Polygons in brick: Half-Long Charles Ludwigsburg

November 9, 2022

Ludwigsburg residents can look forward to a new residential quarter with high architectural standards. However, its name sounds suspiciously like a pirate. We investigate the mystery.

Despite the unusual name, Half-Long Charles is a new residential neighborhood of the kind that has become rare these days. Compared to the generic resort neighborhoods that have repeatedly been built within Germany in recent years, the work of Steimle Architekten is not only refreshingly different, but also a real asset to the cityscape around Ludwigsburg's train station. The use of Allplan ensured the highest quality in planning.

220314067_NEU© Brigida González

Special cubature, striking brick facade

Completed in 2021, the quarter between Karlstrasse, Bahnhofstrasse, and Solitudestrasse is made up of three polygonal buildings, consisting of an office and commercial building (front building) and two residential buildings. The special cubature of the buildings stems, among other things, from the shape of the site, in which it resourcefully achieves the prescribed distance areas. At the same time, the polygonal shape and position of the buildings ensure optimal lighting of the apartments and open lines of sight.

In addition to this unique formal feature, the buildings are characterized by a striking brick façade that sensitively blends them into their surroundings of Wilhelminian-style villas – and acts a bit like an industrial counterpart from this era. The façade of the new building ensemble is also based on the high-format windows of the latter, whereby the front building has a stricter window arrangement and, on top of that, picks up the roof slope of the neighboring houses.

220314019_NEU© Brigida González

Structurally and communally connected

On the first floor, all three buildings are initially structurally connected. At the same time, this level also creates a social connection by acting as an area for communal activities and meeting space between the houses. A central access core leads from here to each of the floors above and to the underground parking garage in the basement. Access to the latter is via Karlstraße. Outside, the clever arrangement of the polygons in the space results in two protected neighborhood courtyards with greenery, which serve as entrances to the two residential buildings. The total of 18 one- to four-room apartments extend over the floors as one- to three-bedroom units and all have a sunny balcony facing the courtyards or – in the case of the uppermost residential units – a roof terrace.

So much for the architecture. And the name, which sounds so suspiciously like a pirate? Even after closer inspection, this Half-Long Charles has nothing at all in common with a privateer. So, the mystery remains. The residents of the neighborhood will probably not care. At least they have found an architectural “treasure” for themselves in the heart of Ludwigsburg.