THE CHALLENGE WAS TO CREATE SPACES CAPABLE OF HOUSING WORKING ENVIRONMENTS INTO THE MASSIVE 80M X 80M EXISTING BUILDING BLOCK.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS TO BRING NATURAL LIGHTING INTO THE BUILDING. A FIRST CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS WAS TO FIND A GEOMETRY THAT WOULD MAKE A PERFORATION POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO FIND AN EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN THE MINIMUM LOSS OF REAL ESTATE AND THE MAXIMUM GAIN OF NATURALLY LIT SPACE. THIS WAS FOUNT TO BE A TRIANGULAR CUT-OUT.
THE IDEA THEN WAS TO USE THE CUT OUT SPACE ALSO TO LOOSEN UP THE MONOLITHIC GEOMETRY OF THE EXISTING BUILDING, BY BRINGING THE CUT OUT VOLUMES TO THE FOUR FAÇADES.
THE “LOST” REAL ESTATE OF THE CUT OUT VOLUMES IS ADDED ON THE TOP OF THE EXISTING STRUCTURE, COMPENSATING THE LOSS OF SURFACE AREA.
THE RESULT IS AN OPEN BUILDING ON ALL FOUR SIDES, REDEFINING THE BUILDING’S URBAN PRESENCE ENTIRELY.
BY SHIFTING THE EDGES OF THE BUILDING, THE VIEWS AND PERSPECTIVES FROM INSIDE VARY.
THE SHIFTED EDGES ARE THEN TERRACED TO GENERATE USABLE EXTERIOR SPACES OF ALL VARIETIES ON EVERY FLOOR AND EVERY SIDE OF THE BUILDING.
THE TERRACED VOLUMES WERE THEN OPTIMIZED STRUCTURALLY, AS WELL AS FOR LIGHTING AND INTERIOR LAYOUT FUNCTIONALITY.
UP! involved redesigning a former department store, built in East Berlin in 1979, into new office space suited to contemporary ideas of working. Triangular prisms were cut onto each side of the building in order to introduce natural light into the interior and break up the monolithic geometry. These openings, along with a series of terraces and a careful twisting of floors, create views onto the city in all directions. All floors have access to outdoor communal spaces for working and relaxing. The existing building is stripped down to its structural concrete columns and floor plates and wrapped in glass. What was once an interior-focused shopping center is reimagined as an outward-looking urban hub of productivity and creativity.