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The foundation for a new part of Berlin

Decision on the urban planning/architectural competition Urbane Mitte

After an intense, productive jury session for the urban planning competition, it has been decided that two Berlin-based architectural offices are to share the first prize: COBE Berlin and Ortner & Ortner Baukunst. The jury was unanimous in its decision to choose designs from both offices over the other five designs presented in the second competition phase. The jury members and awarding authority were all highly impressed with the solutions proposed to create a dynamic, sustainable development at Gleisdreieck in Berlin.

Members of the jury stressed that the proposals by the architectural offices COBE Berlin and Ortner & Ortner Baukunst best reflected the identity, history and values of the location and its surrounding area. Uniting old and new, the dynamic new quarter creates a modern urban centre right in the heart of Berlin. As Professor Vanessa Miriam Carlow from COBE Berlin explains: “Hyper-urban, super metropolitan, with an international flair but unmistakeably local – that is what we wanted to achieve with Urbane Mitte am Gleisdreieck.” Markus Penell, owner of Ortner & Ortner, added that, “Despite building restrictions due to train logistics, a high-density ensemble consisting of public space and diverse structures will create a unique urban quarter: one that is striking and diverse, but characterised by openness and can provide easy access to the park.”

The property is best suited for office space and commercial uses. In addition, institutes for the arts and culture will be located on the premises, and a dedicated space for athletics will also be created. Due to noise emissions expected from the newly created train line, the quarter is not well suited for residential purposes. “When choosing the winning concept, the most important aspect was to create a dynamic urban quarter,” explained the jury member and Senate building director Regula Lüscher. “Both of the entries we selected really stood out for achieving this.”

Designs submitted by the offices Ingenhoven Architects and Sauerbruch + Hutton were also honoured.

The competition process

The results of the urban planning competition held in the second project phase formed the basis of the further development plan. A total of 25 prestigious regional, national and international architectural and urban planning offices were invited to submit forward-looking urban planning and architectural concepts for the location Urbane Mitte – forward-looking especially in the sense of the environment, economics and as a space in society. A total of 22 entries were submitted.

The competition was conducted in two phases and in accordance with RPW 2013 (guidelines for development competitions). The participants were encouraged to create plans that paved the way for an appropriate, diverse mixed used area that enriches the quarter, in line with the pre-determined parameters laid out in the consensus paper. It goes without saying that architectural features were also considered, such as the appearance and effect of the structures and how they fit in with the surrounding urban landscape.

A total of 22 offices participated in the first phase (01.07.2015 – 13.08.2015). After the works were completed, an independent team consisting of experienced assessors reviewed the designs, paying special consideration to the plausible execution thereof. After that, a prestigious jury of experts from the fields of architecture and urban planning (expert jurors) as well as experts with a deep knowledge of both the project itself and the conditions on-site (specialist jurors) assessed all entries and chose seven designs to continue on to the second phase. The process was then repeated in the second phase, during which time the architects and urban planners fine-tuned their designs. The competition winner was anointed during the second jury session held on 20 November 2015.

  • Start of phase 1:                                   July 2015
  • Jury session for phase 1:                     11.09.2015
  • Start of phase 2:                                   12.09.2015
  • Jury session for phase 2:                     20.11.2015
  • Exhibition of competition entries:  03.-05.12.2015


We actively promote dialogue

We always strive to include the public and interested residents in a timely manner.

That’s why we held an event at the end of Phase 2, which enabled representatives of the public to assess and comment upon the final seven submissions.

You can find more information under Results.