Since 2008, 46,000 square metres of total floor space have stood empty in Berlin’s ‘House of Statistics’. The renovation of the building complex and the redesign of the façade aim to make the former East German building attractive again for a wide variety of usages. The Michels Architekturbüro contribution to the competition envisages ‘overwriting’ the existing building and thereby retaining the traces of the past. The design adapts the historical façade elements, transposing these – in terms of materiality, proportion, colour and texture – into the present.
While all the façade elements of the two external structures lie on one plane, the balustrades of the middle structure become detached from the window plane. The space thereby created receives balconies, whose formal design references the original façade. Generously bedecked with plants, these merge with the offices inside, opening up the previously austere, closed-off view of the building. Additional usable space is created in an extension located in front. The ground floor, highly frequented by the public, thus receives a valuable depth of building of up to 28 metres. That enables flexible and vibrant utilisation plans for art and culture, as well as restaurants and shops.