End in sight for BND

25 Mar 2010

Bundesnachrichtendienst office building nears completion

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), is relocating to Berlin with some 4000 employees. The office's site around the former ‘Stadion der Weltjugend’ (World Youth Stadium) in Berlin has been chosen by the BND in an effort to reestablish the urban space and regeneration of the area. The overall project has been divided into three sub-projects – the main building, the school and visitor centre, and the technical and logistics centre. Henn Architekten designed and built the north buildings only (shaded dark grey on the site map), whereas the main building was designed and built by Kleihues+Kleihues architects.

The technical and logistics centre houses various functional areas and incorporates goods and transport handling. It also provides access from the north directly to the central axis of the main building. It is thought that many of the employees on site will use this access which is convenient to the nearby underground station. The complex also includes a power plant and office space for a range of functions. The glass-fronted foyer and the car park above face towards the public street. The car park extends over four levels and a four-storey service building is located south of the logistics yard on the opposite side. The office building at the eastern corner completes the group along the Chausseestraße. A fourth element beneath the logistics yard connects all sections of the buildings below ground level.

These three elements are brought together at ground floor level by a continuous base of fair-faced concrete, with natural stone used in the corner building area. Metal facades dominate the upper storeys of the buildings and lend a functional aspect to the logistics centre part of the project. This contrasts with the corner office building, which forms a closed perimeter along the Chausseestraße and has a structured plaster facade. The ensemble is hoped to mould the mixed use complex, the relevant security requirements and urban development considerations into a single concept. The new BND technical and logistics centre was designed to reflect its technical function and role in its form, offer attractive access to the complex, and create a communicative, functioning and friendly working environment for its own employees.

Architecture firm Kleihues+Kleihues designed the main building for the Bundesnachrichtendienst office. To incorporate the functionally highly complex structure with its gigantic volume into Chausseestraße while taking into account special security requirements as well as to respect and respond to the surrounding dimensions of both the city of Berlin and this particular site hint at the special challenges posed by this task. It is achieved by spreading the structure's volume into a centrally located main structure, a construction along the northern border along Planstraße, one along the southern border along Habersaathstraße and two gate houses joined to the main building on Chausseestraße. The latter is set back from the street and protected by a pine grove. To minimise the visual impact of the massive structure and to break it down for the beholder it purposely avoids long façades and instead employs the alteration between longer and shorter wings broken up by courtyards opening up to the outside.

The main building's facade is based on the stringent application of a constant rhythm. Minimal variations in both material and shape mark the appearance of individual wings. The inner composition of the complex, provision of services, functional assignment of rooms and organisation of space are kept both clear and simple.

For more information on this project, visit the client's website by clicking here or for more details on the main building, visit Kleihues+Kleihues' website by clicking here

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