30MAR 2023
# TITLE: 1_Berlin
# STUDENTS: Kloura Athanasia, Myrtaki Emmanouela
# SUPERVISOR: Sakellaridou Eirini, Tsakalidou Venetia, Adamantidis Ermis, Dadatsi Dominiki
# DATE: 2021
# COURSE: International Competition: Office Building
# SCHOOL / DEPARTMENT: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture

The following project presents our proposal for the new building of the company Axel Springer in Berlin. The new building integrates to the urban environment of Berlin and interacts with the existing skyscraper of the company. In addition, it summarizes the principles of biophilic design and enhances the sense of community and cooperation, satisfying the conditions of the future workplace.

During the years of division in Germany, the company Axel Springer was supporting the reunification of East and West Berlin. For the new building, the company wanted a flexible working landscape with spaces for communication that enhances the creativity and the cooperation of employees. Studying the architecture of Berlin, we noticed some different characteristics in morphology and typology for the East and the West. East Berlin has tall buildings, while West Berlin is characterized for low-rise structures, the typical Berlin block with a courtyard. Our design aims to a building that combines these characteristics and therefore unifies Berlin through its different architecture. For this reason, we combined two volumes, a tall one and a shorter one, that represent the East and the West. The two volumes enter each other, their edges are joined, and a new distorted volume-prism is developed from which sections are subtracted, according to a grid, for the creation of the entrances.

The building consists of 9 levels. On the ground floor there are spaces offered to external visitors, while the following 6 levels host the working spaces. The last 3 levels encourage positive incidental meetings between the employees.

The main entrance of the building is in south face in a direct relationship with the existing skyscraper of the company. Two other entrances are in north and east façade. The south and north entrances delimit an axis on which the lobby extends with the receptions and areas for sociability and creativity. On the south-east side there is the museum of the company, and while we head to the north-east side, the library is developed in a diagonal direction with the study hall on the north-east for consistent lighting throughout the day. The south-west side is occupied by the restaurant and the cafeteria and finally the auditorium is placed on the north-west corner.

The typical floor of the building is made of 4 hubs which are developed through a central core aiming to a familiar environment for employees. The entrance in each hub is achieved through coworking spaces and meeting rooms and it includes areas for both teamwork and individual work. The characteristic core consists of a breakfast nook that supports incidental meetings.

The raster façade from glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) was created based on a diagonal grid. The structural elements of the building are covered, and the result emphasizes the solid mass, while the interior of the building is provided with the necessary sun lighting. The openings on the façade enhance, also, the division between the interior and exterior.

The environmental design of the building takes into account three aspects about the materiality, the sun angle on the south face and the geothermal energy due to the possibility of groundwater existence. First, GFRC is an environmentally friendly building material because of the low quantity of concrete that is demanded and the use of recycled components. Moreover, on the south façade the openings have been designed based on the sun angle for summer and winter. As for the third dimension, the geothermal energy has been selected for heating and cooling the interior using two systems. The first one refers to an open loop system that uses a well doublet that consists of an extraction and an injection well, and the second one is a closed loop system in which tubes are installed vertically down to earth.