KuBin

KuBin

Residential and Commercial Building,
Art Cube on the Art Campus
2010

Since the opening of the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) in 2006, if not before then, a roughly forty-hectare area to the north of the station’s main concourse has increasingly attracted the interest of planners and investors. The first stage of the development of this huge area — which still very much bears the character of the deserted grounds of the former Hamburger and Lehrter freight train station — is the creation of the Europacity district just north of the street that runs in front of the new Hauptbahnhof. The Kunstcampus (Art Campus), located behind the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart (Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art), is also part of this stretch of city. Bordered to the west by the three-hundred-meter-long Rieckhalle housing the Flick Collection, and to the east by the Halle am Wasser (Hall on the Water) — with its six galleries — and the promenade along the Berlin- Spandau shipping canal, the Kunstkubus (Art Cube) will conclude the Kunstcampus to the north while referencing the position of the halls.

The building stands on a lot measuring forty by thirty-six meters and is six stories tall. The ground floor takes up the full area of the site while the five upper stories form a three-wing arrangement that faces the canal. Although the term “cube” calls to mind more of a squared outer shell, the façades have a highly plastic character owing to their numerous projections and recesses, which have something of a narrow bay window quality about them which is not confined to the east side. Metal and glass contrast here. The horizontal lines of the ceilings appear white, the vertical lines of the walls gray and brown. Floor-to-ceiling panes of glass, however, tend to dissolve everything solid into light and air.

A shop, a gallery, a café, and a restaurant are located on the ground floor. The second and third floors are used for offices and possibly studios. The fourth, fifth, and sixth floors are devoted to apartments. There are ten apartments per floor, eight measuring eighty-two to eighty-four square meters and two measuring 116 square meters and facing the water. All of the apartments avoid a sharp division of separate cooking, eating, and living areas. And what they are thus able to offer is: more freedom than order.

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