designed by /

Location: Berlin / Germany / Type: Campus / Installations / Built: 2017 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on October 22, 2020

In its basic structure, the Kunstcampus, located north of the Hamburger Bahnhof with the museum of contemporary art, is more of a passageway than a square. Its plot is a relic of the former railway use. In contrast to its typological blur, the area has a pronounced local character due to the concise spatial figure. The concept emphasizes the difference between the Kunstcampus and the mostly manageable, orthogonal plazas of the emerging Europacity and the highly frequented infrastructures of Invalidenstrasse and Heidestrasse.

The aim of the design was to create a place of “retreat” by slowing down tourists and residents. For this purpose, an urban bosquet was formulated as a striking design gesture in the centre of the building. The area is divided into three subspaces which refer to each other through their trapezoidal floor plans with rounded contours. The “cabinets” in the north and the south were given a clearly contoured frame of light granite, varying in width and enclosing a slightly sunken and gently modelled meadow. The middle space which was designed as a play area will be bordered by a hornbeam hedge. These three spaces are connected through a grove of silver birch trees.

With this urban bosquet, a motif was developed that forms a unique address in the urban area undergoing conversion. The grove creates both a concise image and a poetic-associative initial. The position of the birch trees interacts with the elongated spatial figure and refers to the direction of the former railway use. The contours of the grove define an opportunity space for air-conditioned rest, for perceiving other atmospheric qualities or for exploring urban life.

Between June 2020 and January 2021, the potential of this open space was both fulfilled by Katharina Gross’ artwork “It Wasn’t Us”. The Kunstcampus was thus part and a frame of a pictorial world that stretched from the historical station hall of the museum through the street space to the facade of the so-called Rieckhallen. The central urban bosket was therefore transformed from a green “spot of colour” into a visual haven of calm amidst bursting colours. By exploratively questioning the conditions of the Kunstcampus, the artwork invites the viewer to rediscover this urban space and provides new impulses for its use.


Client: CA Immo Deutschland GmbH

Competition: 2014

Completion: 2017/2021

Area: 18.000 m²

Photos: Thomas Langreder, Hanns Joosten, Stefan Müller

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