The Daimler-Chrysler Complex, designed by international architects through the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, takes place between the Neue Potsdamer Strasse, on the North side, near theSony Center, the Kulturforum, on the West side, the Landwehrkanal, South side, and the Linkstrasse on the East side. This lot has as center the Marlene-Dietrich-Platz.
Behind the Staatsbibliothek of Sharoun, the square becomes the logic conclusion of the Alte Potsdamer Strasse, the wide avenue that cuts the lot along the diagonal. There it is, the entrance of the suburb: between two skyscrapers situated on corners, like huge propylaea of the 2000.
The transparent ship prow of the offices building of Renzo Piano creates a contrast with the one, more massive, designed by Hans Kollhoff.
On the snail-shaped square, the architecture of Renzo Piano highlights the presence of various functions, for example through the different building coverings. Bricks, glass, metal facades help having a various landscape, which shows the diversity of volumes and of the area itself.
On one side, the residential block plays with the curve facade of the IMAX theater – the glass walls of the theater reveal the internal hemisphere – and encloses a trasparent access for the mall. On the other side, the light and articulated set composed by the casino and the musical theater lives in the reflections of the metal, which open itself to protect the glass facade of the theater and to show its entrance.
The presence of the Staatsbibliothek of Sharoun is further enhanced in the south with the new theater-casino, that emphasizes the relation between new and old architecture.
The courtyards of the residential area are connected by wide staircases, which cut the external facades with transparent – or not – coverages. Some big atria give a bright light to the offices buildings.
Regarding the Arkaden, the contemporary sign of this mall, created from the american model comes from the typical peripheral situation to the urban center, becoming an important protagonist.
Today, 50% of the buildings are used for offices, 30% for commercial, gastronomic and cultural activities, and 20% for housing. Around 10.000 people live and work in the buildings of the Daimler-Chrysler lot.
Renzo Piano involved many important architects in the design of each area, almost suggesting a sort of “stratificated” urban structure. The result, perhaps, is some times dissonant for excessive protagonism.
credit: flickr, berlin citysam, joergle44.de
by Jean-Baptiste Hurstel