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Model project House of Statistics

The former seat of the GDR’s central state administration for statistics in downtown Berlin, built in the years 1968-1970, serves as the starting point for the development of a resilient urban building block with a particularly diverse programme. The aim is to offer a wide range of uses for the city, the district and the neighbourhood that is affordable in the long term. In a cooperative process involving various policy, administration and civil society stakeholders, as well as the participation of interested members of the urban community, spaces for art, culture, social infrastructure and education, as well as affordable housing and the new “Town Hall of the Future”, are being created for the district of Berlin-Mitte within the existing urban fabric and through some 65,000m2 of new construction.

Based on the model project, the cooperation partners demonstrate how to make the city together; to work on the development of the House of Statistics in a way that serves the public interest, they have teamed up as Koop5: the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, the District Office Berlin-Mitte, the state-owned societies WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte and BIM Berliner Immobilienmanagement GmbH, as well as the co-op ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin.
The urban design plan for the new neighbourhood specifies the following forms of use: some 65,000m2 of new construction adding to the existing building of the House of Statistics (46,000m2), three “urban room” courtyards at the centre of the compound for shared use and interaction, a housing development along Berolinastrasse (seven storeys) with two residential high-rises counting 15 and 12 storeys respectively, a 16-storey office tower on Otto-Braun-Strasse for the new town hall of Berlin-Mitte, three “experimental houses” for variable use, as well as roof gardens and community terraces to add green spaces throughout the dense development. Under the national urban development policy, the model project House of Statistics was awarded the 2021 Federal Prize for Cooperative Cities as an outstanding example of local cooperation between urban society, policy and administration stakeholders.

The project site and basis for the design task for the proHolz Student Trophy competition is the new building on sections C and/or C1 of the surface model for the urban design, which connects to the existing building, the “House of Health”, on Karl-Marx-Allee and Berolinastrasse. The model project specifies the following forms of use: for section C – communal housing, cluster housing, commercial use of the ground floors, neighbourhood spaces, affordable housing; for section C1 – inclusive and communal housing, experimental wood construction, co-op housing. The design project should highlight the strengths of standardised construction using prefabricated elements in an urban context, as well as interaction with the surrounding buildings. The multi-storey wood construction should blend into the compound as an ecologically efficient building block.

  • Interdisciplinary approach to project work in planning teams from the fields of architecture and civil engineering, as well as specialisations contributing to planning such as fire protection, building physics and building technology (at least 2 students per team).
  • The main purpose of the design project is to create affordable housing, as well as a lively street-level zone that offers added value for the occupants and integration into the neighbourhood based on local conditions, e.g. coworking spaces, small business spaces, repair shops, retail spaces, coffee shops, meeting points, etc.
  • Efficient use of floor space, compact and well thought-out floor plans, smart flat types that provide flexibility during the building’s lifecycle, flat sizes from 30-90m2 for various user groups. Open spaces for the building occupants that also contribute to climate mitigation in the urban context (overheating in summer, air quality). Access areas that make economic and functional sense, accessibility, escape route planning and proposals for fire protection.
  • Building systems and logistics: The construction method is wood construction or hybrid wood construction. Prefabrication of elements with a suitable degree of standardisation and systematisation. Emphasis on a production process optimised throughout (lean production), from production of the elements in the factory and transport to assembly logistics on site. Sustainable use of resources (circular economy), bearing in mind dismantling of building components during the planning process.