Located just a block away from Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin is Friedrichstrasse 40, an office building with not one, but two completely different high-performance facades. The building was designed by Petersen Architekten to maximize natural daylighting while minimizing solar glare both in the morning and in the afternoon. The east facade features operable textile screens, while the west is composed of green vertical glass fins. In addition to the multi-faceted facades, the office building is pre-certified with the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council.
The site of Friedrichstrasse formerly held a two-story house that was home to the Skadamowski brothers — whom are said to have invented the 3D eyeglasses. The area is rich in culture, history and art, and the new office building helps contribute to the future of the area with its forward thinking facade.
As with many buildings in Berlin, Friedrichstrasse has both a facade on the street-facing side as well as on the inner courtyard, so it was important that the architects consider both sides when designing for energy efficiency. The garden side is outfitted with operable shade screens that extend down over each window to protect the interior from the morning glare. Roll-out textile shades can be extended when needed, or retracted for more light once the sun has moved past its zenith. On the street side, the building features three two-story high bay windows, with a specially designed double-glazed facade. A series of vertical fins are integrated to the outside of the windows that can be angled to protect against the heat.
Inside glass, wood and textile combine to implying the intertwining of the garden and the city. Friedrichstrasse 40 was completed early in 2011 and is already pre-certified with the German Sustainable Building Council with a GOLD award.
Images ©Jan Bitter