Entwicklungsgesellschaft der Stadt Mönchengladbach (EWMG) is to sell an approximately 900 square meter plot located on the corner of Hindenburgstraße / Breitenbachstraße to build a green micro-apartment complex (“The Green Lofts”) from upcycled shipping containers. The Supervisory Board of EWMG gave the sale its approval last Thursday. The decision paves the way for a ground-breaking, sustainable urban development project at the heart of the inner city, in the direct vicinity of the main station and the planned Seestadt mg+ urban quarter. It is a further project that delivers on qualitative inner-city development.
“There’s no shortage of living space, what’s lacking is the imagination it takes to make room for an urban lifestyle.” Containerwerk Pro GmbH challenges this statement from futurist Christopher Peter with its innovative building concept. The company transforms used shipping containers into space for living and working. The micro-apartment format of the Mönchengladbach project is a groundbreaker in Germany and, in the words of Mayor Felix Heinrichs “gives the city important, future-proof ecological and economic momentum”.
Projects such as Seestadt mg+ and “19 Häuser” (“19 houses”) will permanently change the area around the main station, and not only attract more residents to the city centre, but also add to inner city quality of life and purchasing power. The new apartment complex rounds off this particular development initiative and extends the scope to include an innovative concept in terms of architecture and use. For City Director and Technical City Councillor Dr. Gregor Bonin, this project also underpins the city-wide urban initiative for sustainable and resource-efficient construction coupled with environmentally-friendly and urban design. “The apartments bring a dynamic to the development of this quarter and perfectly match the urban planning concept for the area.”
“The new-build serves the societal need for flexible housing solutions”, adds Dr. Ulrich Schückhaus, Chairman of the EWMG Board of Management. “As such, the project not only delivers on the healthy building initiative of the city and WFMG, but also provides modern temporary and affordable accommodation.” The units can be rented for terms ranging from one night to several weeks.
Thanks to the modular system design, building costs are 20 to 35 per cent lower than for conventional buildings. The construction phase – and therefore the impact on local residents – is up to 70 per cent shorter because many of the elements are prefabricated. Nevertheless, there are no compromises, either as regards comfort or with respect to sustainability. Containerwerk Pro GmbH plans and produces the “The Green Lofts” building from 100 per cent recyclable materials.
“The Green Lofts”: One example of a healthy building
48 used 40-foot shipping containers are stacked on a pedestal made from recycled concrete. This creates approximately 1,250 square meters of space that is used to design apartments ranging from 14 to 56 square meters plus communal areas. One 40-foot container provides a good 26 square meters of usable space with a room height of approximately 2.5 meters. Generous greening will cover both the parking deck with space for 35 vehicles and the whole building. “We based our entire concept – from the fabrication of materials through use to disposal – on a holistic approach to sustainability, in the spirit of the cradle-to-cradle philosophy”, Nico Sauerland, designated Managing Director of Container Pro GmbH, commented.
Furthermore, the company has also based the running of “The Green Lofts” on sustainable digitalism, from online check-in, digital guest management and digital irrigation of the green areas through to the online shop with local products and services such as e-scooter and e-bike sharing.
The new micro-apartment building on the corner of Hindenburgstraße / Breitenbachstraße combines imagination, creativity and a sense of responsibility to bring a special, sustainable and innovative dynamic to urban living in Mönchengladbach.
Rendering building: Containerwerk Pro GmbH / Examples for interior design: Stefan Hohloch