2010 - housing development district grünewald - luxembourg

Two long, black blocks that flank an open space, the centre of a growing residential complex. The final result of a lengthy competition held in the eighties which to date has not been completely realised: a third housing block by H&V still awaits construction. Kirchberg: one of the hills around which Luxembourg town has extended in recent years. An “international district” filled with administration buildings and, in this sense, by and large mono-functional. Hence the goal of current urban development is an urban mixture i.e. cultural buildings like the Philharmonie project or the Pei museum but also apartments. In this special situation there is no social housing but relatively high-standard, privately owned dwellings. 

The blocks by H&V: almost seventy metres long and five storeys high. The open areas allotted to the ground-floor apartments lie at the rear, all the others have unusually large loggias and balconies. Particularly on the side facing the square the large areas of glazing of the loggias determine the appearance of the façade. They are formulated as a strictly axial cut made in the skin of the building that gives both blocks an individual expression. Two particularly urban and extremely elegant housing blocks. Inside there are very different apartment types ranging in size from 50 to 100 square metres: all have not only the luxury of their own outdoor spaces but also a staged relationship to the outside and to the view that could almost be described as “noble”. The materials: black engineering brick on the façade (black concrete was originally planned, see Bech-Kleinmacher), natural aluminium for the soffit of the projecting roof and of the balconies and in the window reveals. The sun screen louvers are also of aluminium, only the window frames themselves are made of wood. Everything planned to allow “ageing gracefully”. A striking symbol on the open space: in front of the ramp leading down to the underground garage is a small transformer building. H?&?V used (and defused) it as a base for a large sculpture made of Corten steel. A rusty king Arthur at the centre of a housing development named “Avalon”.