Federal Chancellery Berlin

Avoid the ‘torpor of the facade’, every facade, shape space, break open the east and west fronts of the Chancellery – the architects had a particular kind of liberation in mind:   assert the lightness of stone against those very German – and Berlinesque – tectonics and Teutonics, tease some dynamics and movement from the static demands of a large structure, inspire it with the hint of a new beginning.

So the whole thing is like a great, calm river – from the garden through the foyer, down across the courtyard into the Forum and across to the Alsenblock, the sky lobby columns braced against the current like piers of a bridge. ‘Panta rhei’ – ‘everything flows’, nothing stays as it is – but that would be a highly political interpretation of the Chancellorship.

But in all this one thing was clear to us:   our iconographic emphasis of the Chancellery’s presence provoked the ‘historical frustration’ of certain minds with delicate nerves who would have preferred, for the federal buildings in Berlin, an unimposing, modest articulation, a sequel to the understatement rehearsed in Bonn. 

This fear of unseemly performance found common cause here with a Berlin strategy similar in complexion but with older origins:   the fear of greatness, a dearly paid experience down the last century which has already become instinctive, a very German kind of anxiety which distorts scale, clouds any sense of appropriate measure, blinds the eye to proportion; and all too often – just to be on the safe side – it joins forces with the fear of anything new. 

For a viable future, architecture must renounce all soporific seniority and, faithful to the creed that ‘art offers favourable odds to impossibility, but safe bets are deceptive and don’t stand a chance’, it must gamble on space, inspired by the knowledge that ‘we will never know what space is’.

SITE

Willy-Brandt-Strasse 1
10557 Berlin

 

TYPOLOGY

Government building

 

CLIENT

Bundesrepublik Deutschland
represented by the Bundesministerium für Verkehr
Bau- und Wohnungswesen represented by the
Bundesbaugesellschaft Berlin mbH

 

ARCHITECT

Axel Schultes Architekten
Frank  Schultes  Witt

 

DESIGN

Axel Schultes   Charlotte Frank

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Christoph Witt   Philipp Heydel

 

COLLABORATORS

Bauer   Betzold   Büscher   Eller   Ernst   Frank
Franke   Frederking   Gantz   Grundei   Helfrich
Hiby   Hicsasmaz   Hoesch   Kahl   Kenkmann
Kerber   Kister   Kortner   Krause   Lutz   Münster
Nailis   Pfeiffer   Pongratz   Reintjes   Schuldes
Schütter  Werner   Westphal

 

COMPETITION – COMPLETION

1995  –  2001

 

PLAN AREA OVERALL

73.000 m²

 

FOOT PRINT

12.000 m²

 

GROSS STOREY AREA

66.000 m²

 

NET FLOOR AREA

19.000 m²

 

HEIGHT MANAGEMENT BLOCK

36 m

 

LENGTH MANAGEMENT BLOCK

55 m

 

HEIGHT SIDE WING

18 m

 

LENGTH NORTH WING

181 / 203 m

 

LENGTH SOUTH WING

298 / 341 m

 

CONSTRUCTION

reinforced concrete   fairfaced concrete

 

PROJECT CONTROLLING

Viterra Gewerbeimmobilien GmbH

 

GENERAL DESIGNER

INGKA Ingenieure Kanzleramt GbR

 

ARCHITECT ON THE BUILDING SITE

Diete + Siepmann GmbH

 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS

GSE Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH
Schlaich Bergermann und Partner (Canopy)

 

FAÇADE ENGINEERS

R+R Fuchs  Ingenieurbüro für Fassadentechnik

 

SOILS ENGINEER

GuD Geotechnik + Dynamik Consult

 

SURVEY

Rek-Schwenck-Wanjura  Vermessungsingenieure

 

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Licht-Kunst-Licht GmbH

 

BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEER

Schmidt Reuter Partner

 

PROTECTIVE MEASURES

Ingenieurbüro Axel C. Rahn

 

FIRE PROTECTION

Hosser Hass + Partner

 

BUILDING ECOLOGY

Schmidt Reuter Partner

 

ACOUSTICS

Akustik Ingenieurbüro Moll GmbH

 

LANDSCAPING

Lützow 7   Cornelia Müller  Jan Wehberg
Garten- und Landschaftsarchitekten

 

PHOTOS

Werner Huthmacher
Stefan Müller