Competition 1995 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan
Project manager Volkmar Sievers
Project team Claudia Abt, Kerstin Dwertmann, Peter Kropp, Brigitte Queck, Werner Schmidt
Client Schweitzer Grundbesitz- und Verwaltungs GmbH & Co. KG
Construction period 1996 - 1997
Gross floor area 11,600 m²
Volume 59,912 m³
Representative “front parlour” for Berlin, the historically rich Pariser Platz by Brandenburg Tor has to be re-established with an eye to “critical reconstruction”. Dresdner Bank’s new building forms one segment of the new enclosed square, whilst complying to the restrictive height and plan regulations, set for the overall concept of the development. The slightly ochre toned sandstone façade with its vertically accentuated window openings and bronze profiles, adjustable shading and patinated copper panels to the staggered floors, communicate a general impression of nobility and restrained presence, appropriate to the location.
The building develops in its plan form a further link in the historical chain of the interplay of circle and rectangle, as introduced in Schinkels Altes Museum. The circle forms the main hall with a 31 metre diameter lens-like glazed roof which opens up behind the foyer space. The offices are orientated towards the hall void and are approached through a free-standing spiral stair and two lifts.
The hall itself has been lowered by a few steps from entrance level; these steps rotate in layout to form an arena, thereby emphasizing the basic geometric form. The hall has proved to be an excellent and much sought after place for all sorts of events. Glazed galleries are located in front of the offices which give the interior facade a delicate quality. Voids have been sliced into the space with meeting “islands” directing daylight along the corridor spaces and onto the ground floor level.