Balcony glazing – Sky Living
A TOP-CLASS VISION

For many years, high-rise blocks of flats had a bad image in Germany. associated as they were with the social housing of the country’s 1960s complexes. It was impossible to imagine that they might one day be seen as exclusive living spaces.  As inner cities have become more densely populated, the skyscraper trend has now finally reached German shores. Skyline Living in Stuttgart offers the perfect example of the benefits of large blocks of flats.  Rising above the skyline in the city’s northern “City Prag” district, this ensemble of high-rise buildings brings together work and life as convenient neighbours. Alongside the local cultural scene – a theatre and a music hall are situated just around the corner – the area also offers direct access to one of Stuttgart’s most attractive recreational areas. Good infrastructure in the form of public transport, local car-sharing services and an express road provide the icing on the cake that makes this a perfect location.

Skytower Balkonverglasung SL 25
Skyline Living

Part of the complex is a 75-metre-high apartment block called “Skyline Living” and its six-storey commercial sister, “Skyline Office”. The two buildings are connected by a green courtyard with leisure and play areas and a patio for the gastronomy area.

At around 75 metres high and with 22 floors, Skyline Living is one of Stuttgart’s highest residential areas. The restaurant on the ground floor is followed by six floors housing 72 fully furnished business apartments that offer visiting businesspeople an alternative to the local hotels. The floors above these apartments house 72 flats with premium fittings, such as floor-to-ceiling windows, parquet floors, underfloor heating and spacious living and dining areas. Two panorama penthouse flats on the 21st floor round off the building. The highlight of the flats is undoubtedly the top-class view; the floor-to-ceiling glazing offers a sprawling perspective over the surroundings, which include the Killesberg vineyards, the city’s television tower and the Neckartal valley.

Skytower Balkonverglasung SL 25
A sheltered space overlooking the rooftops of Stuttgart

The tenants of the corner flats and penthouses can even enjoy the view with an al fresco ambience,  In order to ensure that the tenants on even the highest floors could make full use of their balconies, Bülow-AG, the company that owns the Skyline complex, decided to install all-glass weather protection that would also provide sound insulation. At the same time, however, they wanted the balconies to retain their open-air feel. This flexible solution was achieved using the frameless SL 25 slide-and-turn system. Mounted on the glass balustrade, the panes can be moved to the side one at a time and turned open to form a bundle that locks in place at a right angle and remains secure even in heavy winds.

When closed, the panes make the balcony a pleasant place to relax even in bad weather – and they even help make the building more sustainable. Although it is not thermally insulated, due to the depth of the balcony the glazing acts as a heat barrier so that pre-heated fresh air can be let into the indoor living space on cooler days. In summer, opening the glazing prevents the apartment from getting too hot. Another benefit of the glazing is the effect it has on the lifespan of the balcony – when closed, it protects the balcony from the elements, so there is no need to spend extra time and money on maintaining the fabric of the structure. 

Background

The facade is characterised by the interplay between the wall panels, which are offset across different floors and vary in terms of their material, colour and format. Horizontal bands of light colours emphasise the ceilings of each floor. Like the light-coloured wall elements, these are designed as rear-ventilated aluminium cladding elements which also offer protection from the sun. The interplay between vertical and horizontal elements gives the impression of a three-dimensional structure. The dark wall panels fade into the background, together with the windows and the balcony glazing. “Each of the two buildings needed to have its own identity to reflect their different purposes, yet they also needed to clearly belong together as a harmonious ensemble,” explains architect Mark Pfeifer of Bülow AG. In addition to this, they also needed to fit with the town planning concept for the “City Prag” district, which is based on the designs of the Steidle architects’ bureau from 1990 and 2002. These plans divide the buildings into separate blocks with the Theaterhaus Stuttgart – the city’s historic theatre, housed in a listed old factory building – at their centre.

The competition for design concepts for this project was won by StructureLab, who won the panel over with the impressive way they implemented the requirements of the town planning framework. The open space in the new building complex echoes the themes of the municipal architecture. Its exposed location on Stresemannstraße, at the edge of the “City Prag” district, is highlighted in its clear and expressive design. The architects, Daniel Baukus and Mark Pfeifer of Bülow AG, are huge fans of the overall Skyline concept: “The different areas created by the architecture gain increased quality and are connected by a common structure. The green space in the centre echoes the structure of the architectural design.”  The architecture and interior design of the building make use of high-quality materials in order to ensure that Skyline Living is seen as a premium property. The exclusive residential building boasts the perfect location and is a far cry from the pre-fabricated high-rises of Germany’s past, instead following the trend of the unique, modern skyscraper. This is thanks in no small part to its original external facade and high-comfort fittings – not least the moving glass fronts on the balconies.