Rem Koolhaas' OMA just beat out high-profile architecture firms BIG and Buro Ole Scheeren for the design of the Axel Springer Campus in Berlin. OMA's winning proposal for the media company's new office building physically complements the corporation's shift from print to digital media with a dynamic and forward-thinking work environment. Symbolic of the future for online media, OMA's modern light-filled design trades the traditionally closed office setting with open, interconnected and flexible work terraces.
Described by OMA as a “palace to lure the elite of (Germany’s) digital Bohemia,” the modern office building is designed to prevent the social isolation often associated with increasingly digitized work environments. To promote a sense of unity, OMA created a highly collaborative office setting centered on a nearly 100-foot tall “digital valley” of terraced floors. The shape of the angular valley was also mirrored on the top half of the building to create a dramatic, diamond-shaped opening into the structure. Although part of each floor is completely open and visible in the “digital valley” atrium, a larger section of the floor is still covered for a more private, traditional work setting.
Built on axis with the nearby Berlin Wall, the winning design is also strongly tied into its urban environment and symbolizes the unification of the city. The light-filled atrium is partially glazed to allow views into the building from the street level. The public can also experience the building from an elevated viewing platform and the rooftop bar.