Wacky letter-shaped towers show there's no place like HOME
MVRDV has a history of designing off-the-wall projects and its recently-unveiled Franklin Mitte proposal definitely follows in that vein. The Dutch firm hopes to turn a former US army barracks in Mannheim, Germany, into a trendy new neighborhood with four letter-shaped residential towers which spell HOME.
MVRDV is putting the OM in HOME, so to speak. The firm is collaborating with haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050 and AS&P, which are handling the H and E buildings, respectively. As of writing, we don't have any details on those designs, but the MVRDV-designed O and M-shaped apartment buildings will include a total of 120 and 185 apartments a piece.
The O-shaped tower looks like a pixelated version of the Guangzhou Circle Mansion and would have a total floorspace of 12,380 sq m (133,257 sq ft) and a public stage in its center, which would be accessed by a long staircase. The similarly-styled M-shaped tower comes in at 17,890 sq m (192,566 sq ft). This would be topped by a couple of large tennis courts which are reminiscent of MVRDV's Couch project.
It seems strange that a German project led by a Dutch firm would spell out an English word, but perhaps the name reflects the site's history as a US army base.
Whatever the case, MVRDV also plans to create an artificial hill from the remains of the old demolished barrack buildings in the 144 hectare (355 acre) site. The firm aims for this to be a location for people to walk and relax, offering good views of the neighborhood and HOME towers. A supermarket, restaurants, cafes and community spaces are also planned, and the apartment buildings would boast generous bicycle parking facilities.
We've reached out to MVRDV for an idea of how likely it is that project will go ahead, but with no word back as of writing, we'd guess it's just a proposal for now. For an idea of how the renders might look as real life buildings, check out the firm's somewhat similar public housing project Mirador in Madrid, Spain.
Update March 8: MVRDV has circled back to confirm that the HOME project will definitely go ahead, though no further information is available at this time.