BIG has been announced, along with Buro-OS and OMA, as one of the winners for the new 69,000m2 media HQ for the international publishing house Axel Springer in Berlin, Germany. Like a three dimensional neighborhood the building will unite the activities of Axel Springer Campus with the public life of the city.
Located on the historic site of the former Berlin Wall, the new addition to the Axel Springer’s headquarters brings together a new array of media subsidiaries. The building breathes new life into one of the last remaining building plots of the former no-man’s land, and unifies the diverse surroundings into a new vibrant urban center.
Bjarke Ingels: “We propose a building that creates the optimum conditions for encounters and exchanges between the various groups of users. Like a three dimensional neighborhood, the building will bring together digital and traditional media brands, start-ups and established firms, entrepreneurs and employees, and unite the activities of Axel Springer Campus with the public life of the city.”
The existing Axel Springer buildings embody two well-known typologies that have dominated Berlin’s urban development of the last half century. An understated perimeter block of office buildings that face into their own interior courtyards that was complemented by a tower standing out in its urban context creating a public square at its base.
BIG conceptually unites the qualities of these two building typologies – the intimate nature of the courtyard and the efficiency of the tower – to create a new identity for the Media Campus. The Campus’ main feature is an upward spiral of terraces and stairs that move from the ground floor to connect the courtyard to the sky.
The street trees continue in planters on the terraces, providing access to green spaces from all floors in the building and magnificent views for both the staff as well as the public. The façades of the public and semi-public areas are kept as transparent as possible to provide maximum visual connection from the interior to the surrounding city.
The new Campus will be a testament of the future of Axel Springer and solidify its place in the media industry. BIG’s organization of office programs will stimulate interdisciplinary exchanges across professional boundaries. A free and flexible floor plan allows for the gathering of people from multiple fields as well as serendipitous meetings.
Like a diagonal short-circuit in the horizontal layers of offices, the spiraling interior becomes a literal landscape for work and exchange of ideas. All floors are connected to the courtyard, terraces or roof garden so that every workspace is steps away from ample daylight and fresh air – natural ingredients for a creative workspace.
The public is invited to see all entries from December 17 until December 22 in the exhibition “A call for ideas – the new Axel Springer Campus in Berlin” at the German Architecture Centre (DAZ) in Berlin.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen
Associate-in-Charge: André Schmidt
Project Leader: Lucian Racovitan, Hanna Johansson
Project Team: Aaron Hales, Alek Wadas, Alexander Ejsing, Alexandra Lukianova, Horia Spirescu, Jonathan Quaade, Junjie Yan, Kasper Reimar Hansen, Laura Wätte, Martin Maria Beck, Mathias Bank, Mikolai Adamus, Nicolas Milot, Oscar Wilhelm Abrahamsson
Landscape: Man Made Land + Topotek 1
Lighting: Kardoff Ingenieure
Cost consultant: Wenzel + Wenzel
Size: 69,000 m2
Competition Client: Axel Springer AG
Article by Marco Rinaldi