GSW Headquarters

This design forms the extension to an office tower which was one of the first projects to be built during the reconstruction of Berlin in the 1950s. The design endeavours to combine the as found fragments of the city into a three-dimensional composition through which the existing building is able to be reintegrated into its context.

The idea of conglomerate growth is not only accepted but put forward as a model for urban development. So the new ensemble responds as much to the baroque logic of the street plan as it does to the rules of 19th-century urbanism. At the same time it absorbs the object-like quality of the 50s tower and registers the confrontational space which had developed between the high-rises on either side of the Berlin Wall.
In this combination of the disparate spatial configurations of consecutive generations, the new high-rise slab is the element associated with the present and the future.

The design of this building is generated by a concern for the workplace in the city, and by a committment to an architecture that is economical with the (built and natural) resources of the environment. The new high-rise not only offers an exemplary working environment in its passive control of energy consumption, at the same time it redefines an architecture in which the value of sensuous space is reassessed.