The IBA project “Open House” sets very challenging targets: an experimental residential project is to be implemented on the competition site – a wasteland of garages, high voltage overhead lines and the tail end of housing blocks on the northern edge of Wilhemsburg. In our design concept, the buildings are concentrated mainly on the south side of the property, creating large open spaces towards the neighbouring canal. Two principles define the open space plan: A row of hedges sets off a clearly marked area that opens up towards the canal, while simultaneously providing residents with a degree of privacy. The open spaces form a field matrix, the use of which can be continually redefined by the Open House community. The matrix provides for a wide variety of possible uses, depending on the interests and situations of the individual residents: shrubberies, vegetable plots, sandpits, a hardcourt, fireplace, boathouse with a jetty, or a space to keep chickens.