NL architects + studyo design affordable housing complex for frankfurt

NL architects + studyo design affordable housing complex for frankfurt

dutch firm NL architects are one of a number of practices that have been awarded as part of a competition that called for affordable, high-quality housing designs. a total of 107 architectural practices from all over europe participated in the first phase of the competition, submitting 131 projects for hilgenfeld — a new district of frankfurt, germany.

all images courtesy of NL architects



NL architects, who collaborated on the design with cologne-based firm studyo architects, have proposed a terraced residential complex that shares some similarities with a recently completed project by the firm in amsterdam. the project encourages its residents to take care of the communal spaces, allowing them to host get-togethers, parties, or simply tend to the garden.



‘terrace house takes advantage of this context and its two-sided qualities,’ explains the design team. ‘the building gently steps back each floor forming a benign silhouette and friendly street profile. at the same time terraces are created in a natural way oriented to the afternoon sun – light-flooded apartments with balconies on either side, open private balconies on the west and a collective covered gallery access to the east.’



protected from the weather, the greened entrance ways are covered by the next respective storey. the chosen construction material is a visible wood-and-concrete composite that overcomes the insulation issues associated with projecting roofs. the apartments run from front to back and have different widths in order to provide the desired mix of apartment types.



‘by introducing small nooks in front of each apartment the gallery becomes more than just infrastructure,’ NL architects continues. ‘a small niche comes into being that can be used for many things, for placing plants, parking a stroller or a bench to have your morning coffee, meet your neighbor, or place your shopping bag to look for your keys. a corner window enables a view along the street.’


an exhibition about the competition opens on april 12, 2019 at the german architecture museum in frankfurt.



project info:


team: NL architects + studyo architects
project: housing for all: new frankfurt 2018
location: frankfurt, germany
partners: city of frankfurt planning dept., deutsches architekturmuseum (DAM), ABG frankfurt holding, deutscher städtetag (association of german cities), bundesstiftung baukultur (federal foundation of building culutre), the architektenkammer hessen (hessen chamber of architects and urban planners)

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