Berliner Volksbank eG Headquarters

Berlin, Germany

Situated in Berlin City next to the trade far complex and on the axis of Berlins grand east-west boulevard this headquarters building for a major Berlin bank forms a gateway into the dense residential and business district of Charlottenburg.
Currently the site is an unattractive windswept area sandwiched between the sunken motorway in the south and through-traffic roads north and west and is part of a former residential block of which the war left only the south eastern section intact.
In a first step the historic structure is to be recreated with five to six-storey perimeter buildings along the street fronts thus respecting the scale of the traditional building heights. A twenty-one-storey circular high-rise in the centre of the site takes up the orientations of the surrounding structures and makes a landmark visible from afar. A new public path crosses the site diagonally, connecting city railway and tube stations on the one side with a coach station on the other. The public approachs from the two corners from natural entrances on both sides clearly visible from the stations.
A generously dimensioned atrium links the new L-shaped perimeter building with the central tower and allows for a wide range of public and private uses, i.e. exhibitions, social and cultural events also after office hours.
Opposite the atrium a small park offers pleasant views an recreation during office breaks.
The complex is designed as a green building and is an expression of our strong ecological concern. It represents a new generation of smart tech buildings which demand as a little technology as possible but provide as much as is necessary. All the offices are naturally ventilated and waste air is naturally extracted from the atrium through thermal buoyancy in a solar chimney integrated in the high-rise facade.
The external facades have double-skin glazing, integrating office daylighting, natural ventilation and sensor-controlled shading devices. the inner skin is composed of transparent and translucent panels, the outer planar glazing is to be partially screen-printed. the multi-layer double facades are designed to achieve a balance of functional requirements and graphic aspects. they also serve as sound buffers sot that, even on this busy main thoroughfare, most of the interiors can be sufficiently aerated without mechanical ventilation.
The building skin of the tower continues upwards beyond the last storey so that the building seems to dissolve into the sky. Daytime and sunlight incidence will alter the buildings´s appearance from dusk till dawn.