Barmenia Versicherungen

Competition, Friedenshöhe Residential Park, Wuppertal

Between the woods and the city - the Elberfeld Residential Terraces

A view of the city and living near the woods, urbanity on one side and the intimacy of nature on the other – the Elberfeld residential terraces offer residents both. This new quarter show its face to the city on Barmenia-Allee and Ronsdorfer Straße, the view from every apartment on the terraced site is down into the valley. But at the same time, life focuses on the protected inner areas between the houses, and the granularity of the building guarantees a passage into the neighbouring woods via different pathways amongst the terraces. The new development between the adjacent woods and the outskirts of the city thus gives an impression of woods on the inside and city on the outside.


Town planning, topography and development

Seven buildings on several terraces arranged over the ascending terrain. Three five-storey buildings form the urban edge along the Barmenia-Allee, but all of them offer insights into the quarter through the various gaps. Their two-storey base and the recessed, ascending three storeys manoeuvre the horizontal breakdown of the terraces into the buildings and mediate between the level of the Barmenia-Allee and the bold topography. One building, which protrudes slightly forwards, marks the end of the front row at the crossroads with the Ronsdorfer Straße. Behind this we find four-storey point block buildings that follow the ascending terraces. These initially follow the rhythm of the gaps in the front and take up the size of the ascending three-storey buildings in the first row with their granularity. They then move upwards along the edge of the woods.

The site can be accessed by traffic from the Barmenia-Allee on the edge of the woods. This is where you find both the approach roads to the underground garages as well as the start of the roads through the property for vehicles, either private traffic should it become necessary to access one’s own home directly, through primarily for emergency vehicles.


The idea is to keep the site as free from cars as possible. The houses can be reached directly from the underground garages or by foot in underground passages through the property, or by bike. The new residential quarter can also be reached on foot via steps from the Barmenia-Allee or Ronsdorfer Straße, for example in the direct vicinity of the bus stop there. Steps also connect the terraces on the site. Barrier-free ramps connect the different levels.


The underground garage has natural ventilation thanks to a perforated retaining wall. It offers adequate parking for residents and visitors as well as the necessary number of handicapped parking spaces. Parking spaces for temporary parking on the site are conceivable. There is plenty of room in the direct vicinity of the residential buildings for bicycle stands.


The residential buildings - and address in the woods

All of the entrances to the houses are inside the planning area. In each case they lie on the small “squares” that are located between the houses. These squares have a half-open character. The adjacent apartments are on a raised ground floor to guarantee privacy in the apartments. The houses are organised as buildings with two stair-case-access dwellings per floor with apartments of different sizes, mainly 3 to 5-room apartments, right up to penthouse apartments on the top floors.

A protected, spacious entrance area provides a bright hallway that is appropriate for the area. All of the apartments have a private outdoor area, be this a loggia, balcony or spacious terrace that faces west or north-west.



  • Project Info

    Client: Barmenia Krankenversicherung a.G.

    Location: Wuppertal

    Gross Floor Area (GFA): 12.505 m²

    Team aib: Kai-Uwe Lompa, Richard Scheppat, Michael Blank, Bin Yang, Guillermo Coghlan, Manfred Loges, Tom Wejis

    aib Services: Contest Design
    Cooperation Partner: kiparlandschaftsarchitekten


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