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No Wódka / KONTENT

  • Architects: KONTENT
  • Location: Pappelallee 10, 10437 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Monika Ryszka, Marcin Giemza
  • Area: 86.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Zajaczkowski Photography

© Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography

Housing at the Old City Wall Berlin / Sohrab Zafari

  • Architects: Sohrab Zafari
  • Location: Waisenstraße 30, 10179 Berlin, Germany
  • Collaborators: Thomas Zeissig, Daniel Behnke, Roger Mandel
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar

© Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar

750 Cubic Meters of Extracted Concrete Turned This Nazi Bunker Into a Gallery & Home

In a cultural capital like Berlin, where ‘pop-up’ stores appear in abandoned warehouses, local brands emerge from stores over-run with squatters, and nightclubs rave in power plants,  it is only appropriate that an art gallery would find its home in a nearly indestructible concrete vessel. Such is the case with the “Berlin Bunker” in the heart of the fashionable “Mitte” district.

Monolithic and symmetrical, decorated only by thin strips of vertical windows on its four identical facades, this former Nazi air-raid shelter stands as a relic of Germany’s past.  Yet a closer look beyond its sharp-edged cornice reveals something unexpected: luscious green gardens and a luxurious penthouse, completed in 2007. This is the home of Christian Boros, the art collector whose private collection is stored and exhibited in the depths of the fortified bunker below.

© NOSHE Work by Thomas Ruff. Image © NOSHE © Ailine Liefeld for Freunde von Freunden © NOSHE

New Soundcloud Headquarters / KINZO Berlin

  • Architects: KINZO Berlin
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Responsible Partner: Karim El-Ishmawi, Martin Jacobs
  • Area: 4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Werner Huthmacher

© Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, ON-line

The Museum for Architectural Drawing presents Lebbeus Woods, ON-line, an exhibition of the finest works of architectural theorist, draftsman, educator and architect, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012). Curated by his longtime friend and partner Christoph a. Kumpusch, the exhibition brings together a collection of Woods’ visionary works that have never been exhibited before. The intensely rendered architectural and urban environments produced early on in Woods’ career are exhibited together for the first time. These ink and pencil drawings cover a wide range of Woods’ research and re-imagination of cities both real and fictive and support Woods’ longstanding desire to show the capacity of architecture as a transformative and eloquent force.

AD Classics: Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse) / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Peter Brinkert

Bonjour Tristesse is a social housing project designed by Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Located in Berlin, the project was Siza’s first built work outside of his native country.  Siza’s design offers a meaningful precedent in urban densification, demonstrating a delicate balance between contextual awareness, creative freedom, and progressive vision.

Project site before construction. Image © Flickr user Hen's March © Flickr user Humberto Marum © Flickr user lortnoc © Flickr user jaime.silva

Gehry's Berlin Skyscraper May Be Too Heavy for Alexanderplatz

After winning the design competition for Germany's tallest apartment tower in January, Frank Gehry's project for the building on Alexanderplatz has already run into problems over fears that the 150-metre building could be too heavy for its site. The German edition of the Local is reporting that Berlin's Senate has placed the plans on hold because of the building's proximity to the U5 branch of the U-Bahn tunnel, which it fears could be crushed under the weight.

More on the story after the break

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

With no casualties, last week's fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh's canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the Glasgow School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession. 

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural history.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever The Hagia Sophia. Image © Flickr CC User Collin Key The Reichstag. Image © Flickr CC User Sebastian Niedlich Chicago. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Wilke

Tempelhof Airport Plans Denied by Berlin Voters

A plan to build 4,700 homes on the site of Berlin's Tempelhof Airport was blocked by voters this weekend. The airport, which was built in the 1920s and has a long history as a key site during World War Two and the Cold War, was closed in 2008 and there has since been a debate over what to with the vast site, including a 2011 competition to transform it into a park and other facilities, and an outlandish unofficial plan in 2009 to create a 1km high mountain on the site.

However perhaps the the most popular idea has also been the simplest: in 2010, the airport was opened to the public without any changes, and become an impromptu urban park popular with kite-flyers and roller-bladers who circle the site's runways.

Read on for more on the story

GRAFT + Kleihues+Kleihues Design Work/Live Housing in Berlin

GRAFT and Kleihues+Kleihues has teamed up with Genossenschaft für urbane Kreativität (Cooperative for urban Creativity) to realize a complex of five towers centered around working and living in Berlin, Germany. Titled “Eckwerk,” the new complex is set to rise within the confines of an existing viaduct, whose shape and materiality served as the project’s main source of inspiration. 

