New design of the daycare center facades
Bruno-Baum-Str. 58 Berlin, Germany

Hommage to Friedensreich Hundertwasser

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The challenge of this project was to transform a boring concrete building from the East Germany-era into a colorful and inviting palace for children. The building was located in Berlin and it housed a German-Russian kindergarten called Teremok. Teremok is the name of a tall and funny house, which figures prominently in the Russian fairy tales as a place where different animals (mice, frogs, hares, foxes and even bears) live peacefully under one roof. But our project site was practically the opposite of the fairy-tale image of Teremok. My decision was to redesign all facades of the building and to split the long boring surfaces into many small ”Teremoks,” as if there were a whole block of fairy tale houses build side by side. Each “Teremok” was designed to represent a certain animal. As a result, there was a green frog-house, a brown-and-white cow-house, a pink pig-house and a few others, while the concept as a whole stood for tolerance and diversity. I replaced straight and symmetrical lines and shapes of the building with organic curves, and gray concrete surfaces with colorful structures and ornaments, and I also suggested planting several trees and bushes on the roof. Unfortunately, I was given only the opportunity to create the design, but I had no influence over the actual renovation process. As a result, I am not completely satisfied with the end product, but people tell me (and I share their view) that the new Teremok still looks much better than the original building.

My design for the facades (top)
The original building before the renovation (center left)
The new look of the same building (center right and bottom)

Idea & design: © Alexander Reichstein, 2010
Builder: Mitra e.V.
Architects: Claudia Mielke & Oliver Knobel