03_ACMS Architekten GmbH | Variowohnen Wuppertal



Project title: Variowohnen Wuppertal

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The project has been submitted by:

ACMS Architekten GmbH, Wuppertal


Country: Germany

City: Wuppertal

Address:  Max-Horkheimer-Str. 160-168
42119 Wuppertal


Designer or design team architects:

ACMS Architekten GmbH


Plot area – Superficie lotto: 4679,00 mq

Gross Area – Superficie lorda totale: 5300,00 mq

Of which
residential – Di cui Residenziale:
% 95

Public/communal areas – Spazi collettivi/comuni: % 5

Facilities for the public – Attrezzature pubbliche: % 0

Business/trade – Commerciale: % 0

Offices – Uffici: % 0

Number of residential units – Numero di alloggi: 132

Typology of users – Tipologia di utenti: Students – Studenti
Foreigners/immigrants – Stranieri o immigrati
Temporary residents – Residenza temporanea

Total building costs Euros – Costo di costruzione totale in Euro: 14990685 EUR

Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area – Costo di costruzione = Costo di costruzione totale /Superficie lorda totale: 2828,43 EUR

Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area – Densità = Superficie lorda totale /Superficie lotto: 1,13

Work started on date – Data inizio lavori: Friday, 30th March 2018

Work completion date – Data ultimazione lavori: Monday, 2nd March 2020


Hochschul-Sozialwerk Wuppertal, A.ö.R.

Allotment rule – Regola di assegnazione: The flats are offered to people with low incomes. Proof is generally provided by means of a certificate of eligibility for housing. In this case, the apartments are currently intended for students of the University of Wuppertal.

Reduction cost percentege compared to the market value – Percentuale di riduzione di costo rispetto al valore di mercato

assignement %: assignement 100 %

rent %: 35


The construction costs are within the fluctuation range of the “Statistical Cost Indicators”. Even with the above-average housing quality provided in this project, the construction costs are only 13 % above average and 7.5 % below maximum.

Rental/sale cost compared to market price
Costo di affitto/ vendita rispetto al mercato

In the context of publicly subsidised housing, a rent cap is set by the funding body. A flat of approx. 28m² is offered with a warm rent, i.e. including all ancillary costs, of 280 EUR/month, significantly below the local rents.

Rules of allocation – Regole di assegnazione
The flats are offered to persons with low incomes. Proof is generally provided by means of a certificate of eligibility for housing. In this case, the apartments are currently intended for students of the University of Wuppertal.

Protection of fragile categories
Tutela categorie fragili

The aim is to ease the housing market in urban areas and to offer affordable housing for students, trainees, pensioners and immigrants. The flats are use-neutral and have a low warm rent.

Involvement of inhabitants in the building process – Coinvolgimento degli abitanti nel processo
The users of an adjacent allotment garden settlement as well as the users of the buildings were involved in the planning processes at an early stage. In the ecologically designed open spaces there are, for example, gardens for self-sufficiency.

Community accompaniment in the life of the building – Accompagnamento della comunità nella vita dell’edificio:
The operator provides tutors for the residents who supervise various activities. Especially in a housing complex with a large number of changing single households, the promotion of community activities is of great importance.


Functional mixitè – Mix funzionale:
The basement of the five-storey building includes communal spaces and a laundrette for residents. There are also communal gardens and a differentiated offer in the form of sports and recreation areas in the outdoor areas.

Common spaces and shared living-Spazi comuni e abitare condiviso:
The existing infrastructure of the Universität Wuppertal with public transport, car parks, gastronomy, library and seminar rooms will be complemented by what is offered in the residential complex. Of course, these areas are also open to the public.


The sustainability consideration includes the holistic assessment of economic, ecological and socio-cultural concerns. In terms of the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council), the building will be awarded the Gold Standard.

Description of the project:

In the immediate vicinity of the University of Wuppertal, a remaining plot of land was used to provide 132 student housing places. The site was considered undevelopable due to its very narrow layout and extreme slope (18m height difference). The design transforms the specific features into a positive: the slope is used to offset the height of the houses and to minimise the built circulation areas.

The narrowness of the site is compensated for by means of designed boundary transgression. The greenery of the adjacent allotment garden settlement flows between the houses into the outdoor facilities of the dormitory. The existing infrastructure of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal with public transport, car parks, catering, computer centre and connection to district heating is used.

As part of the BBSR research programme, a modular system was developed that realises high-quality and affordable living space on reduced areas for different users. Individual rooms are switched over different communal areas, from single flats to 6-person shared flats. What is special about this BVH is the compressed development. The small houses are organised as through-houses with two-sided access from the slope. The large house is laid out via a helix staircase with activation of all facades for the HNF. The profiled façade panels drape over the basic structure like a curtain that is opened in different ways. This allows a balance between openness and discretion and creates a differentiated design of the building type.

The buildings realised in the publicly subsidised housing sector achieve the Gold Standard of the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council). Using the passive house standard, the energy requirement was reduced to 40% of the EnEV requirements with environmentally friendly energy generation from the local district heating network (waste heat from the waste incineration plant). The hybrid construction method with a high proportion of wood ensures CO2 savings of over 200 tonnes in the façade construction. The façade can be largely dismantled according to type. 80% of the residential units are realised barrier-free, the rest can be retrofitted. In order to document the innovative approaches from the Variowohnen funding programme, the planning and construction phase was scientifically accompanied and evaluated. The aim is to derive transferable recommendations for action.