Floating Grounds

This project is designed to fill the gaps in the homogenous block structure that grew out of Berlin's years of rapid 19th century urban expansion. The 3-5 metre wide gaps are not building sites but historical thoroughfares built to connect backyards to the street for fire-fighters.

Each floating ground module closes the existing development line on the street and leaves the ground-level open. Thus, pedestrians, cars, light and sounds can pass beneath the slabs, leaving the inhabitants to benefit from good views and insulated conditions. Nevertheless their position connects them visually to the urban context and provides direct communication with the surroundings. The backyard is still accessible, the statics are independent from the neighbouring houses and the plot is inexpensive - it is an overbuilding of a passageway.

The gap is transformed into an activated opening that reveals its special communication with the city by night: Its interactive light slab reacts to passing pedestrians and lights their way underneath it. This creates a direct link between private and public urban worlds and underlines the action of 'passing through' the space.