MVRDV transforms the new hub of Atelier Gardens Berlin with a grand yellow staircase

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In collaboration with HS-Architekten, MVRDV has turned an old office building called HAUS 1 from the 1990s into a new entrance to Berlin’s Atelier Gardens, which is located at the southern part of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport.

For TON 1 (MVRDV’s previous renovation project in Berlin), the repair had to be done with care, but HAUS 1 needed a more significant touch. When it was first built in 1997, the office building didn’t add much to the campus’s look. Its location next to the entrance to Atelier Gardens and its height makes it visible from the old Tempelhof airfield, which led to the decision to turn the building into a landmark on the nearby Oberlandstraße and a symbol of the change happening on the BUFA campus.

Atelier Gardens

“The newly transformed HAUS 1 is more than a gateway to this unique campus devoted to impact,” says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. “It is a representation of the Atelier Gardens community and their commitment to chart a different vision of society – one that’s optimistic, yet radical and innovative. With this second project in our masterplan, we join them on this mission and invite more people to follow.”

MVRDV says that the color of the building is the most clear sign of this change. When the building was white, it is now a bright sunshine yellow all over. This makes people from near and far notice the school. As soon as people arrive at campus, they will see another clear sign: from the plaza in the middle of Atelier Gardens, a set of zigzagging yellow stairs with seating and viewing platforms that offer views of Tempelhofer Feld and the Berlin skyline goes straight to the roof of HAUS 1. Van Rijs says, “From the roof, one can see the whole skyline of Berlin’s urban landscape, with Tempelhofer Feld as its front yard.”

Atelier Gardens

A cross-laminated prefab timber pavilion with bio-based materials and healthy finishes, like a clay roof, has been added to that building to make it bigger. The newly open roof is now finished with a living roof made of native plants. This roof also collects rainwater, which is used in a larger plan to keep water on-site.

Inside HAUS 1, there will be flexible meeting and work areas spread out over four floors. These will include the main office of Atelier Gardens and a café. The floor plans have been changed to make the building more flexible. This will make it easier to change the building’s use or form in the future, which will extend its life.

Atelier Gardens

Project Info

Architect: MVRDV
Founding partner in charge: Jacob van Rijs
Partner: Fokke Moerel
Design team: Klaas Hofman, Jonathan Schuster, Monica Di Salvo, Pim Bangert, Andre Bahremand, Simone Costa, Egle Jacinaviciute, Andrea Molinari
Environmental advisor: Peter Mensinga
Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries
Co-architect: HS-Architekten (Markus Hirschmüller, Harald Schindele, Andreas Credo, Leonie Lorenz, Miguel Lopez, Maximilian August, Larissa Preuss, Benedict Tulinius, Goran Petrovic, Lydia Kotzan, Ioanna Nicolaou, Claudia Große-Hartlage)
Landscape design: Harris Bugg Studio
Project coordination: Drees & Sommer
Fire protection: Brandschutz Plus+ Eberl-Pacan Brandschutzplaner
Structural & Façade engineering: Drees & Sommer SE
M & E / Planning: Buro Happold
Building physics: Ingenieurbüro Axel C. Rahn
Waste water: HATI Gesellschaft für Handwerk Technik und Innovation
Ground Surveyor: MKP
General contractor: KPM3
Lighting advisor: Deltalight
Metal construction: Metallbau Weinmann
Carpentry and Roofing:
Zimmerei & Dachdeckerei Quappe
Photography: Schnepp Renou, Lukas Drobny

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