Federal Council Berlin

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Competition / Municipal building / Berlin


The Federal Council is one of the five constitutional organs of the Federal Republic of Germany, with its seat in the Prussian Manor House in Berlin. In recent years, the number of visitors to the Bundesrat and the demand for office space for administration and the Bundesrat service have grown. The visitor centre and the office space required for administration are to be accommodated in a newly created annex with approx. 7000 m² of usable space.
In the development of this project, two planning challenges can be identified: on the one hand, the accommodation of a complex spatial programme, and on the other hand, the understanding of this new building as a connecting organ between the complex of Leipziger Platz with the urban structure of the Octagon and the existing Prussian manor house.

The new building is divided into three areas due to its use:
The building, located directly on Leipziger Straße, serves as a representative entrance to the Federal Council for visitors and employees. The traditional glass façade of the upper floors develops into a sculpture in the arcade area, which welcomes visitors and spontaneous guests. The visitor centre is arranged as a link between the old and new building. All rooms of the guided tour are located on levels 0 and 2 and the visitor paths in the building are designed to ensure that guided tours can take place without conflict. A meeting of the visitor groups is excluded. On the second level, two separate paths are planned to the role-playing rooms and conference rooms, so that the conference rooms can be used for internal events of the Federal Council without obstructing the guided tours for visitors. The two role-playing rooms are planned along the lines of the plenary hall and, thanks to an open façade front, are also in direct visual contact with the Federal Council.

The floor plans have a clear structure, which is interrupted only in a few places to emphasise the prestigious rooms in the building. The visitors are greeted with generosity by the 4-storey foyer of the visitor centre on the 2nd floor and the winter garden in the library. In between is the library as a connecting element, which offers the visitor a special view of the Prussian manor house and its gardens. The 2-storey inner courtyard on the 4th floor is behind the transparent façade to Leipziger Straße. Here, the employees of the Federal Council can enjoy their break in the open air with a view of the Prussian manor house.

Energetic concept:

Taking into account the location and orientation of the building, an individually tailored energy and comfort concept was developed. The aim was to achieve a high degree of air hygiene and thermal comfort with an optimized energy demand and at the same time to find an optimal ratio between investment and operating costs with a minimum use of technology and renewable resources.

An important component of the energy concept is the façade construction, which consists mainly of a double façade. The space between the two facades is used for sound insulation of the interior rooms and allows undisturbed working even when the windows are open. Outside air is brought into the buffer zone through automatically controlled openings in the base area of the façade and can be used according to the season. The double façade also provides external sun protection. Natural daylight supplies all common rooms. Artificial light should be avoided as far as possible in order to minimise energy consumption and thus also costs.