Quirky residential high-rise puts the O in home
MVRDV puts the O in home – literally – with this unusual residential project slated for Mannheim, Germany. One of four buildings that will eventually spell out HOME, the donut-shaped high-rise showcases the firm's flair for lighthearted, quirky architecture.
Bringing to mind the Guangzhou Circle Mansion in China, the O, as it's officially named, was first revealed back in 2017 as an early proposal and has now been fleshed out with more details and an updated design as the project moves forward.
It will be located on Mannheim's former Benjamin Franklin Barracks site, which is spread over 41 hectares (101 acres) and was once home to roughly 15,000 US soldiers and other personnel during the Cold War. The building will be finished in blue brick and its interior will consist of 15 floors and a total of 120 apartments, "almost all" of which will include their own colorful protruding balcony space. There will also be retail areas and a bar on the lower floors.
The center of the O, so to speak, will host a terrace area accessible via a large staircase. Interestingly, MVRDV aims to lean in to the site's history and recreate the feel of the demolished US Army barracks that were on the site too.
"The low-rise buildings next to the 'O' are based upon the long, four-story residential buildings on the site that were part of the military barracks and have since been demolished," explains the firm. "MVRDV’s design rebuilds these blocks, and 'cuts into' their familiar forms according to the logic of the plan. One block is cut into three parts by the staircase accessing the fourth floor terrace and the clearance area regulations [surrounding plazas], while the second block, standing at a slight distance, is cut into two pieces by the masterplan’s Europa Axis. Where the buildings have been 'cut,' the stucco facades give way to glass walls."
The O will be surrounded on all four sides by plazas and there will also be landscaping throughout the site, including a greenery covered hill nearby. We've no word yet on when it's due to be completed, though the H, M, and E residential buildings will eventually follow.