Residential and business premises HAFENLIEBE, Mainz

Since 2011 the customs port Mainz, the new port quarters in the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, has been growing. In one of the most beautiful locations of the town a mixed area is being developed until 2025 for around 2,500 people, which in addition will offer space for 4,000 workplaces at the waterside. The development of the quarter is working like clock-work. Many building projects have already been completed, such as the residential and business building ‘Hafenliebe Mainz’ designed by the architectural office Römer Kögeler and Partner from Cologne, with 180 rented out one- to five-room flats, a supermarket, and a daycare centre for children. In the courtyard ‘moving balconies’, as well as the green covered flat roof system create a counterpart to the monumental façade along the lively street. On the balconies, loggias, and roof gardens the massive deck COMPACT in grey, a high-quality, robust and durable flooring of wood composite material by German producer NATURinFORM was laid.

Patio decks
COMPACT in grey as massive deck

Type of construction
Balconies, loggias and patios

Building owner
CA Immobilien AG, Vienna

Construction year

Residential and business building Rheinallee 64, Mainz

Mainz has a long tradition as a port town. As a war port, trade, customs and container port the area at the Rhine avenue has always belonged to the town. Only when the port area was redesigned to become a town area is it now visible and perceptible as a part of the town. The customs port Mainz is right next to the bubbly new town of Mainz and only a few minutes from the centre. In a joint venture with the municipal utilities CA Immo developed an attractive residential quarter next to the water for the investor Aberdeen Asset Management. On a surface of ca. 22 ha a mixed used area for living and working was created, with additional shops, as well as social, cultural and gastronomic offers.

A lot of green in the courtyard to counteract the massive facade 

Significant feature of the design concept ‘Hard outside – moving core’ by Römer Kögeler and Partner Architects from Cologne, on the one side is the massive, long-legged building shape with brick punctuated façade, on the other hand sections that open up to the green courtyard. The building complex in an E-shape with three point houses accommodates 181 rented flats. A specialty is the situation within the customs port Mainz with direct contact to the public marina and the port path ‘Loop’. With the house at the Rheinallee 64 a ‘stable port building block’ was created that lives up to the formerly industrially used location and its unique character. A large portion of the flats is facing the courtyard and is oriented towards the marina. In the courtyard the ‘moving balconies’ that are turned towards one another and are slanted, as well as the outer area design on the flat roof and the ground-level courtyard area form the desired counterpart to the massive façade. The vertical green between the houses combines the public area of the marina with the private open space on the roof surface.

Massive deck COMPACT laid on balconies and patios

The company Plantatec Gründach from Wiesbaden was appointed to create roof greening and to lay approximately 1,400 square metres of massive COMPACT decks on the balconies and patios. The company specialises in creating green roofs, as well as balcony and patio surfaces. ’In the broadest sense we are garden and landscape builders and are also a member in the expert group, but what we do is more like a combination of roofers’ and gardeners’ projects. Our customers are public, private and business clients,‘ Managing Director Michael Sturmhöfel characterises his company. His team frequently processes NATURinFORM’s products. A great addition to the already known characteristics is the ‘excellent value for money.’ The balconies at the ‘Rheinallee 64’ didn’t pose a special challenge for his employees. The supplier, says Sturmhöfel, provided them with special lengths with which it was possible to solve tricky details, too. ‘The decks are processor-friendly, as they are very precisely made. Additionally, they do not have the negative side-effect of wooden decks which often produce a lot of waste during processing. And wood composite materials are very low on maintenance and it is not necessary to paint or varnish them at a later point in time,‘ Sturmhöfel describes his experience. For him this material is ideal, especially for properties that are rented out, as well as publicly used properties.

Accessible balconies and patios

A decisive reason why massive decks by NATURinFORM were used in the end is described by architect Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Hox-Beyer, partner at Römer Kögeler and Partner architects in Cologne. ‘Accessibility, or respectively a smooth transition from the living area to the balcony or patio was very important for us,’ says Hox-Beyer. The decision for wood composite material was made in intensive meetings with CA Immo – on the one hand because of the low installation height that pre-existed due to the building situation. And in addition, the relatively low material weight, a concession to the structural standards to be able to execute the ‘building part balcony’ more easily.

For new builds and renovations: Versatile massive deck

With COMPACT – by the way also visible on the pontoons in the customs port marina – a robust, durable and low maintenance surface was chosen, that ensures reliable grip even when damp. This massive deck from NATURinFORM’s portfolio is available in an extensive colour range. Besides the three standard colours brown, anthracite and grey, customers can choose their favourite from NATURinFORM’s colouredition’s broad offer of special colours, as well as from all wooden shades on offer. As a surface you can choose between a classically striated side and a side with block stripes. It is up to 13 metres long, 21 millimetres thick, and as it can be used with either side up, this massive deck can be used versatilely – preferably next to new-build projects, also with renovations, if the installation height of a patio or balcony may not be too high.

Climate-neutral production with timber from sustainable forestry

NATURinFORM specialises in intelligent solutions for outdoor surfaces and profiles. The wood composite materials are produced in the company in Upperfranconian Redwitz an der Rodach: a material that combines the optical features of traditional construction wood with the durability of a technical polymer. During production the wooden fibres are combined with the pure thermoplastic polymer in such a way that it covers each individual fibre like a protective coat. Thus, no water can penetrate, yet the deck retains the optical and thermic features of wood. A great advantage with surfaces surrounding damp and wet application areas.

Climate protection and conservation of resources are top priority for NATURinFORM. So as to be able to produce the wood composite material climate neutrally certified the producer only uses wooden fibres from domestic and sustainable forestry (PEFC-certified wood suppliers.) This means no additional trees are felled, as the wood products are a by-product of the wood-processing industry. This makes this material an extremely environment and climate friendly product that in addition can be recycled 100 percent. After the decks have been used, they are taken back by the company if possible and re-fed into the production process.

There are environmental product declarations according to international standards available (EPDs) for all of NATURinFORM’s decks and façade profiles. All products are continuously monitored by quality controls and stress tests, to guarantee a constant perfect and first-class wood composite quality. The company provides a five-year guarantee on its products. The patio decks can be recycled 100 percent and can be returned to the plant in Bavarian Redwitz for recycling.

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