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More than tinny – When sheet metal dominates the interior and exterior

4 min read

In the north of Erfurt, once known to locals as the tin can district, dmarchitekten are creating a new nested building with two residential units. The ground plans are designed to allow the interiors to be tailored flexibly to the residents’ needs. The architects’ goal was to create affordable housing for families with lots of children. There is a distinct shortage of apartments of this kind on Erfurt’s housing market.

The north of Erfurt was developed in the early 19th century. Factories were built there, as well as housing for the factory workers. The rich and beautiful populated the south of the city, while the poorer segments of the population settled in the north. There, children used to kick tin cans around instead of footballs.

Today, there is clear rising demand for affordable housing, leading to major changes in the district. The original population has now been supplemented with an influx of students, whose arrival brought new clubs, mixing the district up a little.

Front view of the residential building © Victor S. Brigola Photography
Unobstructed view of the rooftop terrace © Victor S. Brigola Photography
Unobstructed view of the rooftop terrace © Victor S. Brigola Photography
Impression from the interior © Victor S. Brigola Photography

Nested flexibility

The basic concept of the building is both ingenious and simple. They built two interlocking nested residential units on this site, with floor plans that can be adapted flexibly to the users’ needs. The first apartment comprises almost the entire ground floor and includes use of the garden. The first and second floor are divided equally among both apartments. The top floor belongs to the second apartment. To compensate for the lack of a ground-floor garden, the second apartment features two rooftop terraces, one on the first floor, and the other on the top floor, giving residents a clear view of the surrounding landscape.

Impression from the interior © Victor S. Brigola Photography
Rear view of the residential building © Victor S. Brigola Photography

The tin can as a material symbol

The architects imbued the façade with the area’s diversity and history, giving the building a distinct identity. Trapezoidal sheet and metal inserts represent the tin can in material form, harking back to the district’s name. The mirrored oriels and dormers break up this robust envelope, giving the building a contrasty splendour. In this way, the architects give viewers more complex perspectives and disrupt classical viewing habits.

Rear view of the residential building © Victor S. Brigola Photography

Simple aesthetic

The façade structure is a timber stud construction, with a mineral wool infill, and external trapezoidal sheet cladding. Lark wood terraces and parquet flooring complete the look. Wanting to reflect the rough façade design in the interior too, the architects made the conscious decision not to plaster the interior walls, lending the structure a coarse sheen.

Perspective of the interior staircase © Victor S. Brigola Photography

Gira E2 Design Line

The E2 design line switches and sockets by Gira highlight this sparse aesthetic in the interior and blend optimally into the modern residential concept. The E2 design line features clear contours and a harmonious interplay of functional building technology and architecture. The unfinished wall surfaces maximise the impact of the minimalist, linear design of the switches and sockets.

Learn more about Gira’s E2 design line.

Gira Designlinie E2
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