OMA’s design for Axel Springer’s new media centre in Berlin has been chosen as the winner in the final round of a public design competition. The building will embody Axel Springer’s corporate shift from print to digital media, and will create a new hub in the existing Axel Springer campus in central Berlin. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer: “We are very happy to be able to build the new building of our publishing house together with Rem Koolhaas. He presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.”
Rem Koolhaas, founding partner of OMA: “It is a wonderful occasion for our office to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions…”
Opposite the existing Axel Springer headquarters on Zimmerstrasse, a street which previously separated East and West Berlin, the building will be situated at one of the city’s most significant locations.
The new office block is bisected by a diagonal atrium that opens up to the existing Springer buildings — an extension of the Springer campus. The essence of the proposal is a series of terraced floors that together form a ‘valley’. Each floor contains a covered part for formal work, which is then uncovered on the terraces to act as an informal stage and a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company. The ground floor is open to the city and contains studios, event and exhibition spaces, canteens and restaurants.
OMA’s design team is led by partners-in-charge Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon, and project leaders Katrin Betschinger, Alain Fouraux and Betty Ng. The project was developed in collaboration with Chris Carol from Arup London, Duncan Phillips from RWDI for microclimate consultation, Eckhard Kahle of Kahle Acoustics, Christian Wernicke and Christoph Winter of SMV Bauprojektsteuerung& Emproc GmbH for cost consultation, and Peter Stanek for fire safety consultation (OMA).