Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

 Hi(gh) Alex
2013, Dessau Institute of Architecture (DIA), Peter Ruge

For almost three decades, the construction of high rise residential towers over 60 meters tall has vanished as a typology in German cities. It seems that despite the option of more modern alternatives, a preference for double story detached living and "Wilhelminian" style turn of the century condominiums remains. In contrast, the development of high-rise residential living has proven both successful and popular in many of the world‘s cities synonymous with emerging markets, such as China. A demand for suitable accommodation that provides for growing population, coupled by a limited availability of freehold land in densely populated countries, has lead to a necessity and increase in vertical living in Asia.


Presently in Berlin, high-rise residential buildings are being considered as an approach by which to attract a high-end clientele. Developers are able to capitalize upon the stability of Germany’s political and economic climate by providing an opportunity for investors to purchase their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th homes amongst relatively low risk market conditions. Commonly planned as serviced apartments, complete with a doorman, these residential models follow an international trend and demand at prime locations.


Originally the site of a cattle market that lies outside the city’s fortifications and the former urban center of East Berlin, Alexanderplatz locally referred to as "Alex," can be identified as one of these principal sites. 300,000 people pass through this vast square and traffic hub in the sought-after district of "Mitte" each day, making it one of the most frequented squares not only in Berlin, but throughout Europe. The existing “Alex” masterplan identifies several locations for the development of high-rise buildings, with one of these proposed sites positioned at the corner of Alexanderstrasse and Otto-Braun-Strasse.


The challenge of Hi(gh) Alex is to develop a program and design for this location, reopening the debate of how this site can be best utilized as a hi(gh)light for new ideas and sustainable solutions.


Involved
Cohei Hayashi

The "Involved" tower has been designed as a high-density complex that responds to the existing demands of Berlin’s Alexanderplatz and reflects the surrounding activities.


Lux
Aisan Kianmehr 

A concept of "growth" is applied that considers the urban condition of the site in relationship to the rapid expansion of Berlin. "Lux" is a mixed-use development containing high-end residences and a hotel. The design comprises seven towers that minimize the building footprint, generating spaces that penetrate volumes, maximizing social interaction and embracing the overflow of the plaza.


Cave Tower
Yu Lu

Located on a site at Alexanderplatz, the building’s concept aims at inclusion and responds to the city’s international context. Spaces were inspired by the form of caves, their origin as the first forms of shelter, and the idea of the building’s ability to integrate into the fabric of Alexanderplatz the way a cave integrates into nature.

The Money Making Building
Ojo Oluwaseun

The “Money Making Building” aims to create a bio-climatic high-rise residential building at Alexanderplatz. The building adopts various passive techniques to reduce energy consumption and also includessystems that generate energy. The result of this inspired design is a dynamic form and architectural statement.

City Oasis
Adeline Hofmann and Anna Lippmann

This new "City Oasis" is rooted to the site through a sensibility of place. Compared to the skyscrapers of Frankfurt, Berlin is in need for more prominent architectural gestures. The tower has been designed to utilize innovative technologies, such as an EFTE façade system and solar chimney power plant, standing as an autocratic structure against Berlin’s empty high-rise skyline.