Henning Larsen wins bid to design a new mixed-use Ku’lturhof district in West Berlin
By Josh Niland|
Thursday, Jun 8, 2023
Henning Larsen’s plan for a new mixed-use district in West Berlin has been selected following an international competition to create a new cultural destination called Ku’lturhof in the German capital.
The approximately 1.45 million-square-foot (135,000 m2) development will include a total of nine newly-constructed and existing buildings that stand around a central courtyard acting as the “heart” of the remade portion of historic Charlottenburg.
Henning Larsen shares: "Across the project, the façade design draws inspiration from the surrounding unique buildings, incorporating their color scheme, openness, and rhythm. Sustainable and patinating materials such as wood, recycled materials, mineral materials, and biomaterials are utilized to maintain the living, warm character of the city façade. The mixed-use nature of the block is reflected through integrated exterior spaces and a deep relief design within each building, creating a sense of connection and integration with the streetscape and allowing residents to be part of the urban environment."
The program’s cultural component includes a space provided especially for cultural institutions, art galleries, and a public exhibition area. Commercial spaces, ground-level dining terraces, and a new kindergarten complete the development, with the heritage-listed Agrippina House serving as its focal point.
Other elements include greenspace that is maximized along with the use of timber in the new constructions in order to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the development. A pair of new buildings framing the Kaiser Willhelm Memorial Church complete the ensemble, led by a 439-foot tower that's topped by a publicly accessible viewing platform.
Henning Larsen Principal Louis Becker describes: “Collaboration is key to creating an open framework for a vibrant urban development. We want to be generous to the city, striking a delicate balance between honoring the history and DNA of Charlottenburg and the iconic Ku’damm. The nine distinct buildings within the plan exemplify the architectural tapestry Berlin is known for and the beauty of the project lies in the public courtyard at its heart. This is the space that Ku’lturhof will be known for.”
The firm’s proposal beat out Cobe, Mäckler Architekten, and this year’s Pritzker-winner David Chipperfield for the commission for client Signa Group.
Associate Design Director Greta Tiedje says the project “continues Berlin’s DNA as a cultural stronghold and creates a much-needed space at the center of Berlin's City West. A place, which puts public, cultural live first.”
No construction timelines were made available at press time.
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