June 22, 2024

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MVRDV transforms an old 1990s office structure into a ‘bright’, sustainable, and flexible building simplifying future changes in use or layout and thus extending the building’s lifespan

2 min read

Berlin, Germany

In collaboration with Hirschmüller Schindele Architekten and Harris Bugg Studio, MVRDV has transformed a dated 1990s office building into a striking entrance landmark for Atelier Gardens in Berlin, adding a new living roof and a sustainable timber rooftop pavilion and terrace, accessible via a grand external staircase.

Atelier Gardens HAUS 1

“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.”

Named Atelier Gardens HAUS 1, the building is now bright yellow all over, drawing attention to the campus from both near and far.

Once visitors enter the campus, they will immediately encounter another clear sign: from the central plaza of Atelier Gardens, a zig-zagging yellow stair-scape, dotted with seating and viewing platforms framing views of Tempelhofer Feld and the Berlin skyline, leads directly to the roof of HAUS 1.

Atelier Gardens HAUS 1

“From the roof, one can witness the entire skyline of Berlin’s urban landscape, with Tempelhofer Feld as its front yard,” highlights Van Rijs.

There the building has been extended with a timber pavilion of cross-laminated prefab modules, with bio-based materials and healthy finishes, such as a clay ceiling.

A living roof of native plants completes the newly accessible rooftop which now also serves to collect rainwater, feeding into a comprehensive water retention plan implemented on-site.

The green landscaping, new roof insulation, and sun shades on the building’s two glass façades reduce heat gain during summer, enhancing the building’s climate resilience.

Atelier Gardens HAUS 1

During colder months, low-temperature underfloor heating helps maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

All lighting has been upgraded to energy-efficient LED systems, and the sanitary fittings are water-efficient, including low water-use WCs that will use recycled rainwater from the campus’s forthcoming rainwater harvesting system.

On the inside, the HAUS 1 will feature adaptive work and meeting spaces spread across four floors, including the headquarters of Atelier Gardens and a café.

Its floorplan has been redesigned to maximize the building’s flexibility, facilitating future changes in use or layout, thereby extending the building’s lifespan.

Project: Atelier Gardens HAUS 1
Architects: MVRDV
Founding Partner In Charge: Jacob van Rijs
Co-Architects: Hirschmüller Schindele Architekten
Landscape Archtiects: Harris Bugg Studio
Design Team: Klaas Hofman, Jonathan Schuster, Monica Di Salvo, Pim Bangert, Andre Bahremand, Simone Costa, Egle Jacinaviciute, and Andrea Molinari
Client: Fabrix
Photographers: Schnepp Renou and Lukas Drobny


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