Living on the Border

7 Flats in Vaals

The former property of the customs building at Vaals on the Dutch- German border is supposed to be redeveloped. A housing complex of 7 flats each for two to four inhabitants is being planned. My project designs a building that connects the suburban structure on the German side to the urban block structure on the Dutch side. Therefore the past separation of the countries is supposed to be replaced by an optical connection. Further design parameters are the well frequented road in the south- west whose sound emissions on the negative, and the open view over the Aachen countryside in the north- east on the positive side. The building offers three different types of flats: A three story apartment with the possibility of a commercial use in the ground floor, three maisonette flats above the adjacent garage and three single story flats. The street facade is rather closed with thin horizontal window lines, whereas the back facade is generously glazed to provide an open view. There are no horizontal walls or separations in order to enable open floor plans and generous lighting .The ground floor garage separates the housing units from the noisy road and the elevation provides a better view from the balconies into nature.





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