Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Apartment House Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Tucked away in the inner courtyard of a block in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, an unusual residential house has emerged: With it’s steep roof looming some 10 meters above the building — more pyramid than cube — this boldly shaped building is entirely enveloped by a multi-colored brick skin. Irregularly proportioned aluminum-frame windows reference the history of these inner courtyards, often given over to industrial use in this area of the city at the time of the district’s initial development. At first glance, the appearance of the house does not seem to adhere to popular current conceptions of context-driven building expansions. In fact, it is the end result of tight parameters stemming from building regulations and historic preservation conditions. Used creatively as design tools, these restrictions led to a building that seems at the same time both familiar and strange, capable of blending into its surroundings while maintaining a strong independent character.

 Within a framework of redensification, two initially conflicting positions needed mediating: the historic preservation office, involved due to the existing heritage protection of the building block ensemble, stipulated that the new building follow the cubature of the initial structure that had been destroyed during the war, in effect reconstructing the original configuration. But this was rejected by the city’s building department due to current setback regulations. The solution was to create a steeply sloped roof with an eave height of only around 7.50 m. With a slope of just under 70°, the roof stretches over three stories up to the building’s upper edge, standing at a height of approx. 18 m, where a roof terrace seems to clip the pyramid’s peak. The resulting volume, resembling the archetypal shape of a house in a child’s drawing, satisfied the prescribed distance requirements between the building and the three neighboring plots.

The house has two residential units that are organized as multi-level apartments. The lower unit, about 250 sqm, is organized into a ground-level living floor opening onto a private courtyard garden, with bedrooms located on the second floor. The upper apartment, about 200 sqm, consists of four levels: two for living, one for sleeping, and a roof terrace. 

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger



Andreas Lang (Project Architect), Antje Steckhan, Martina Bauer, Marian Beschoner






Berlin, Germany



870 sqm



01/2015 – 07/2016



2017  Fritz Höger Award for Brick Architecture: Winner Silver in the category single-family and semi-detached houses




Procurement and Construction Management 

BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH, Berlin, Germany


Structural Engineer

HHT-Bauingenieure Ingenieurgemeinschaft für Tragwerksplanung + Baukonstruktion GbR, Berlin, Germany


Energy Design

Müller-BBM GmbH, Berlin, Deutschland


HVAC, Electrical Engineering

HDH GmbH, Berlin, Germany


Façade Engineering

Dipl.-Ing. (TU) Karl Hügerich GmbH, Berlin, Germany


Brick Company

Janhsen Bau GmbH, Herford, Germany


Brick Manufacturer

GOLEM Kunst- und Baukeramik GmbH, Jacobsdorf OT Sieversdorf, Germany


Metal Works

ASSMANN & KLASEN GmbH & co. KG, Rüdersdorf bei Berlin, Germany



© Laurian Ghinitoiu

© Simon Menges, Berlin