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Christine Jachmann

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Christine Jachmann born on November 18th 1946 in Lüneburg, Germany is a renowned German architect, known for her pragmatic approach towards alternate living models in society and her work to actively provide and promote spaces for the existence of “different living” in the standardised world of built environment.

Work

She studied architecture and urban planning at the Technische Universität, Berlin, and established an architectural practice in Berlin and Cologne in 1972. She specialized in social housing and was greatly concerned with the problem of humanizing such dwellings, especially within the context of large, crowded cities such as Berlin. Her Wohnanlage am Park (1978–80), a complex of 234 flats, shops and a restaurant in Wilmersdorf, Berlin, is built around a courtyard and backs on to a spacious park, yet each flat has a balcony and with it the possibility of a terrace-garden. The building itself exhibits a spare, almost minimalist geometry.

A more fully synthesized relationship between architectural form and nature is seen in the Glashaus (1983) in Grunewald, a building with six flats, the design of which is integral with its rectangular site. In plan the building (a right-angled triangle) interconnects with the open space of a courtyard, occupying about one-quarter of the site. Balconies again provide additional space for greenery. The plans of the individual flats echo this interest in interlocking geometric forms, the two flats on each roughly triangular floor being separated by a bisecting diagonal. Variants on this dividing principle generate inventively shaped and flowing spaces within the flats themselves, which are mirror images of one another.

Jachmann and IBA

Jachmann also designed a block of 120 model flats Jachmann House, Block 2, IBA 1984/87 as a part of the women’s block IBA Block 2 for the Internationale Bauaustellung -IBA Berlin 1987, the authority of which she greatly criticised. In her residential, ‘emancipatory living’ building on Dessauer strasse she insists on acknowledging the new family structures of the recent past which have resulted in the need for different forms of housing. According to Jachmann the availability of an environment that corresponds to the urban lifestyle of the city, is what makes the city and its center so desirable. Jachmann viewed the design of the environment as a social problem and through this project she got to concrete her ideas of equality and designing for the growing, changing, new forms of living.

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Sonja Dragovic, May 20th, 2020