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Finally, OMA has the winning design for the new Berlin Media Campus of German publishing house Axel Springer. The announced winner won against those of two notable finalists, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Buro Ole Scheeren.

The Scenario

“The task of the competition, which was announced in May 2013, was to develop ideas to create additional space for Axel Springer’s growing business divisions, and in particular its digital offers. In addition, the planned building structure should set new standards in terms of architectural atmosphere, usage and room conception, reflecting a modern working environment.The central component of the winning entry by Rem Koolhaas is the large atrium, which, at 30 meters of height, faces the existing Axel Springer building. Interconnected terraces and public workspaces create an environment, which enables both individual and collaborative work.  With its allusion of an ‘open valley’, the concept addresses the question of how offices can accommodate mobile work environments.

Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, president of the jury: ‘There is a high symbolic value in good architecture. Good architecture influences its surroundings. But also apart from this aspect the competition for the new Axel-Springer-Campus also raised the question of how we want to work in the future. The concept submitted by Rem Koolhaas offered a spectacular answer to this, which opens up a completely new working and communication landscape to its future users.Regula Lüscher Senate Building Director at Berlin’s Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment: ‘Rem Koolhaas drafted a building which only on second sight reveals its secret, architecturally formulating a new kind of collaborative working at its core. The concept offers a strong symbolic force as it leads the course of the Berlin Wall diagonally through the building, thereby creating an atrium and spectacular interior, which addresses the unification of this city. Thus, Axel Springer continues its own architectural history in this location.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE: ‘We are very happy to be able to build the new building of our publishing house together with Rem Koolhaas. He presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house. At the same time, I thank Ole Scheeren and Bjarke Ingels for their excellent concepts which also offered creative and passionate answers to our requirements’

Rem Koolhaas: ‘It is a wonderful occasion to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions.’

Axel Springer is planning to display the submissions from all the participants in the competition in the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt am Main. The public was already given an opportunity to view the 18 models and to critically examine the ideas for the planned new building in the German Architecture Center (DAZ) in Berlin in December 2013.”

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