David Chipperfield

Luxwerk masterplan . Berlin

David Chipperfield Architects . Renders: © Atelier Tata

David Chipperfield Architects Berlin has won a competition for the masterplan of the LUXWERK Areal, in collaboration with Atelier Loidl and Arup. The masterplan transforms the former Osram factory premises in Berlin’s Spandau district into a pioneering technology campus, re-interpreting the unique character of the listed Osram glass factory. The new buildings reflect the existing buildings in terms of scale, position and building heights. Together with the historic building fabric, the expansion of the site will create 90,000 square metres of commercial industrial space. Through the redevelopment of the existing buildings as well as innovative construction methods and a maximum degree of flexibility for the new buildings, the transformation of the former industrial site aims to be an exemplar for a sustainable and contemporary industrial architecture.

Following the closure of the historic Osram glass factory in Berlin’s Spandau district, a new urban quarter, the LUXWERK Areal, is being masterplanned by David Chipperfield Architects. The site is part of Siemensstadt, an area that has been shaped by industry for over a century. The listed Osram glass factory, designed in the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) style by Waldemar Pettri, was completed in 1927. The starting point of the project is the search for a contemporary industrial architecture that identifies and re-interprets the site-specific features. The masterplan analyses the historic architectural context and transforms the site into a new, pioneering industrial location in the west of Berlin.

The urban concept is characterised by clear, free-standing building volumes, aligned orthogonally to the Nonnendammallee main road. In terms of scale, position and building heights, the new buildings are oriented towards the existing buildings and evolve towards the south into five-storey courtyard buildings. In the north-west of the site, the masterplan incorporates a 55-metre high-rise building, designed by Eike Becker_Architekten. A centrally positioned thoroughfare crosses the site from north to south, providing orientation and direct access to all buildings. As a shared space with low traffic, it provides a further extended area for outdoor production. Two neighbourhood squares extend the central thoroughfare, breaking up the space in urbanistic terms. In the north, the square at the historic entrance next to the generator building functions as a workshop yard; in the centre, the square Platz an der Dannerhalle, takes on the role of a social hub, encompassing a canteen situated in the historic building. The character of the site continues to be predominantly defined by its industrial programme, while additional functions together with green open spaces ensure an active neighbourhood.

A differentiated approach is taken to the treatment of the historic building fabric. The 1920s building is refurbished and modernised, preserving the traces of time. Building components lost during the war will be rebuilt while conversions and additions from the decades after 1945 will be dismantled where they negatively affect the appearance. The new architecture adopts the materiality and structure of the existing buildings. A substantial load-bearing structure ensures maximum flexibility of use. Innovative construction methods reduce the material consumption significantly and achieve a circular construction method. The transformation of the LUXWERK Areal will be an exemplar project for a contemporary and sustainable industrial architecture.