Architecture firms BIG, OMA, and Büro Ole Scheeren have just been selected as the top three finalists in the competition to design Axel Springer's New Media Campus in Berlin. The architecture competition, which was announced in May 2013, began by soliciting design proposals for the media center’s new office complex from a shortlist of 20 international teams. Since the new complex will be located on a former site of the Berlin Wall, each of the three proposed designs reference the site's historical significance by exploring the theme of transparency and creating open connections to outside surroundings.
Described by the firm as a “three dimensional neighborhood,” Bjarke Ingels Group’s design focuses on collaboration and exchange. Enclosed by office spaces with transparent facades on all four sides, BIG created an interior courtyard at the heart of the complex that would also facilitate exchanges and interaction between the various office users. An ascending spiral of staircases and terraces connect the different levels, each of which feature a flexible and open plan layout.
Büro Ole Scheeren derived both visual and functional inspiration for its design from the phrase “collaborative cloud.” The white, asymmetric building mass consists of two floating, transparent voids on both its east and west façade, a design decision that reinforces the free flow of ideas and people achieved by the Berlin Wall’s removal. The staggered office spaces created by the open environment of the cloud offer opportunities for new flexible and collaborative workspaces.
Rem Koolhaas’ OMA also features a bold cutout that exposes the interior work environment to the street. Natural light floods through the jagged, triangular opening and illuminates the staggered and stacked open plan floors that surround three triangular atriums.
After further deliberation by the jury, the finalist of the design competition will be announced in January. A weeklong exhibition that debuts on December 17 will showcase the three finalists’ designs at an exhibition at the German Architecture Center in Berlin.
Images via Axel Springer SE