J. Mayer H. Wins Competition to Design Berlin "Experience Center"

J. Mayer H. has won an invited competition to design “Volt Berlin,” a new “shopping and urban experience” center near Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The winning scheme offers a variety of experiential offerings, including multi-brand shopping, an indoor skydiving and event space, and a 7,500 square meter hotel, all within a single cubed complex whose organization is based off an uneven grid. 

  • Architects: J. Mayer H. Architects
  • Location: Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Jürgen Mayer H.
  • Competition Team: Christoph Emenlauer, Simon Kassner, Bart van den Hoven, Mehrdad Mashaie, Mael Kang, Paul Angelier, Julien Sarale
  • Area: 29500.0 sqm
  • Photographs: J. Mayer H.

Winners of the Berlin Natural Science Museum Competition Revealed

The winners of the international competition to design Berlin's new Natural Science Museum have been announced. The brief, which called for a large scale iconic building in the heart of the German capital, offered the opportunity for architects and students to design in a city founded in the 13th century.

Understanding that natural science museums are often simply seen as places for public spectacle, the organization behind the competition wanted to ensure that the "importance of the museum's specimen collections for documenting historical and present-day patterns of biological diversity cannot be overstated."

See the winning entry, along with the runners up, after the break.

Exhibition: 2D:3D Barkow Leibinger

Only 5 more days on the exhibition 2D:3D, an installation by Barkow Leibinger at the BDA Berlin Gallery. Covering the wall surfaces of the small gallery space with “tapete” or wallpaper the façade of the storefront gallery frames what Leon Battista Alberti described as a fenestra aperta. In this configuration the space of the gallery is a projection/ extension of the streetscape in the bourgeois residential historical Mommsenstrasse neighborhood.

Exhibition: New Moscow - Новая Москва, Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014

A new series of international architecture competitions are characterizing a clear change in the current urban planning strategy of Moscow. The initiator of these developments is the incumbent chief architect of the Russian capital, Sergey Kuznetsov. Together with his team, he has breathed new life into Moscow’s urban development since taking office in mid 2012. The exhibition New Moscow – Новая Москва presents two international competitions – from the fields of landscape planning (1st prize Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York) and cultural building (1st prize Heneghan Peng, Dublin) – and through these demonstrates the great gains for the city’s urban planning that are being drawn from this open, global approach.

Infographic: The Bauhaus, Where Form Follows Function

UPDATE: In honor of the 81st anniversary of the day the Bauhaus closed in 1933, we’re re-publishing this popular infographic, which was originally published April 16th, 2012.

From the “starchitect” to “architecture for the 99%,” we are witnessing a shift of focus in the field of architecture. However, it’s in the education system where these ideas really take root and grow. This sea change inspired us to explore past movements, influenced by economic shifts, war and the introduction of new technologies, and take a closer look at the bauhaus movement.

Often associated with being anti-industrial, the Arts and Crafts Movement had dominated the field before the start of the Bauhaus in 1919. The Bauhaus’ focus was to merge design with industry, providing well designed products for the many.

The Bauhaus not only impacted design and architecture on an international level, but also revolutionized the way design schools conceptualize education as a means of imparting an integrated design approach where form follows function.

OMA Tops BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren to Design Axel Springer Campus in Berlin

After deliberating over the stellar proposals of three renowned firmsBIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA, Berlin-based media company AXEL SPRINGER SE has just announced that Rem Koolhaas' design is the winning proposal for their new office building.

The task of the competition was to create additional space for the media company, particularly its digital offers, and thus design a workplace fit for the future of online media. Koolhaas' design, which features a large 30-meter high atrium or "open valley" with interconnected terraces and public workspaces for both individual, collaborative, and mobile work, won favor with the jury for its forward-thinking concept. As Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, commented: “[Koolhaas] presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house."

For his part, Koolhaas had this to say: “It is a wonderful occasion to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions.”

See more of OMA's winning proposal, after the break...

Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt / Huber Staudt Architekten

  • Architects: Huber Staudt Architekten
  • Location: Abbestraße 2, 10587 Berlin, Germany
  • Design Team: Julian Arons , Alexandra Barre, Magdalena Falska , António Henriques , Christian Huber, Sebastian Kroeker , Leander Moons , Anna Naumann, Natalia Novoa Vidal, Jördis Petzold, Tobias Shepherd , the Wolfgang Staudt, Joachim Staudt, Jörg weighting
  • Area: 1759.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Werner Hutmacher

© Werner Hutmacher © Werner Hutmacher © Werner Hutmacher © Werner Hutmacher

Berlin Wall Memorials Prove Controversial, Fall Behind Schedule

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this autumn, Germany planned two memorials, one in Berlin and one in Leipzig. However, as Der Spiegel reports, not only are they almost certainly not going to be complete in time for the anniversary, they have both proven highly controversial with the local people. Will these designs turn out to be monuments to German reunification, or just monumental failures? Read the article on Der Spiegel to find out more.