ffeff

ffeff

Office and Commercial Building,
Friedrich-Carré District, Berlin
1999–2002

This building is one of seven structures that form half of a large downtown block just south of the highly frequented Friedrichstrasse Station. The urban plan stipulated the outline of the block, the use of the ground floor for stores, the division of the building into nine stories, and the green inner courtyard.

The office and commercial building forms the middle segment of the block facing the extraordinarily bustling scene of Friedrichstrasse. The structure clearly stands out between its two neighbors due to its entirely glazed façade, which is composed of four different zones: the ground and second floor as a base, the center area in front of the atrium, and finally the two smaller undulating façades to the left and right enclosing individual offices. With three axes on the left and two on the right, the wave-like façades—in which, like
scales, the left edge of a plate of glass is placed over the right edge of the next— hang from slightly curved “boomerang” profiles at a distance from the openable office windows. Together the two façades have the appearance of a theater curtain that has been pulled to each side to offer a view of the stage.

However, in this case the stage is the atrium, which has a flat front facing the street. The panes of glass weigh approximately twenty tons each. They hang on point-fixed bolts attached to the upper and lower flange of flat profiles running the height of each building floor. Not only the front side of the building is made primarily of glass, but so are the other three sides and even the roof to the sky. Two elevators glide up and down the south wall. The west wall is articulated by multiple balconies, playing on the motif of the interior as exterior. Some of the building’s offices are located behind the balconies.

Viewed from the inside, the building reveals itself to be a three-part complex with individual and group offices accessed by two cores. The individual offices that face west, toward the green inner courtyard, all have tilt and turn windows and external sunblinds.

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