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Thursday, April 16th, 2015

New skyscrapers in Berlin

Skyscrapers of BerlinAlexanderplatz and the area of City West of Berlin could be experiencing a big change in the next few years that would transform the urban horizon of the German capital with the construction of various skyscrapers and residential towers, whilst the tallest hotel in Berlin will be built in Sonnenallee, a building that is 176m2 in height.

One of the new buildings, planned for 2018, will be the impressive Estrel Tower, an extension of the hotel of the same name, more than 176m tall, that will accommodate 800 luxury rooms, as well as offering incredible views of Neukölln and the rest of the city. The skyscraper will be situated opposite the prestigious Estrel Hotel in Sonnenallee, the biggest hotel in Germany with 1125 rooms, property of Ekkehard Streletzki. The building will be characterized by its resplendent façade that will reflect the waters of the Neukölln canal and by its triangular form. This is a building that will compete in height with other buildings of the city, only overtaken by the iconic Fernsehturm (television tower), located close to Alexanderplatz, and that, next to other construction projects in the same area, will change the horizon of the city. It is worth mentioning that the television tower of Berlin is the highest building in Germany with a height of 368m.

New skyscrapers in Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz is one of the areas in which there it is anticipated that there will be the most building of skyscrapers. One of these, an apartment block, 150m high, designed by the architect Frank Gehry, will be built by the American developer Hines next to the “Die Mitte” shopping centre. Nevertheless, this project has not yet commenced since the Berliner Verkehrbetriebe (transport company in Berlin) fear that the metro tunnel (U5 line) will not support the weight of the building.

Close to where the future Hines tower will be, next to the Alexa shopping centre, the investor MonArch will build another apartment building whose works will be able to start in the coming year since they already have planning permission. The completion date for this residential building is anticipated for the end of 2018.

The Speelmanns project

At the start of this year, the preliminary designs for what could be the future Central and Regional Library of Berlin were published. This is a building of 150m in height, situated between the famous Hotel Park Inn and the Saturn building, that provides the perfect solution for a long debate on the location of the Library. The design by the architect Christian Speelmanns presents a principal seven storey building, an apartment tower, a panoramic bar and well-being facilities. However, currently it is just a design, as Speelmanns waits to be able to “negotiate” his construction.

There are also a number of shorter building projects planned such as a 65m residential building, located to the south of the Alexa shopping centre and the Car Loft tower, also 65m tall, in the Jannowitz bridge.

The Hans Kollhoff skyscrapers

In 1993, the architect Hans Kollhoff had already proposed the construction of various skyscrapers in the area of Alexanderplatz, including ten towers of 150m height, despite none of them being built. Now, his designs are old-fashioned, but his master plan is being remodelled thanks to a new trend. These days, more and more people want to live in the city centre, but they do not want to give up being able to enjoy magnificent views. Clearly, the traditional buildings of Berlin that are 22m high do not satisfy this requirement, since they cannot offer the views that the skyscrapers offer. The city centre skyscrapers are considered optimal spaces as offices or homes from which one can enjoy modern facilities, as well as incredible views.

In the last edition of Forum Bau in March of this year, politicians and architects were brought together in order to discuss the future of the urban development of Berlin in a conference entitled, “New skyscrapers in City West?”. Stefan Evers, spokesman for the CDU party, declared during the event that Alexanderplatz and City West were two of the best areas of the city for the construction of skyscrapers. Nevertheless, close to the Gedächtniskirche of Berlin there are also plans to construct new, very tall buildings, such as the Upper West, a building that is currently under construction and is located next to the Hotel Waldorf Astoria, that will be 118m tall, the same as the hotel’s tower. It is predicted that the twin tower of the Breitscheidplatz in the Charlottenburg district will be finished by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017. As well as offices and hotel rooms, a panoramic bar is to be installed on the 33rd floor with views of City West.

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