HumboldtHafenEins, Berlin

The new green landmark of the city in a bend in the river Spree.

In a prominent position, directly next to the government district, and central station, situated right in a bend of the river Spree, a new pièce de résistance was completed in Berlin in 2015 – the HumboldtHafenEins. It is the architectural embodiment of intelligent interaction with diverse official regulations in a location that is steeped in history.The layout harks back to the traditional Berlin block perimeter development that had one single objective above all: to define clear edges to urban spaces. By dissolving the stringent Berlin block into a meandering layout, this opened up the option of interlocking the resulting courtyards with their urban surroundings. Towards the Spree, this meandering construction rests on a raised base storey that extends generously towards the water. The areas envisaged for this level open up the option for cafés, restaurants and bars to settle in the arcades here and for an urban lifestyle to develop. The upper floors of this seven-to-eight-floor building have space for purely office use which, with the open courtyards, are naturally ventilated and lit.

The façade of the HumboldtHafenEins is covered by a strict grid that has the effect of reinterpreting classical elements. This is broken up through an interesting play of differently cut façade elements.

One of the most remarkable features of the building remains hidden from any observer, however, and that is how the planning, construction and operation of the building follows the strictest environmental standards. With HumboldtHafenEins, careful attention was paid to ensure that a minimum of top-quality materials was used, where the decisive criteria were durability and low CO2 emissions. Intelligent light systems are deployed here in coordination with the course of the day, as well as the building’s own combined heat and power station that wins back heat through a ventilation system and a heat and cold storage system in the earth.

So it is no surprise that the project was distinguished with the Immobilienmanager Award and the Platinum Certificate from the DGNB in 2016. The HumboldtHafenEins is fitted out with electrical installations from JUNG, in the classical LS 990 switch design in white.