Urban Agency have won an urban planning and architectural competition for 400 new apartments in Cologne, Germany. The neighborhood, Höhenhaus, lies at the edge of the city, between two beautiful forests, and the connection to these vast landscape areas was an integral part of the development of this scheme as a series of permeable courtyards. Individual multifamily houses are arranged around a series of spacious, semi-public courtyards, which offer a variety of shared public areas that create places for social interaction between neighbours and host playgrounds for children of all ages. The porosity of the courtyards creates a network of paths and shortcuts that pass through the neighborhood, while cars are parked in underground garages, preserving the streetscape for pedestrians and cyclists. The houses' pitched roofs refer to the single-family house typology of the surrounding neighborhood, and the cohesive material palette and playful details that create continuity between the facade and roof help to establish a strong collective identity. Within the different buildings, there are apartments that range from 1,5 - 5 rooms, co-living houses for elderly residents, and 30% social housing, which is distributed evenly throughout the neighborhood. The resulting mix of incomes, ages, and family types will contribute to a vibrant local community. For more information about the competition click here.