The design for GSW Headquarters forms the extension to an office tower which eas one of the first project sto be built during the reconstruction of Berlin in the 1950s. The projects endeavours to combine the “as found” fragments of the city into a three-dimensional composition through which the existing building is able to be reintegrated into its context. The idea of conglomerate growth is not only accepted but put forward as a model for urban development.
The new ensemble responds as much to the baroque logic of the street plan as it does to the rules of nineteenth-century urbanism, and it also absorbs the object like quality of the 1950’s tower and registers the confrontational space which had developed between the high-rises either side of the Berlin Wall. In this combination of the disparate spatial configurations of consecutive generations, the new high-rise slab is the element associated with the present and the future.
The design of the high-rise slab is generated by a concern for the workplace in the city and by a commitment to an architecture that is economical with the resources of the environment. The building not only offers an exemplary working environment in its passive control of energy consumption, but at the same time it redefines an architecture in which the value of sensuous space is reassessed.