Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
THE:SQUARE³ in Berlin, Germany by LAVA + Moritz Gruppe
March 2nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LAVA + Moritz Gruppe
Three towers of gold, silver, and bronze and three diagonal shaped city blocks make up THE:SQUARE³, a new mixed use development inspired by sport that revitalises a unique urban quarter in Berlin. The project is just nine minutes from Alexanderplatz, the very heart of Berlin, and located near Europe’s largest urban nature reserve and a sports hot spot.
Conceived by visionary developer Moritz Gruppe and designed by internationally acclaimed architects, LAVA, THE:SQUARE³ theme is Life, Nature, Sports:
1. LIFE: A multifunctional urban plan includes all the essentials for a high-quality and healthy urban existence for locals, workers and visitors, successfully answering the demands of a contemporary, quality lifestyle.
2. NATURE: Green characterises three blocks, containing apartments, retail space, a kindergarten and social services. Residents will enjoy diagonally placed spaces, green roof-scapes with cascading balconies, integrated garden courtyards, and overlook playing fields. Hanging plant-filled facades are articulated according to building orientation, offering an enhanced quality of living.
3. SPORT: Rising above a sport ‘podium’ are three towers of varying heights with Olympic themed metallic facades of gold, silver and bronze. Each volume is tapered to maximise sunlight, views and ventilation. Offices for sports companies and clubs, apartments, a medical and research centre, sports education facilities , a sports hotel (specifically for athletes) and a sports focused shopping mall at ground level, encircle a green piazza.
“Gone is the ‘bedroom suburb’, all apartments with no infrastructure. In Germany, and especially in Berlin, projects usually concentrate on one utilisation concept, for example apartments or offices. As a result there are too few supermarkets, parking spaces, jobs and school spaces. The single use concept is more common, but mixed use is the way forward,” said Dirk Moritz, managing director of Moritz Gruppe.
“For us THE:SQUARE³ is more than just a development project, it’s a philosophy. Living in a big city is an experience – you can’t just order it online. A good mix of people, culture and lifestyles is what makes a city interesting and worth living in. Our goal is to answer the question: ‘How do we want to live in the future?”
“And we see that this blending of commercial, social, leisure and residential facilities is the solution,” added Mr. Moritz. “The sport theme is seen in both the design and the utilisation concept. It references and enhances the nearby centre of excellence for high-performance sport, Sportforum Berlin, comprising Germany’s largest Olympic Training Centre, by providing more facilities and services for athletes, sports officials and outdoor leisure lovers.”
The innovative design solution maximises the spatial experience whilst minimising the use of energy and resources. Tobias Wallisser director of LAVA said: “Re-thinking a traditional city block with different scales and typologies demanded a new approach. The building ensembles balance contemporary requirements with respect for the historic urban context. LAVA’s design integrates nature and future technologies – geometries in nature create both efficiency and beauty whilst future technologies enhance comfort.”
Sustainability is embedded in the project. Mixed use ensures social sustainability. Building shapes maximise daylight, reducing the need for artificial light and energy use. Facades integrate photo-voltaics as a means of regenerative energy production. Naturally ventilated spaces minimise mechanical ventilation. Rainwater is collected and reused. Once known for its Stasi memorial and East German prefab apartments, the Alt- Hohenschönhausen area is ripe for revitalisation. Its proximity to the city centre, its location near several beautiful lakes and a large nature reserve, and its leisure and sporting facilities make it unique.
Moritz says: “These qualities of life, nature and sport set it apart. Central East Berlin has seen all the action – Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg. But Alt-Hohenschönhausen is really quite something and more and more investors are starting to realise projects here! Our project “Schokostücke”, transforming a former confectionary factory, set the foundation for this in 2011.”
THE:SQUARE³ is one of four projects shortlisted in the prestigious 2013 MIPIM real estate awards in the Futura category. “This recognition confirms our belief that by unifying the essentials of living – work, habitation, education, health, leisure – we will enhance the quality of life and community”.
Contact LAVA + Moritz Gruppe