REM KOOLHAAS AND OMA ARE TO BUILD THE AXEL SPRINGER EXTENSION IN BERLIN

refugium REM KOOLHAAS AND OMA ARE TO BUILD THE AXEL SPRINGER EXTENSION IN BERLIN

 

In a final consultative meeting, the jury of the Axel Springer architectural competition, has unanimously recommended the concept submitted by Rem Koolhaas’ firm OMA for the Berliner Axel Springer extension. The aim of the competition, announced in May 2013, was to develop ideas to create additional space for Axel Springer’s growing business divisions, and in particular its digital offers. In addition, the planned building structure should set new standards in terms of architectural atmosphere, usage and room conception, reflecting a modern working environment. 18 German and international architects’ offices took part in the competition, of which three were selected: Bjarke Ingels Group BIG, Buro Ole Scheeren and OMA. In the subsequent weeks these winning entries were primarily examined in terms of acceptability and feasibility.The central component of the winning entry by Rem Koolhaas – who already built the Dutch Embassy in Berlin- is a large atrium, which, at 30 meters of height, faces the existing Axel Springer building. Interconnected terraces and public workspaces create an environment, which enables both individual and collaborative work. With its allusion of an “open valley”, the concept addresses the question of how offices can accommodate mobile work environments. Prof. Friedrich von Borries, president of the jury, consisting of field experts and representatives of Berlin’s administration as well as of Axel Springer, commented: “There is a high symbolic value in good architecture – influencing its surroundings. But apart from this aspect the competition for the new Axel-Springer-Campus also raised the question of how we want to work in the future. The concept submitted by Rem Koolhaas offered a spectacular answer to this, which opens up a completely new working and communication landscape to its future users.” Regula Lüscher Senate Building Director at Berlin’s Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment said: “Rem Koolhaas drafted a building which only on second sight reveals its secret, architecturally formulating a new kind of collaborative working at its core. The concept offers a strong symbolic force as it incorporates the course of the Berlin Wall diagonally through the building, thereby creating an atrium and spectacular interior, which addresses the unification of this city. Thus, Axel Springer continues its own architectural history in this location.” (mb)

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