It’s industrial meets chic. It’s function meets design. It’s concrete meets nature. The boathouse in the spotlight today is a building that was constructed under Berlin’s oldest sports club, TiB.
The project of this unique boathouse, the design brainchild of German architect, Oliver Mang, commenced in 2014. Along the banks of Berlin’s Spree river, you’ll spot a peek of cold concrete amongst lush green trees. It definitely looks out of place in such a serene environment, but you’ll find that the bottom layer of the boathouse sports walls constructed of translucent polycarbonate panels.
From the outside, the rowing and canoeing vessels stacked up within are just a beautiful blur of colours. “When I looked at historic boathouses, I wondered why they all hide their main feature away: the boats,” Oliver Mang says, reflecting on his architectural decisions.
The semi-opaque walls create a floaty, magical and bright environment on the inside ground floor of the building, where all the boats are kept. The polycarbonate material holds up well against sun exposure, protecting the boats inside whilst also providing insulation when needed.
The interior design of this industrial building was developed with both budget and functionality in mind. The minimalism to the whole structure may mean the building looks somewhat unfinished, but that’s just so the interior can be adapted to the needs of whoever uses the building. Other levels house training facilities, offices, fitness clubs, a sauna and even guest apartments, with walls that can be removed and restructured. These levels were designed to offer ventilation and insulation, so that expenses are minimal during winter and summer months.
To keep within the budget, club members helped out where they could, in areas that didn’t require specific technical skills. Heavy lifting, painting, furnishing – it means this building is as much a part of the club members as it is for the rowing community.
Certainly, from both the water and the street, this building stands as an impressive, funky and curious object. Curves of concrete in places typically angular, such as around the base of the stairs, make this building a trendy addition along the bank of Spree.
Want to see other buildings that have been featured in our boathouse spotlight? We think you’ll like the Eleanor Boathouse!