Axel Springer Campus

Berlin
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA
Architects
OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Address
Zimmerstrasse, Berlin
Year
2020
Stories
5-20 Stories
Client
Axel Springer SE
Team
Rem Koolhaas (Partner in charge), Chris van Duijn (Partner in charge), Katrin Betschinger (Associate in charge), Philippe Braun, Antonio Barone, Paolo Caracini, Alain Fouraux, Gary Owen, Maria Aller Rey, Wael Sleiman, Valentin Bansac, Matthieu Boustany, Saida Bruckner, Felix Buttner, Emile Estourgie, Michalis Hadjistyllis Phelan Heinsohn, Cindy Hwang, Mattia Inselvini, Athanasios Ikonomou, Hanna Jankowska, Minkoo Kang Alexander Klufers, Tijmen Klone, Marina Kouvani, Maximilian Kurten, Hans Larsson, Wai Yiu Man, Cristina Martin de Juan, Julian Meisen, Martin Murrenhoff, Betty Ng, Edward Nicholson, Vitor Manuel Dos Santos Oliveira, Ebrahim Olia Jerome Picard, Danny Rigter, Joanna Rozbroj, Stefanos Roimpas, Jad Semaan, Lukasz Skalec, Sandra Sinka Thomas Shadbolt, Magdalena Stanescu, Mike Yin, Marcus Parviainen, Slavis Poczebutas, Alexandru Vilcu, Frederike Werner, Mateusz Wojcieszek
Project Management
SMV Bauprojektsteuerung Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH
Cost Management
Emproc GmbH
MEP
ZWP Ingenieur-AG
Facade
Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG
Landscape
Inside Outside
Structure
Arup London
Lerch & Bates
Elevators
Energy/Comfort
Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
Building Physics
knp.Bauphysik GmbH
Acoustics
Kahle Acoustics
Geotechnical
GuD Geotechnik und Dynamik Consult GmbH
Lighting
les éclaireurs
Orientation System
Büro Uebele
Curtain Design
Inside Outside

Axel Springer has launched a move from print to digital media. Its new building on the campus in Berlin acts both as a symbol and a tool in this transition - a building to lure the elite of (Germany’s) digital Bohemia. Bisected by a diagonal atrium that opens up to the existing Axel Springer buildings, the essence of the design is a series of terraced floors that together form a ‘valley’ that creates an informal stage at the centre - a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company.

The genius of print is that it is a cheap, physical, hyper-accessible embodiment of a complex collective effort, for which so far the digital has been unable to find an equivalent. Architectural offices are similar to newspapers in that they produce complex assemblies and selections from radically different sources of information.

As architects, we have experienced the advantages: speed, precision, smoothness. But we have also suffered one crucial consequence: the relationship between the worker and his computer, which isolates him in a bubble of introverted performance, inaccessible to collective overview.

In the classical newsroom, dominated by smoking, typing journalists, each inhabitant was aware of the labour and progress of his colleagues and of the collective aim: a single issue, with the deadline as a simultaneous release. In the digital office, staring intently at a screen dampens all other forms of attention and therefore undermines the collective intelligence necessary for true innovation.

We therefore have designed a building that lavishly broadcasts the work of individuals for shared analysis. The new office block is injected with a central atrium that opens up to the existing Axel Springer buildings - a new centre of the Axel Springer campus.

The design was developed around a series of terraced floors that together form a digital valley. Each floor contains a covered part as a traditional work environment, which is then uncovered on the terraces. Halfway through the building, the valley is mirrored to generate a three dimensional canopy.

The common space formed by the interconnected terraces offers an alternative to the formal office space in the solid part of the building, allowing for an unprecedented expansion of the vocabulary of workspaces: a building that can absorb all the question marks of the digital future.

The public can experience the building on three levels - ground floor lobby, meeting bridge, and roof-top bar. The meeting bridge is a viewing platform from which the visitors can witness the daily functioning of the company and how it evolves. The ground floor contains studios, event and exhibition spaces, canteens and restaurants.

The building is situated opposite the existing Axel Springer headquarters on Zimmerstrasse, a street which previously separated East and West Berlin, at one of the city’s most significant locations.

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Magazine

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