492ft-high tower for German capital

Tuesday 04 Feb 2014

Berlin's tallest high-rise residential building in 40 years to be designed by Frank Gehry

Gehry Partners has secured first place in a design competition for a high-rise residential tower in Berlin for real estate firm Hines. Once completed, the structure will be the first high-rise residential property in the city since the 1970s at 492ft and will blend modest apartment units with penthouse residences. There are also plans to incorporate a hotel facility into the development.

This is not the first time that Frank Gehry and Hines have worked together. Hines served as development manager on the New World Center in Florida which was designed by Gehry, as was Hines’ DZ Bank in Berlin. Gehry secured this particular project through an invited competition in which nine practices took part. Second place was awarded to Kleihues + Kleihues Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH and third place was awarded to Barkow Leibinger Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH.

Speaking on the competition result, Senate Building Director Regula Lüscher said: “Gehry’s design is strong in visual expression and introduces an unusually eccentric, new pattern for this location. Nevertheless, the façade radiates agreeable tranquillity. In addition, the design blends well with the neighbourhood and conveys all aspects of metropolitan living.”

Similar in form to early designs for the King’s Street Towers in Toronto, the winning concept for the high-rise residences is a sculptural addition to the city, comprised of a series of cubes rotated towards areas of interest in Berlin. While the style is dissimilar to existing developments in the area, Gehry has suggested using materials that reference the neighbouring buildings to blend the tower into its surroundings.

Co-Managing Director of Hines Immobilien GmbH Christoph Reschke concludes: “The quality of the designs submitted was extremely high and reflected the importance of this prominent location in the centre of Berlin. This place has a strong symbolic character and will develop into a metropolitan residential and retail area. In order to transform the square, we want to take a chance on something new and exceptional.”

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