997

Balconies, Oriels

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