Bellinda Palais

Offices transformed into flats – competition entry

Bellinda Palais

In 2010, it was still officially assumed in Berlin that the city would continue to shrink. The euphoria of the 90s had waned in the 00s and the first large corporations had already turned their backs on the city. Consequently, we were not very surprised when we were asked to convert the office building at Unter den Linden 74, which had been vacant for 10 years. We won the competition with a shared 1st place.
Back then, our design envisaged minimal modifications to the substance. We opted for creating large, luxurious flats in the given structure. Residential use was particularly hindered by the yard being too small – the neighbours seemed too close in any direction. We solved this issue by bringing a traditional element back into play: the shutter. In this case, they were designed to reflect daylight back to the neighbours when closed.
To further improve the situation, we planned to place a large art object in the middle of the courtyard – as an eye-catcher in the truest sense of the word – and as a daylight funnel for the covered lobby on the ground floor, which we beautifully designed as a gallery.

P.S. The conversion into flats never happened – we later developed the project in record time for the Federal Parliament Administration.

Architektur für Wohnen, Arbeiten, Leben in Berlin
Lobby as a gallery space

“Although it wasn’t built, I still consider the design for the courtyard to be the first OOW masterpiece.”

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Leipziger Straße 56

10117 Berlin