Submitted by WA Contents

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Germany Architecture News - Jun 13, 2023 - 15:54   1733 views

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Henning Larsen has won a competition to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza integrating community, culture, heritage in west Berlin, Germany.

Following an intensive competition, public consultation and jury review, Henning Larsen was awarded the project by a jury of architects, urban planners, representatives of the public administration and developer SIGNA. 

Cobe, David Chipperfield and Mäckler Architekten were other international firms competing in the competition. 

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Bloom

A New Neighborhood Heart for West Berlin

The design scheme is shaped around a generous courtyard, called as ‘heart’ where it is aimed to be an active and colourful neighborhood centre which acts as the outdoor meeting place for the community. 

The complex consists of a family of nine buildings that stand around the courtyard, including the existing Agrippina House which is set to be transformed. The studio is inspired by the city’s diverse architectural characteristics within the different buildings, each designed to suit its use.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

"Collaboration is key to creating an open framework for a vibrant urban development.  We want to be generous to the city, striking a delicate balance between honoring the history and DNA of Charlottenburg and the iconic Ku’damm," said Louis Becker, Global Design Principal, Henning Larsen.

"The nine distinct buildings within the plan exemplify the architectural tapestry Berlin is known for and the beauty of the project lies in the public courtyard at its heart. This is the space that Ku’lturhof will be known for," Becker added.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

The firm prioritized cultural life and community engagement with exhibition areas, space designed for cultural institutions, and a district kindergarten. 

Dining terraces, art galleries, meeting spaces, and commercial areas are arranged at ground level, inviting residents and visitors to explore the vibrant neighborhood. 

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

A new passage running from Ku’damm through the project quarter enhance the inclusive and inviting atmosphere, making the ground floor particularly accessible.

"Envisioning the site as a cultural meeting place for people, continues Berlin’s DNA as a cultural stronghold and creates a much-needed space at the centre of Berlin's City West. A place, which puts public, cultural live first," Greta Tiedje, Associate Design Director, Henning Larsen.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

Transformation and Reuse 

The firm will preserve the listed Agrippina House in its building fabric and it will be supplemented at the former rear by a new timber building facing the courtyard. 

The existing building will be connected to new residential buildings on the east and west, integrating it into the ensemble with cultural and start-up spaces on the ground floor, subject to further development and adaptation in collaboration with the monument protection office. A community garden is proposed for the rooftop.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

Maximized green space, improved microclimates, material reuse and timber construction will ensure significant reductions in the carbon footprint of the development. The new biotope area factor is estimated at 0.4 which, according to DGNB guidelines, is the theoretical maximum for dense urban areas.

Across the project, the façade design draws inspiration from the surrounding unique buildings, incorporating their color scheme, openness, and rhythm. 

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

Henning Larsen will use sustainable and patinating materials such as wood, recycled materials, mineral materials, and biomaterials are utilized to maintain the living, warm character of the city façade. 

The mixed-use nature of the block is reflected through integrated exterior spaces and a deep relief design within each building, creating a sense of connection and integration with the streetscape and allowing residents to be part of the urban environment.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Roofgarden. Image © Aesthetica

Completing the Ensemble

The area’s high-rise ensemble is completed with a new building that reaches a height of 134 meters, creating a prominent landmark along the iconic Kurfürstendamm. 

A publicly accessible viewing platform will sit atop, offering breathtaking panoramic views of City West. The ensemble comes to a clear conclusion with an elevated building strategically positioned along Augsburger Strasse, a staircase to Los-Angeles Platz which creates a stepped transition to the district of Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf.

Henning Larsen selected to transform Kurfürstendamm 231 with a generous public plaza in west Berlin

Image © Vivid

Both buildings are carefully positioned to ensure the development frames the monument of the Kaiser Willhelm Memorial Church, with new views from public terraces and improved microclimates at Breitscheitplatz.

Project facts

Location: West Berlin

Size: ca. 135,000 m2

Client: C4C and Signa Group

Architect: Henning Larsen 

Engineer: Ramboll

Top image in the article © Aesthetica.

All renders © Aesthetica, Bloom and Vivid Vision.

> via Henning Larsen

Berlin design Henning Larsen public