Over the past two decades, a lively district has emerged on a former military site north of Potsdam’s city centre. Based on the existing master plan for one of the last unbuilt areas on the site, Michels Architekturbüro designed a mixed residential cluster that is distinguished by its cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency. Ten visually distinct four-storey buildings on two building plots compose a perimeter block that opens up to the adjacent People’s park. Generous intervals between buildings leave plenty of room for green spaces and facilitate optimal daylighting of the dwellings.

To achieve variability and individuality of expression in the massing of the buildings, Michels Architekturbüro once again worked with the principle of subtracting volumes. The cubic buildings are sculpted by cutting away notches in selected places, which yields four different house types and gives the ensemble a greater sense of dynamism. Carefully thought-through, differentiated floor plans provide a balanced housing mix that is oriented to the park and tailored to the needs of the socially heterogeneous residents.


All the buildings have street-side entrances and a central circulation core. The mixed-use building with its openly designed ground floor zone offers space for restaurants, assisted living and 13 rental apartments.
Despite the buildings’ compact forms, numerous projections and recesses create a spirited and loose configuration with lots of open space, not only between the buildings but also in front of the individual dwelling units.
With their shared green spaces and playgrounds, the garden courtyards in the middle of both building ensembles encourage neighbourly encounters, entice people to linger, and extend an invitation to exercise creativity.