EHRET sliding shutters – for a modern new build in the centre of Berlin

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EHRET sliding shutters
13.11.2017 — Building examples

In 2016, an innovative new build was completed in central Berlin's Heinrich-Heine-Straße. A key defining on its façade are the EHRET sliding shutters with a gold-coloured expanded metal centre. The sliding shutters accentuate the aesthetic of the modern building, its clean lines and rather minimalist appearance. The sliding shutters also impress in terms of their functionality, simultaneously ensuring optimum sun protection whilst promoting light transmission.

The building, which was designed by the architecture firm roedig.schop architekten stands on the historical ground of the central Berlin district border, right at the former Heinrich-Heine-Straße border crossing between East and West Berlin. A planning and construction phase lasting around two years witnessed the development of the modern new build, with 15 residential and two commercial premises of different sizes, ranging from 35 to 140 square metres. The building consists of six full stories and a penthouse. The individual apartments, which can be reached via an interior stairwell with lift, feature ample-sized balconies and loggias on the garden side.

All rooms are arranged on a centre-to-centre grid, allowing for tailored planning either perpendicular to or in line with the road. The apartments therefore either look out onto the road or stretch back to the garden. This concept enabled flexible planning of individual apartment layouts, making it possible to optimally meet with the desire for personalised living space in the heart of the city.


Energy and ventilation concept


A central ventilation system installed above the solid ceiling and the bathrooms left the entire room height of 2.80 metres free to be used, since no additional false ceilings were required. This resulted in rooms that are flooded with light and which were able to be adapted to a wide range of requirements thanks to the individual positioning of interior walls within a grid. The building also features triple glazed windows, as well as excellent insulation behind the metal façade, ensuring compliance with the German KfW 70 standard for energy-efficient buildings.

EHRET sliding shutters with modern expanded metal centre

Both the building's road and garden façade feature large, floor-to-ceiling windows. They invite light into the rooms and lend the façade a modern and generous appearance, even when viewed from the outside. Facing the road, moving, gold-coloured sliding shutters from EHRET have been installed to ensure privacy and protection against the sun. The distinguishing feature of the MATRICO window shutter model that is used is its expanded metal centre. The special extending mesh grid lets light and air through, yet still guarantees a perfect screen for privacy and sun protection. Its special design also allows MATRICO sliding shutters to have larger sashes installed without the need for additional cross-panels. This compliments the straightforward design of the building, and also serves to break up the façade.


Are you interested in EHRET sliding shutters and the MATRICO design? Then get in touch.

Did the history of the site on which the building was erected play a role in its planning?

Yes, we found that the large openings in the façade and the movement of the sun protection sliding shutters are an excellent response to the location and its history.
The Heinrich 73 building stands at the central Berlin district border, which isn't far from Moritzplatz, and the former Heinrich-Heine-Straße border crossing. Little by little, the land on the border strips has been sold for new residential constructions. On the other side of the road, the district of Kreuzberg is already setting to work on a relaxed “Zeilenbau” linear development from the 1950s. The windowless ends of the rows facing the road offer an unusual view from our building into the green spaces between the apartments, but without being able to see into the homes. For a very compact building structure of 15 m deep, it seemed therefore only natural to recommend a road façade with a generous use of glass, which aside from the view, also brings plenty of light into our building.

Why did you choose EHRET sliding shutters with expanded metal centre for sun protection?

We tried and tested a range of design variants, even versions produced in-house by metalworking companies. The sliding shutters from EHRET won us over as they were a flexible modular system. We were able to combine the frames with an expanded metal of our choice.

The gold colour of the EHRET sliding shutters is unusual. What gave you the idea?

The gold-coloured sun protection sliding shutters provide the finishing touch for the building and make for an attractive contrast to the quartz-grey façade. The golden light also reflects inside the rooms and creates a varied play of light and shade.

The winning feature of the design is its floor plan concept with individual centre-to-centre grid. Was the Heinrich-Heine-Straße new build the first time you had used this type of floor plan? What were you hoping it would achieve?

We had planned the building for a construction group. To incorporate the numerous individual requests with regard to apartment size and zoning, we decided upon a centre-to centre grid of 3.00 m perpendicular to the road. All living spaces can be planned within an axis or be combined to create spaces both perpendicular to and facing the road. The apartments therefore extend from the road back to the garden or stretch along the side of the building facing the garden or road. The sanitary zones are situated in the centre section and also incorporated in an energy-efficient manner. This floor plan concept led to individually tailored apartments for the most diverse of residential uses – both owner-occupied and rented. The ground floor houses commercial premises. With cost-optimized planning in mind, we regularly plan with grids.

The artist duo “Various & Gould” put their stamp on the building's large fire wall with a façade image. Could you say a few words on the meaning behind the mural?

At the site of the former border, the “Face time” mural shows an abstract and multifaceted face that refuses to be categorised in terms of gender and ethnicity. For us, abstraction and ambiguity are key design criteria.

On the ground floor of the building, there is a large display window for hosting temporary exhibitions. How did you think up this idea?

In an early planning stage, this window looked out onto the waste disposal area – however, this didn't seem right. Together with owners of the ground floor apartments, we developed the idea of a display window intended for temporary exhibitions. On the upper floors, this area becomes a loggia for the apartments facing the road and gives a sense of relation to the streetscape: seeing and being seen.