E2A Wins Taz Office Building Competition

John Hill
22. July 2014
Visualization: E2A

Zurich's E2A Piet Eckert und Wim Eckert Architekten have won the international competition for the new "Taz" office building in Berlin.

From E2A: After 25 years at the Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse across from Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin daily newspaper moves a block further south. The purchase of the plot Friedrichstrasse 20-22 allows the taz to unite its roughly 250 employees in the future media quarters to the Bessel Park under one roof again.
 
Urban Development
In its special corner location, the new building of the taz has to mediate between the traditional Berlin block and the solitary buildings from the period of the IBA. Our design combines the themes urban block and corner: Along the Friedrichstrasse we adopt the Berlin eave height and continue the block; a gentle return of the facade at the Friedrichstrasse creates a clearly accentuated entrance which is set back from the street. Street, corner and courtyard become thus the urban leitmotiv and convert the potential building envelope of the existing development plan in a simple and concise volumetry.

Architecture
The architectural design of the new house for the taz recalls the Moscow "Shabolovka" radio tower by Vladimir G. Shukhov from the early 1920s. Its structure, designed as a network with a minimum of material reached maximal load capacity, becomes the symbol of a support system in which each element having the same importance. The net is a structure in which all the parts have to perform equally and only together achieve stability. It is a system with no hierarchy. The architectural appearance of the new house for the taz becomes structure and symbol of the organization at the same time.

The support structure represents itself merely as a thin network at the exterior façade of the house, and thereby does not need any additional bracing structures inside. The 13-meter free-spanning office floors planned as a precious shell create a workshop/atelier atmosphere and are able to respond flexibly to a variety of different forms of work. The glass housed staircase sculpture in the center of the new house is by its dimension and plasticity more than just floor connection: the generous flight of stairs becomes the vertical pedestrian area of the new house. The intermediate stages are places of encounter and informal exchanges. Here the house “breathes” and promotes spontaneous communication.

Project Team

Architecture
E2A Piet Eckert und Wim Eckert Architekten ETH
Piet Eckert, Wim Eckert, André Passos, Alexander Struck, Tobias Weise, Bojana Miskeljin, Philip Milkowski, Rickey Gates, Jochen Paul

Structural Engineering
Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG
Tivadar Puskas, Jochem Hilberink

Building Sercives
Ernst Basler + Partner AG
Martin Meier

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