Maximilian von Zepelin
Ein Wohnhaus an den Gleisen
I write to you and look at the wide landscape - only treetops are able to interrupt the line of the horizon. Since yesterday we live in the glass palace on the tracks. The winter gardens sparkle in the evening sun while the train rushes by and brings with it another time. As we walk around in our rooms, the scenery changes and the scene overlaps while the city stays away from our thoughts. Maybe you come over and we meet on the roof – I have not seen the stars so bright for 30 years. Not so far off we can sense the glowing towers of the metropolis.
See you soon, A
In the spheres of the periphery, conditions for new constellations arise, which are at the same time singular and produce manifold, unexpected relationships with what has been found. Apparently vague and indifferent spaces are complex and develop ambiguous perceptions. The approximately 30 m wide and 500 m long plot is south-west of the trainstation Berlin-Buch, parallel to the tracks of the S-Bahn and is located in the direct transition between inner and outer landscape. Here landscape and infrastructure collide abruptly as well as different paces and functions. It is enclosed between dense vegetation in the south and open landscape in the north. The property is owned by the railway and is currently fallow. The house ensures the preservation of the inner landscape by occupying a depleted place with a linear compression. It builds a differentiated, exciting and challenging relationship to the tracks. The attempt of an answer produces a dialectical relationship between two sides, whereby the one directed towards the railroad does not isolate itself from the tracks, but rather forms a passage parallel to it, in the style of a winter garden. The way this element oscillates between its function as corridor and as part of the dwelling, the dwellings themselves develop specifics through the setting of individual autonomous elements and in their openness evasive moments of the unambiguous.
The work emerged as part of the Tokyo Reasearch Project, a one-year teaching research project at the Chair of Design and Housing, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and reflects previously formulated topics in preparation for a trip to Japan and the insights gained there for new forms of living in the outskirts of Berlin.