Located at the intersection of Krefelder Strassee and Ludwigsallee, the Bastei is the part of the second city wall, visible in the urban planning of Aachen till the 19th century. The intersection is one of the most important urban entrances, which leads to the city center of Aachen. In the most recent 100 years, the Bastei went under a numerous program transformation. The original restaurant “An der Bastei” was a popular show stage that transformed into a night bar in the early 20th century. It was once a notorious night-out establishment and most recently it housed a renowned independent theater.
The building has a strong presence as a massive pillar to emphasize itself at this important city location and street intersection. The depth of the facade hides the asymmetry of the existing building geometry, which was resulted from connecting the neighborhood buildings on its two rear sides. The large, consistent deep openings on the facade give a solid sculptural expression of the newly refurbished student housing.
A floor to ceiling sliding doors in the building leads to a small balcony in each studio. Equipped with glass balustrade, the sliding doors allow the dorm rooms to appear wider and deeper. With the impeccable depth of the outdoor space and the depth of the large facade, the balconies shelter a very comfortable and semi-private spaces facing the street. At the top floor of the building, a recreation common space is located for students to gather, socialize and study. An accessible terrace is also located on the top floor, along the facade parameter, that a panoramic view towards the entire city center and Aachen cathedral.
The central courtyard located at the ground floor serves as an important social and communicative part in this high density student community. It provides privacy for the students, a comfort break space from the frantic pace of everyday life, and a safe place where students could gather and socialize with each other.