top of page

Urban Shelf Berlin

Urban Design and Housing

Axonometric View

Type: Urban Design and Housing / Status: Concept Project, PJ A Studio Wood to City, TU Berlin /  Location: Berlin, Germany / Year: 2021 / GFA: 18.000 m2

Work in Collaboration / Team: Aslı Aydın, Yining Cong, Karla Citlalli Contreras Marin, Liujun Chen

Award: Berlin Affordable Housing Competition Honourable Mention Winner

Building with Wood

All the main components of the Affordable Housing, including structure, are proposed in wood from an environmental and architectural point of view. Building with wood, a renewable material, reduces CO2 emissions related to new construction, and wood elements used in the buildings store CO2 for their entire life cycle. Wood construction also allows disassembly, reuse, and multiple life cycles for the buildings and building elements.


The project creates a building kit with wood that will enable flexibility for different apartment types and users and adaptability to different sites.  The blocks in the former Tegel Airport site, Berlin, act as a test for the concept and the building kit. The project consists of 4 mid-rise residential blocks changing from 4 to 7 stories, including public programs and shared spaces on the ground and roof floor. The structural system and wood elements are visible, creating a distinct character, and spatial and architectural quality. CNC production is an essential part of managing the required precision and material qualities for the structure.


The building kit consists of a wood skeleton system of columns and beams. The simple skeleton structural system acts as a shelf containing apartment units, where apartment units of different sizes can be organized in flexibility, considering the needs of different users. The concept of the building kit is to show the structure and the main building material, wood, to benefit from its positive health effects on users. The system can work in different heights and lengths and adapt to various sites. The wood joints are interlocked without glue, screws or nails, considering disassembly.


The structural system has axes of 4.20 m x 8.40 m and a symmetrical balcony axe on both sides, creating flexibility when organizing the floor plan. The staircases and elevators are attached to the building, so the outdoor circulation can be on both sides of the building, depending on the site requirements. The external circulation corridor and balconies also act as shared spaces where community members can come together.


Once the structure is built, new units can be added over time.

bottom of page