Jenny’s Trip to Europe


The historic town of Rostock is on the Baltic Sea in North-East Germany on the road between Berlin and Denmark or Sweden. We visited a client to learn about the city, his projects, detailing and systems


This Historic Hansa Capital has a strong Scandinavian connection (apparently you could walk over the ice to Denmark) there is the historic naval significance and early establishment of the University 1419. The photograph is of the 1870 building.


One of the projects, Strandlaüfer, is situated in Warnemünde – the mouth of the river. This was a fishing village, which grew in the 1900s into a popular seaside resort. Eduard Munch is among the many famous visitors. Warnemünde sees numerous ferries, daily cruise liners, and container shipments. There are about 50 yacht clubs in the region and the annual popular Hanse Sail.


Our client has owned and developed 64 sites in Rostock. He now has 6 sites and in between other international projects, has set his sights on Cape Town. A warm welcome to him and his team!

One of the projects we visited was Strandlaüfer. It was built 8 years ago on a 500 mm raft foundation with Engineer Werner Sobek.

This building sets in place the rules for weathering on the seafront. It has been painted once in its lifetime and looks almost new today. Observations about streaking and water flow informed detailing on parapets, bal5conies and openings. Parapets are capped with Aluminium profiles with a drip detail. Window and door openings have an Aluminium head trim and cill projections with side flanges to “dam” the side flow of water so the water is thrown clear off the surface of the building (no streaking). The construction joints are expressed. The ceramic cladding has custom corner pieces for the 45-degree angles.


The temperature is controlled via Seawater. Marginal temperature differences are multiplied through expanding liquid, heat exchangers and pumps. The system runs on the power required for a toaster. Water reticulated through screed in pipes maintains an easy 22 degrees through snow and heatwaves. The owner of the company that supplied the equipment was so intrigued by the experiment 8 years ago, he dedicated an engineer and a touch screen to observe and manage its implementation. It works.











On our many village walks, I came across beautifully understated contemporary interventions.