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EDGE Suedkreuz Berlin
Berlin | 2022
EDGE Suedkreuz Berlin is a seven-storey office complex consisting of two buildings with a total floor area of approximately 32,000 sqm. The complex stands on an approximately 10,100 sqm site and has been built using sustainable, climate- and resource-saving, and modular hybrid-timber construction techniques. The larger of the two freestanding buildings contains approximately 20,000 sqm of floor space. This makes it – for some time to come – the largest freestanding hybrid-timber building in Germany and one of the largest in Europe. From May 2022 it will be the new German headquarters of the energy supplier Vattenfall Germany.

The smaller of the two buildings (the ‘Solitaire’) is an elongated freestanding building which continues the line of the façade of the larger office building. The latter is a quadrangle-type structure (the ‘Carré ) with an irregular trapezoidal footprint. The two buildings form a street front facing Hedwig-Dohm-Strasse. In the direction of Südkreuz Station, they create a new urban plaza with green spaces and seating.

The heart of the Carré building is a spacious, light-filled atrium. A two-storey entrance lobby with a clear height of seven metres facing the plaza in front of the building opens up the massive, strictly gridded volume The 26-metre-high atrium is covered by a transparent ETFE foil roof carried by a wooden-truss construction. A central highlight is the four treelike shapes of different heights which grow skywards under the foil roof as if in a greenhouse. Their lamellate spruce-wood structure gives them a resemblance to gigantic mushrooms. The largest of the so-called ‘Trees’ is 14.87 metres high and has a platform with a diameter of 6.20 metres; the lowest is 4.28 metres high with a diameter of 7.20 metres. These structures are linked by filigree steps with white railings, which – on the other side of the classical building core – lead via the platforms to the adjacent floors of offices. The fifth floor has a sky lounge with panoramic windows and a spacious external terrace. The lounge is openly linked to the atrium space and, like the offices, may be reached on foot via the ‘tree stairs’. Each of the building’s inner corners contains a building core with a safety staircase and elevators. Parts of the roof are extensively landscaped.

The Solitaire building has a two-storey entrance lobby with a clear height of seven metres. Floors 2 to 7 contain offices. The ground floor houses gastronomic, commercial, and retail spaces. The building is entered from the new urban plaza. Vertical access is by means of a central core with a safety staircase and two elevators. The landscaped outside space of the lounge on the building’s roof has a garden-like quality.

Both the Carré and the Solitaire building have a flexible modular ground plan on all levels. This can be adapted to individual requirements in the event of repurposing, enabling the creation of modern, multifunctional work worlds.

The façades have a regular grid consisting of sustainable and weather-resistant glass-fibre concrete panels. The grid is articulated by horizontal strips and coloured vertical panels. Pylons structure the façades vertically. Glass-fibre pilasters visually reinforce the socle section. The rhythmic façades have a restrained colour scheme which has been chosen individually for each of the two buildings. The glass bays with fixed glazing and MicroShade solar protection additionally accentuate the façades; these are one-storey in the case of the Solitaire building and two-storey in the case of the Carré. The remaining windows are fitted with anti-glare protection and external sun protectors.

This project used approximately 3500 cbm of FSC-certified spruce – a total of approximately 1300 trees. The intelligent combination of wood and concrete in this hybrid construction method saved up to 80% of CO2 per square metre of floor area. Low construction weight, short shell construction times, high reliability in planning and costs, and long durability are other advantages of this construction method. The construction materials used in EDGE Suedkreuz are extensively recyclable using the principle of cradle-to-cradle recycling. Since a hybrid-timber building weighs only approximately a third of a building erected using conventional reinforced-concrete construction methods, a foundation slab approximately 30% thinner could be used – which had an additional positive effect on this new office complex’s CO2 balance.

The two buildings in the office complex share a basement garage with 218 e-mobility spaces for tenants. The bicycle room contains approximately 100 bicycle places, including for e-bikes; there are 32 additional spaces in outside areas. Biomethane cogeneration plants ensure efficient heating.

Supported by the timber hybrid construction method, the project is DGNB Platinum pre-certified and will receive Germany's first WELL Core & Shell Gold certificate.

Client: SXB S. à r. l. / EDGE
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