Berlin – The conclusion of the international architectural competition to design new headquarters for 50Hertz brings the power grid operator another step closer to the realisation of the so-called 50Hertz Netzquartier in Berlin's "Europacity". In the summer of 2012, the energy company acquired an area with a total surface of 8,145 square metres in the Heidestraße, between Berlin Central Station and former railway station Hamburger Bahnhof. Shortly afterwards, in late summer last year, the company organised a competition for the design of its new head office. A closed competition, preceded by a public application procedure, selected 18 firms to compete. From 15 October to 20 December 2012, they were given the time to develop and submit their architectural designs. 50Hertz reserved a total amount of 220,000 € in prize money for winners and honourable mentions and administrative expenses made by the participating firms. As the current location in the Eichenstraße in Treptow has reached its limits, the plan is to move into the new building in 2016. In its initial construction phase, the new office will offer room for 580 employees.
The jury convened yesterday and unanimously awarded two second places to architectural firms LOVE architecture and urbanism ZT GmbH, Graz, and Henning Larsen Architects, Kopenhagen. Places three and four went to alexa zahn architekten, Vienna, and Müller Reimann, Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin. When planning the future 50Hertz Netzquartier, the architects needed to respect a number of criteria. Among other things, the designs should create an environment that embodies the cultural change the company is undergoing towards a more open and more dialogue- and team-oriented approach. At the same time, criteria such as sustainability, energy efficiency, functionality and cost-effectiveness were also of great importance. 50Hertz will now enter into negotiations with the architectural firms to try and reach a contractual agreement in March.
The jury, presided by professor Markus Allmann, consisted of six representative jurors and seven technical jurors:
According to Regula Lüscher, Senate Building Director of the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment of the Land of Berlin, holding a competition proved to be the right choice to ensure that the new look blends in well with the station quarter, Europacity and the Art Campus, enhancing the different characteristics of each separate quarter. "I am pleased that, as a futureoriented company, 50Hertz will provide a modern, communicative work environment in its new head office in Berlin."
Boris Schucht, CEO at 50Hertz, thanked the architects for their efforts made as participants in the contest and stressed that the designs showed very futureoriented and fascinating approaches to translate 50Hertz's corporate culture into even more open, transparent, communicative and team-oriented working conditions: "The new 50Hertz Netzquartier will provide us with a highly attractive principal seat located in the heart of Berlin with optimal transport connections. Having our registered office in the middle of the capital also symbolises the central part we play in bringing about the energy transition and attests to 50Hertz's commitment to Berlin as its permanent seat of administration", said Boris Schucht.
The 18 architectural designs will be displayed at the Deutsches Technikmuseum (Trebbiner Straße 9, 10963 Berlin) from 2 to 17 February 2013. The exhibition is free to all, including the "Windstärken" exhibition supported by 50Hertz.