Richard Rogers Partnership has designed three of the buildings for Daimler Chrysler in Berlin within the Potsdamer Platz Master Plan by the Renzo Piano Workshop.
The three buildings on Linkstrasse, comprise of two buildings for offices and retail, and a third building with three levels of retail and 72 residential apartments.
The brief defined mixed use of office space, housing and retail, with the traditional Berlin block plan of no more than 9 stories in height. and the facades featuring terracotta block panels; the hall mark of the Renzo Piano plan. One of the main objectives of the design was to create innovative, low-energy buildings with a high-quality user comfort.
|The completed buildings are striking expressions of the rise of an eco-architecture on a grand urban scale.|
The Master Plan proposed that the entrance for the offices be located at level 2 at a height of 10 meters and for the housing at level 3 at a height of 13 meters. This potential disadvantage was turned into one of the focal points of the design emphasizing the vertical circulation by opening all three block. The spectacular sequence of stairs to escalator and lifts provides a clear layout and a direct link between entrance level and park for the office buildings.
The design opens up the South-East side of the blocks facing the park. This building form allows light to penetrate into the courtyard, atrium and internal spaces. All the offices and flats have a direct view over the park as well as a prestigious address defined by the main entrance on Linkstraße.
The hollow core plan form of the office buildings is cut away progressively from roof level down flooding the atriums with natural light. The atriums are fully naturally ventilated. Fresh air is supplied through the plenum located between retail and the offices. Computer simulations were conducted in order to optimize the thermal conditions and air flow in the atrium. Solar radiation contributes to the heating and thereby reduces energy consumption in the winter. The natural ventilation ensures that a comfortable climate prevails in the entrance area and the offices adjacent to the atrium throughout the year.
The housing is arranged around a terraced courtyard, with the apartments above enjoying views out over the park.
The units are designed to optimize passive solar energy, natural ventilation and daylight, creating innovative buildings with a high-quality user comfort. The housing mass has been situated in order to benefit from solar orientation and to optimize views onto the park.
The ratio of glazing areas to solid wall construction is determined by the orientation and analysis of heat losses and solar gains and by orientating the housing block to the South-East this maximizes sunlight penetration into the courtyard and living spaces beyond.
The glazing areas to the North-East and North-West facades are comparatively small which reduces heat loss during the winter months. The high proportion of glazing to the South-West and South-East elevations results in a hierarchy of spaces with the living areas opening onto the courtyard and the majority of bedrooms situated to the North-East/North-West sides.