Timber Offices

07 April 2022

Offices for the Bundestag in Berlin

The German Bundestag (Parliament) has a new office building.  The delivery of the office block caused much amazement as it came in on time and on budget – locals are used to major issues with buildings as evidenced by the lengthy and costly saga of the new Berlin Airport. As the paper Süddeutsche Zeitung noted:

 "For example, the costs of 70 million euros were met, which marks an unheard-of anomaly in the Berlin building tradition.  Magically, the deadline of completion after only 20 months of planning and construction was even undercut by four weeks. Four weeks less instead of a minimum four years more – as is the usual the custom in Berlin."

The seven-storey new building offers 400 offices for members of the Bundestag on 9,200 square metres of usable space. 

It is a unusual building in that large parts of it are built of wood off site.  There is no cellar, reinforced concrete is used for the floor slab and foundations, as are the technical and storage rooms on the ground floor and two access cores. All office accommodation is created from 460 solid wood modules (75% of the building is made of wood).

The building plan is a H forming two courtyards, of which the southern one forms the courtyard to the main entrance, the northern one is closed against the noise of the rail viaduct with a seven-storey glass wall. This is held in place by an open steel structure that provides a connecting bridge between the eastern and western wings on every second floor.

The façade is made of recycled aluminium serves as weather protection. In front of the ventilation sashes of the windows are  hung narrow printed glass strips.  These glass strips are multicoloured.

Modular construction can make buildings monotonous using a rigid grid.  To provide flexibility the partition walls between the office cells can be completely removed in favor of an open office landscape. This facility has already been used to create large meeting rooms.

The office as designed by Sauerbruch Hutton you can read more on their website

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