Architecture – Before becoming an ‘archistar’, Rem Koolhaas was a journalist. Since then, the world of media has drastically changed. That’s why the Axel Springer media campus “will act both as a symbol and a tool in a transition from print to digital media,” explain at OMA. Photographer Nils Koenning has captured the the final stages of the building by the leading publishing company’s which owns the influential Bild and Die Welt in Germany as well as the Polish Fakt and the American Business Insider.
- RELATED STORIES: discover more architecture and design from Germany on Archipanic…
With the cladding appearing complete, Koenning’s images highlight the building’s dramatic glazed atrium, which opens up to the existing Springer buildings. The essence of the design is a series of terraced floors that, together, form a ‘valley’ creating an informal stage at the centre – a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company.
“The genius of print is that it is a cheap, physical, hyper-accessible embodiment of a complex collective effort, for which so far the digital has been unable to find an equivalent. Architectural offices are similar to newspapers in that they produce complex assemblies and selections from radically different sources of information,” Explain at OMA.
“As architects, we have experienced the advantages: speed, precision, smoothness. But we have also suffered one crucial consequence: the relationship between the worker and his computer, which isolates him in a bubble of introverted performance, inaccessible to collective overview”.
In the classical newsroom, dominated by smoking, typing journalists, each inhabitant was aware of the labour and progress of his colleagues and of the collective aim: a single issue, with the deadline as a simultaneous release. In the digital office, staring intently at a screen dampens all other forms of attention and therefore undermines the collective intelligence necessary for true innovation.
“For the new Axel Springer building we have conceived an architecture that lavishly broadcasts the work of individuals for shared analysis. The new office block is injected with a central atrium that opens up to the existing Springer buildings – a new centre of the Springer campus.”
The terraced floors that form a digital valley. Each floor contains a covered part as a traditional work environment, which is then uncovered on the terraces. Halfway through the building, the valley is mirrored to generate a three dimensional canopy.
The common space formed by the interconnected terraces offers an alternative to the formal office space in the solid part of the building, allowing for an unprecedented expansion of the vocabulary of workspaces: a building that can absorb all the question marks of the digital future.
The public can experience the building on three levels – ground floor lobby, meeting bridge, and roof-top bar. The meeting bridge is a viewing platform from which the visitors can witness the daily functioning of the company and how it evolves. The ground floor is open to the city and contains studios, event and exhibition spaces, canteens and restaurants.