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O, what a lovely apartment building

Images courtesy of MVRDV
The first apartment sales have been completed for a giant blue “O” located on a former army barracks in southwest Germany designed by Dutch architect MVRDV.

The 27,500 sq m building in Mannheim’s Franklin Mitte neighbourhood forms one of four letter-shaped apartment blocks that spell out the word “HOME”.

The 15-storey building will contain 120 apartments with the centre of the “O” housing a public terrace, which is described by MVRDV as a “living room” for the area, offering views of the nearby podium event space and the entrance to a fourth-floor bar.

At ground level, the building will contain commercial units and will be surrounded by plazas on all sides. The blue brick façade is punctuated with colourful balconies with glass balustrades.

MVRDV won a design competition for the scheme in 2017.

Winy Maas, MVRDV’s founding partner, said: “By itself, the ‘O’ is an exciting and friendly building at the heart of Franklin Mitte, with terraces and plazas that embrace the liveliness that is coming to this area.

“But it is even more exciting in how it becomes a part of the city. Working with the H, M, and E buildings, it will give Franklin Mitte a strong, unique identity: Welcome!”

The project is being built for German developer RVI. Carsten Buschmann, RVI’s chief executive, said: “Not often in real estate development do you get the chance to build a true landmark project.

“Being part of the HOME skyline involves taking calculated risks and it inspires us to venture beyond the beaten track. Working with MVRDV on the ‘O’ has expanded our understanding of what is possible in urban development.”

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