Trends in effective office design are eternally changing, leaving commercial architects with a challenging brief when designing a modern office environment, especially when approached by a forward-thinking client. One of the more pressing concepts at the moment is for mobile workspaces, meaning employees are presented with a variety of hot desks or flexible spaces, intended to foster creativity and collaboration and enable individuals to shift their position as the mood takes them.
This grasp of the ‘mobile work environment’ was one of the core components in a competition to design a new media campus for multimedia firm Axel Springer in Berlin. It was announced this week that OMA (led by Rem Koolhaas) has been selected as the winner from a final shortlist which also included Buro Ole Scheeren and Bjarke Ingels Group (view earlier article with details of all three designs).
Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, President of the Jury explains: “Good architecture influences its surroundings. But…the competition for the new Axel Springer Campus also raised the question of how we want to work in the future. The concept submitted by Rem Koolhaas offered a spectacular answer to this, which opens up a completely new working and communication landscape to its future users.”
One of the most striking elements of OMA’s design is a 30m-high atrium which faces the existing Axel Springer building. Natural light is drawn into the heart of the building by this stepped void which is populated with terraces and informal meeting spaces. Glass meeting boxes also protrude into the cavernous atrium, enriched with natural light.
Regula Lüscher, Senate Building Director at Berlin's Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment said: “Rem Koolhaas drafted a building which only on second sight reveals its secret, architecturally formulating a new kind of collaborative working at its core. The concept offers a strong symbolic force as it incorporates the course of the Berlin Wall diagonally through the building, thereby creating an atrium and spectacular interior, which addresses the unification of this city. Thus, Axel Springer continues its own architectural history in this location.”