The new Axel Springer building in Berlin aims to support the development of the company as it reinvents itself to thrive in the world of digital publishing. Situated across from the original Axel Springer headquarters, the building will house 3,500 employees, and features a 35-meter-tall atrium encased in a prismatic bubble of glass.
The building is bisected by the diagonal shape of the atrium, which opens the building up to the existing Springer campus. The office levels extend into a series of terraced floors which create an informal stage at the center — a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company. Halfway through the scheme, the terraced concept is mirrored to generate a three dimensional canopy. A transparent bridge that spans the center of the atrium space houses the newsroom of a TV station at the heart of the campus.
The challenging spatial design of the building necessitated special considerations concerning the functions and quality of a modern work environment. Much of the conceptual design work was devoted to maintaining the exceptional spatial and visual quality of the atrium as a natural light source for the building. While the highly transparent atrium facade creates a daylight flooded space to foster well-being, motivation and productivity within the atrium, the surrounding office areas have stringent requirements regarding glare control. Balancing the various demands made of the atrium space required careful coordination of façade quality specifications and analysis to keep the fully glazed concept intact. Visual and thermal comfort were evaluated using thermal building simulation tools, air flow simulation (CFD) and dynamic daylight analysis.
Ultimately for glare protection, a concept based on local interventions directly within the offices were developed to maintain an unobstructed atrium for maximum daylight availability.