Canadian-American starchitect Frank Gehry will design a new skyscraper in Berlin, Germany that will be the capital city's tallest residential building. His Los Angeles-based firm Gehry Partners, LLP beat out eight other shortlisted competitors to nab the project for international real estate firm Hines. The 150 meter (492 foot) tall residential tower will be located on Alexanderplatz public square in the central Mitte district, near Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower) -- the tallest structure in Germany at a height of 368 meters (1,207 feet).
The building will feature a stone exterior and include 39 floors with 300 apartments, restaurants, a hotel and spa. Construction on the €250 million ($337 million) project will begin in 2015 with an expected completion date of 2017.
“Gehry’s design is strong in visual expression and introduces an unusually eccentric, new pattern for this location. Nevertheless, the facade radiates agreeable tranquility,” said Regula Lüscher, director of the city’s urban development department and one of the competition judges. “The design blends well with the neighbourhood and conveys all aspects of metropolitan living.”
Alexanderplatz is home to one of the busiest transit stations in Berlin, with S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains making stops there. The area is in the former eastern sector of the city surrounded by Soviet-style buildings. The tower is part of a revitalization effort that includes up to 20 more buildings either scheduled or under construction. The tower will rise at the D4 construction site between Hackescher Markt, Friedrichshain and Berlin-Mitte.
Berlin politicians are hoping that getting Gehry to design the tower will have the same positive impact on the neighborhood that happened with the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, sometimes called the “Bilbao effect.”