Competition Blueaward 2009

Competition Blueaward 2009 – Construction in existing building stock

Construction in existing building stock

Working/Living/Exhibition Space

Malte Gröner and Lorenz Brugger.


The building sector in 2009

The buildings sector is the source of over one third of Germany’s entire end-use energy demand. Buildings are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide. Furthermore the German building sector generates almost 60% of waste annually, which is roughly 4 times the amount of waste produced by all German households combined.

For architects, for industry, for the media and for the general public, green design has moved from the fringe to the mainstream. Architects start to realize their responsibility. They start to comprehend the impact of their actions.

The only question is: What makes sense?
Different architects follow different ideas, strategies and philosophies. Sometimes these ideas are completely different and contradict each other, even though they all have, more or less, the same goal. All want to minimize the negative impact of the building sector.

Competition Blueaward 2009
Graphics by Malte Gröner

The Diagram

We started to research a subjective collection of different thinkers out of the building industry. This collection is based on our subjective interest. Although we know, that it is not representative, we try to communicate some interesting ideas with a high potential.

So, what makes sense? Finally, it is a tough question and we realized that it is impossible to give an ultimate answer. All the strategies make sense in their way. Each of them has authorisation and power.

For further informations on this analysis please read the diploma thesis of Malte Gröner (only german).


But the optimum lies in an holistic approach taking into consideration all phases relevant for an all-inclusive assessment of a building, construction, operation and deconstruction. In addition, our method considers all parameters having an influence on the building performance. No burning processes are permitted in the building At the end of their life cycle all building elements can be fully recycled without any components needing to be burnt or sent to a disposal site. For our purpose the ideal strategy to minimize negative impacts considers the whole life-cycle.

The design of the new building


Competition Blueaward 2009
The new structure is located in the area of an old brewey, today known as „Kulturbrauerei Berlin“. It was and is one of the most famous cultural centres in Berlin.

The culture brewery was founded at the end of the 90ies in the quarter “Prenzlauer Berg” by some creative minds, intended as a meeting point in this revitalized district for the creative scene. People started to found small galleries, bars, clubs and restaurants in the restored buildings. Today there is a large offering of culture, art and lifestyle in the area.


Competition Blueaward 2009

The brewery was designed like a castle. The buildings are surrounding a huge longish courtyard. All the buildings got the same facade made out of red brick.At the northern end of it is the old forge, whose roof is the place for our new design. Looking at the roof there are two remarkable qualities: a roof level difference and the old chimney. We decided to work with these qualities.
By analysing the location regarding the surroundings, we realized, that the roof has a high potential for representative issues in contrast to the back site of the forge facing a calm courtyard for private use.


The new design consists of four elementary parts: working, living and exhibiton and sustainability.
When we thought about artists and their work, we realized that the work and the process of working is the centre point of creating art. Spoken in architecture, the studio has to be the centre of the new building.
We took a high energy efficient form, the first ashlar, and faced it south. It contains living and working spaces. The second ashlar contains the exhibition space and has a highly representative task, so we decided to turn it towards the courtyards and let him overhang the forge.

Competition Blueaward 2009
Floor Plan

Structure and material:

The whole structure is made out of steel, which is able to be recycled and reused. The specific parts are bolted, there is no need of welding at all.
Two main façade materials are used to characterize the building. The rear part, consisting of living and working spaces, is made out of prefabricated Corten-steel elements, whose color and structure correspond very well with the façade of the old buildings.
The front part, consisting of the exhibition space, is made out of glass and steel. Those specific glass elements in the façade and the roof are a high tech product called “heat mirror”, which guarantees high insulation and high transparency.

Competition Blueaward 2009

Because of the special requirements of an exhibition space regarding illumination, the glass elements were modified to ensure the right illumination inside the cube. All elements are able to switch translucent. With an electric signal the user can decide to turn the exhibition space into a translucent cube to create a museum-like environment or a transparent cube to present his artwork to people from outside the building, just how he needs it for his exhibition.

Presentation plans PDF