In the Mitte borough of Berlin, a single building complex comprising three mixed-use buildings
A tripartite composition with shared elements marks the street façade of the mixed commercial and residential complex at Rosenthaler Straße 43–45 in the Mitte borough of Berlin. The project by Tchoban Voss Architekten is in the lively fashion district of Scheunenviertel, opposite the Hackesche Höfe, a historical building with typical art nouveau features reinterpreted in the German secessionist style. Apparently separate and distinct, the three buildings nevertheless constitute a single organism, with shared, although different, features.
All three are the same height (with seven aboveground and two underground floors), with the façade of the top floor set back to accommodate covered balconies. All three have the same floor heights, underscored by a belt course, and the same compositional rhythm. These features are repeated in each of the buildings but using different finishes, colors, and materials, in recognition of the previous historical fragmentation of the site.
Incorporating shops, offices, and homes, the project reflects the typical functional mix of the neighborhood. The complex has large retail spaces on the basement levels and the first two floors, occupied by some of the most famous international fashion and technology brands. Above them are offices as well as apartments that range in size from 430–1100 square feet (40–100 m2). The building at street address 43 is the exception, with no residential units.
The façade of the building at number 43 has dark gray Kohlplatter shell limestone cladding, punctuated by the rigorous and geometric pattern formed by its eight floor-to-ceiling rectangular windows with steel railings. Alternating semicircular and flat pilaster strips give the building an orderly, almost solemn appearance. Next door at number 44, the light tones of natural stone from Portugal and a more minimalist, modern aesthetic characterize the building. The façade is more airy and the window openings larger, incorporating two levels each. The window balustrades are glass. The façade of the middle building at 44 is almost like a pause before the last building at 45. Light clinker bricks, concrete lintels above the windows, and simple shapes give the façade here a more intimate, domestic appearance – an allusion to the design of the adjacent historical building, which houses a pharmacy.
The complex gives the street front a new orderly dynamism, while reinterpreting Berlin’s architectural tradition by adding quality and modernity.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Architects: TCHOBAN VOSS ARCHITEKTEN
Client: VALUES. Real Estate
Gross floor area: 15.000 m2
Project partner and project manager: Stephan Lohre
General contractor: BAM Germany, Berlin (now ZECH Hochbau AG, Berlin)
Project management: Cushman & Wakefield GmbH, Berlin
Structural engineering: WSK Ingenieure GmbH, Berlin
Façade consulting and planning (GC): FGT GmbH, Huettenberg
Façade consulting: Ingenieurbuero Franke GmbH & Co. KG, Glienicke/Nordbahn
Photography by Ilya Ivanov and Stefan Mueller, courtesy of TCHOBAN VOSS ARCHITEKTEN