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04.17.2014
Unveiled> Estrel Tower
Barkow Leibinger's Berlin skyscraper is reshaping the city's skyline.
Courtesy Barkow Leibinger

Estrel Tower
Architect: Barkow Leibinger
Client: Estrel Hotel-Betriebs-GmbH
Location: Berlin, Germany
Completion: 2017

Berlin is traditionally a low-to-mid-rise city, but a new crop of skyscrapers is beginning to reshape the skyline. The Estrel Tower, designed by Berlin-based Barkow Leibinger, is the latest and one of the tallest, and will include a hotel, office building, and conference center. At nearly 600 feet, the building reaches for the sky but also relates to the street with a splayed arrangement of volumes containing the hotel atrium, conference center, and a park house and restaurant, each articulated with a different angled roofline. The distinct volumes will also allow the project to be phased.

   
Courtesy Barkow Leibinger; Werner Huthmacher
 

The facades will vary from volume to volume but will have a similar design language of thin vertical elements in metal and glass. “Our thinking is to emphasize a vertical fin-profile to alleviate the flatness of the glass/spandrel glass behind,” wrote principal Frank Barkow in an email. “The fin profile offers a differentiated/ornamental pattern that is obviously non-structural and that can change from building to building, underscoring the idea of a ‘family of forms.’ The fin-profile in the tower also generates a kind of continuous cladding/skin so that open air loggias lie protected behind them.”

The project will also include operable windows and advanced sun shading systems, green roofs, photovoltaics, and solar hot water systems, among other sustainability strategies.

Alan G. Brake

 

Werner Huthmacher