This building complex is located on the site of the former Osthafen (“East Port”) along the River Spree on the border between the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, which currently form together one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods with high development potential and great popularity, particularly among the younger. Excellent public transport connections with commuter and underground lines – Warschauer Straße, Ostkreuz and Schlesisches Tor stations all within walking distance – as well as numerous bus routes complete the location’s excellent appeal.
In accordance with official guidelines, the seven-storey building adapts to the existing Osthafen structures in terms of alignment, cubage and design. At the same time it represents an independent architectural structure, designed to the highest standards. The building is reached via the new Hafenstraße, running parallel to Stralauer Allee as part of the framework development planning. The building’s rough shape is a box with three similar façades and one open, structured side towards the River Spree. The water façade to the south is fully glazed; in front is a gallery-like balcony spanning the width of the building and faced with a structure that serves as a fixed sunscreen, comprising slim, vertically S-shaped profiles and horizontal beams at different spacing. The three other façades are divided by short strip windows, switching positions at each level, and are clad in glazed ceramic elements in various red tones. The supporting structure is reinforced concrete with internal pillars and bracing stairwell cores.
The entrance in the center of the façade opens into a generously proportioned double-storey lobby. This central circulation area provides a throughway to the conference rooms as well as to the canteen while giving staff and visitors separate access to upper storeys and both levels of underground parking with 111 vehicle bays and 38 bicycle stands; 28 more car parks and 72 more stands for bikes are outside. The service entrance for offices and cafeteria is on the eastern side. Most of the office area complies with an open-plan concept, single offices were separated by glazings. The structural grid enables flexible partitions, with a biaxial office representing the smallest unit. On each level the core area is combined with special-purpose space for meetings, video conferencing and group work. Special emphasis was placed on a effective acoustic damping in both work and traffic areas.
The building is highly equipped, with the key ventilation systems above suspended ceilings confined to the building’s core zone. The peripheral open-plan areas are conditioned by concrete core thermal activation and thus profiting of full height ceilings. Thermal insulation conforms to EnEv 2009 guidelines. The building is LEED-Gold certified.
The standard façades are structured by strip windows at different positions in each level and clad with ceramic elements, that are glazed in changing red tones. The shapes, Dimensions, and chroma of the elements are customized, so that each and every piece would fit as an exact adapter into the design concept.
As a reference to the tenants main brand Chinese vermilion was chosen for the coloring, completed by both two brighter and two darker shadings. In addition to the pixelation of the monochrome red scale the two lighter tones were glazed matte, while the other three ones are high-glossy, maintaining the façade’s brigo even from an oblique point of view. And also, the light tones remain visible despite the façade’s tendency to reflect. By that, the building also refers in its own way to the neighboring nhow hotel with its relief-like, raw and likewise cloudy brick façade. All openings are bordered with sheet metal. Setoffs mark the limits of the terracotta areas, so they can unfold their vibrancy in just two dimensions without being disturbed. At the corners of the building the terracotta cladding has miter cut edges.
The southern façade facing the water is fully glazed. Balconies spanning the full width of the building are equipped with a fixed shading structure at the full height of the building. It is made of slim, S-shaped profiles vertically and of custom extruded profile girders horizontally that are fixed at different intervals. The horizontal custom profiles were powder-coated according exactly to the five terracotta tones. The coloring emphasizes the play of density of the shading elements. Depending on the perspective – either from the opposite banks, from Oberbaumbrücke or while approaching the building along the Osthafen embankment – the impression of the fixed blinds switches between a perviously toned web and a concentrated, autonomous matter, making the functional façade recede in an abstract, subtle manner.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Client: HOCHTIEF Projektentwicklung GmbH, NL Berlin-Brandenburg
Architects: nps tchoban voss
Gross floor area: ca. 10,263 sqm
Architect: Sergei Tchoban, Architekt BDA
Project manager and partner: Philipp Bauer (service stage 1-2: Axel Binder)
Team: Christoph Heimermann, Anissa Landgraf, Kenan Ozan
Structural Engineering: Hildebrandt Ingenieure
Building services: Grabe Ingenieure (MEP), Rostek und Stolz (electrical planning), Lemon Consult (energy consulting)