Federal Council Berlin

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Competition / Municipal building / Berlin

The Federal Council of the German parliament is one of five constitutional bodies and has its seat at the Prussian Hall of Berlin. In the last few years the number of visitors has increased as well as the need for more office space for Federal Council administration. A new build extension with approx.. 7.000 m² of service area is now supposed to place the visitor’s center and the needed administration offices.

Throughout the development of this project two challenging issues became visible: on the one hand implementing the complex space concept with all its needs, on the other hand understanding the function of the new building as being a connecting organ between the “Leipziger Platz” with its octagonal urban structure and the already existing Prussian Hall.

Because of the different uses the new building is divided in three areas: part of the building which lies directly at the Leipziger street serves as prestigious entree for visitors and employees to get to the Federal Council. The visitor’s center is organized between the old and the new building. Visitor’s circulation is organized in that way that guided tours can happen without any conflict. Different visiting groups don’t cross each other. On the second level meeting zones and conference rooms can be separately used by members and employees of the Federal Council without meeting outsiders. The two role playing halls are based on the model of the plenary hall. An open frontage creates a direct and visible connection to the Federal Council.

The floor plans show a clear structure with only a few spots of interruption in order to emphasize the representative rooms. The four-level high foyer of the visitor’s center on the second floor as well as the winter garden are generously welcoming their guests. In between lies the library as connection element offering the visitor an extraordinary view on the Prussian Hall and its garden. The two-level courtyard on the fourth floor can be seen through the transparent façade from the Leipziger Street. The employees of the Federal Council can here enjoy their lunch break including a view to the Prussian Hall.

Energy concept:

Taking into account the building’s location and orientation an individual coordinated energy and comfort concept has been developed. The aim is to reach optimized energy requirements in matters of a minimal use of technology, using regenerative resources, air pollution control and thermal comfort on a high level at an optimized ratio of investment and operating costs.