Culture and exhibition
The brief here was to bring German public broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) and its site into the 21st century, to link it with the vibrant city around it and create a media house and newsroom to form the basis for the introduction of new working methods. The overarching aim was to break new ground, to increase both aesthetic appeal and efficiency.
Set between Masurenallee and Kaiserdamm, the new campus is characterised by transparency and an urban feel. The dynamic, flowing site houses the television centre, the newsroom and the iconic original rbb building. The barrier separating it from Kaiserdamm is removed to open up a sightline between the media house and the adjacent hotel and provide a clear route through the area, transforming the campus into a meeting point.
An innovative home for new working methods
The urban feel continues inside the new media house with its three existing studios and, behind them, the newsroom. The new build symbolises the revolution currently sweeping through the media world as the separation between editorial and production functions and the linear organisation of radio, television and “new” media disappear as “cross media” becomes the new buzzword.
“The centre piece, the heart of the operation is now a light, modern newsroom with a glass roof, a timber structure and open lines of sight. That was important for us.” Patricia Schlesinger, rbb Director
Open space, pathways and transparency are the key spatial features of rbb’s new work environment. In the media house, an atrium extends from ground level through four stories to culminate in a vaulted glass roof, ensuring optimum transparency and communication between the gallery-style working levels. While the ground floor offers maximum openness, the upper floors provide ample opportunity for private working in a genuine symbiosis of networking and independent endeavour – a truly creative working atmosphere.
Timber structure creates innovative tone
Wood, with its timeless appeal, is the dominant material in the newsroom, where hard and soft surfaces and intensive greening create an exciting mix of sensory experiences. At the top of the building the angled columns are arranged close together, forming a distinctive rhomboid structure. On the lower floors and in the cantilevered section facing the original rbb building the columns are set wider apart and underscore the spaciousness of the rbb campus. The design returns another piece of the city to Berlin thanks to its careful treatment of existing buildings, its new-found transparency and an architecture that creates a focal point for the future campus. The fact that the original buildings have been retained – and partially transformed – wherever possible also contributes to the attractiveness and sustainability of the project.
“The choice of materials was a key factor in creating atmosphere – and for the most part we decided on wood.”
Prof. Gerd Jäger