attic extension, Berlin, 2021
Since modernism, the alluring alliteration that says “form follows function” appears to somehow be indisputable. One architectural element that already incorporated this phenomenon hundreds of years earlier is the pitched roof. Sloped as it is, rainwater runs off the overlapping roof corners simply more efficiently. Modern architecture, in its urge to re-question itself, pioneered the success of the flat roof. That, however, is not our topic. Our topic was to fill the roof of the building on Weser-Weichsel-Strasse with apartments, even though the roof had never been intended as such, rather as a shared drying space for washing. But, the roof being so high, it was possible to insert whole apartments – indeed double-storey ones. Luckily alliterations, however obvious they may sound, are not always right.
Photography: Simon Menges, JWA
The original building was designed in 1927 by the architect Otto Werner. It consists of a five-storey perimeter-block corner building.