Three concepts have been selected in a competition for the new media campus of multimedia firm Axel Springer in Berlin-Mitte. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Buro Ole Scheeren and OMA were chosen by a jury for the three top spots however a final winner is yet to be selected; the jury will meet again to choose the order of these three entries.
Speaking on the decision, CEO of Axel Springer Mathias Dopfner said: “The fact that the jury, despite a long and passionate debate, could not agree on a final sole winner speaks for the high quality of the competition entries. So different are the three designs in aesthetics and functionality, they create new standards for the relationships within our publishing house.”
The competition was announced in May 2013 with Axel Springer leaving the brief open-ended in order to gain a varied and ambitious range of proposals. The resulting shortlist is testament to this brave move, as all three demonstrate strong potential in varying forms.
When Dopfner first revealed the competition, he explained: "The building should not only be overwhelmingly beautiful, but also address the question: What does material mean in a dematerialsed media economy, what does an office mean in a mobile working environment, in which offices are no longer really required?
“The project can play a key role in the digital transformation of our company by bringing the digital subsidiaries which have so far been located on the periphery of the company into the center and networking them with the organisation's traditional brands."
BIG’s concept is described as ‘a 3D neighbourhood’ that fosters new connections and interactions between different areas of the company. Primarily for use by the firm’s digital daughter companies, BIG has designed the campus to unite these businesses in a single volume while integrating the building smoothly into the neighbouring urban realm.
The entry by Buro Ole Scheeren is a more compact approach with a channel that punctures through the core of the building. This accessible void is populated with meeting points such as food and beverage venues, terraces and water features, and large volumes of glass have been used throughout to maximise viewing for employees.
OMA’s submission also draws natural light into the heart of the building through the incorporation of a stepped void. By removing one corner of the form, OMA has enabled daylight to filter through into a generous atrium space, populated with terraces and breakout spaces. Glass meeting boxes project into this atrium, further animating the space.