1. Architects
  2. Magazine
  3. All contributions
  4. Working on the Humboldthafen Berlin/DE

Working on the Humboldthafen Berlin/DE

Between Berlinʹs main railway station and the government quarter, KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten built Germanyʹs »greenest« new office construction, which is certified by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). With its clearly outlined volumes and rhythmically structured façade, the building offers high-quality, comfortable spaces – directly on the banks of the Humboldthafen.

Humboldthafen 1 (Kapelle-Ufer/Alexanderufer), Berlin-Mitte
OVG Real Estate GmbH
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
Structural design
Happold Ingenieurbüro
Façade consultants
German Sustainable Building Council auditor/developer
Buro Happold Engineering

The design, with public footpaths connected to the water front and the arcade, meets the requirements for a high-quality environment by the water.

Main contractor
Bilfinger Hochbau GmbH
Plot size
approx. 6.120 m²
Main usable area
23.855 m²
Gross floor area
45.320 m²
Gross room capacity
170.030 m³
System supplier
Metallbau Möller GmbH
Schüco systems
Schüco FW 50+.HI
Schüco AWS 75.SI

The strict alternation between window areas and concrete units of varying widths adds a rhythm to the façade and creates the impression of plasticity

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten have completed the first development on the Humboldthafen, Berlinʹs oldest harbour basin. This land is earmarked for future development. Over the next few years a lively metropolitan area is to develop here in an attractive location between Charité, the central station and the government quarter. With views 120 metres long and clearly outlined volumes, the new office construction with views of the River Spree is built around three internal courtyards. In this way, the design meets the requirement for a high-quality environment on the water. While a six-storey building head is cantilevered around ten metres in the direction of the harbour basin, an open, free-standing stairwell underneath connects the Hugo-Preuß bridge with the arcade and water front. The central courtyard also offers public access to the water. The architects structured the striking, landmark façade by strictly alternating between vertical window areas and white concrete units. The prefabricated modules made from glass fibre-reinforced concrete and weighing up to 900 kg are installed on the Schüco FW 50+ Hl mullion/transom system, the outer profile chambers of which were strengthened using steel plates. The architectural concrete units in four different widths introduce a rhythm and create an impression of spatial depth and plasticity. The main tenant of the building with around 30,000 m2 of rentable space is an international auditing company. The narrow building structure provides its users with optimum utilisation of daylight and natural ventilation. The design, which emerged as the winner of an architectural competition in 2011, is also ambitious in terms of energy efficiency. HumboldtHafenEins has received a DGNB certificate in Platinum, with the highest evaluation for a new office building in Germany to date.

Words: Britta Rohlfing
Photos: Hiepler Brunier