Architect Statement // FAT Koehl architects
“In order to create opportunities for expanding the potential of usage of spaces, architecture has to provide new forms of typologies, combined with extra spaces outside personal ownership”.
Theme 1: Cooperation
Your office is known for working closely together with its clients in both baugruppe and co-op association (genossenschaft) projects. How do you organize this level of close participation and how important is it to build consent?
In order to make architecture of higher quality with a more complex program than the standard of most housing projects you need to create a strong alliance and involve your investing partners very early in the planning process. Than you get into the position to adjust and test your proposed ideas. Structurally this model of architectural and urban production asks for a very strong concept in the beginning and a clear role of the spaces of decisions allowed for all participants within the process of development.
Theme 2: Architecture
If buildings have to deliver spaces of possibilities (Möglichkeitsräume) for their future inhabitants, what does this mean for architecture? And what does it mean for the city?
The programmatic, spatial and financial setup for space beyond its minimal potential of usage is the key to allow other uses beyond the standard program like eating, sleeping or the use of a toilet. In order to create these opportunities, the architecture has to provide beyond new forms of typologies and their combination also extra spaces outside personal ownership. These spaces need to be operated by responsible curators in order to provoke undetermined uses which can also activate the neighborhood or become hubs of interest within a larger radius of the city.
Theme 3: Money
What does affodability mean? What are the biggest challenges for an architect designing affordable housing typologies in Berlin/ in general and how do you respond to them?
Affordability means the clever use and combination of space in relation to its cost and quality. Certain areas in the building are much cheaper to be build and are the plus-zones for small flats, other zones can be shared from many and save space for the individual. Affordability has therefore to be understood as a phenomenon beyond money, it is much more the guaranty for saving the money for more productive use than just living.