Federal Ministry for the Environment

Federal Ministry for the Environment

ProcedureInvited Competition, 3rd Prize

With its sophisticated edifice, the extension building for the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety demonstrates both urban references and reflects complex functional relationships. In terms of urban planning, the design concentrates on emphasising the solitary impact of the Abgeordnetenhaus (House of Parliamentary Representatives) and on creating attractive streets and open spaces. In the direction of the house, the new building forms a tranquil wall to the square. A transparent connecting bridge links it to the existing building of the BMU. The roof garden, which has been carved out of the solid block, as well as four landscaped atriums lend rhythm to the structure. A delicate, double-skin façade structure serves to amalgamate the resulting, sophisticated building into one sculptural body. The outer glass level, supported by a fine network of metal struts, ensures the openness and transparency of the building. As a “hard shell” it protects the inner, “soft” shell, a solid oak construction. In an analogy of traditional Japanese wooden construction methods, a modular system has been created, which turns the exposed construction into a leitmotif of the interior design. The exposed concrete stairwells and elevator shafts provide interesting contrasts.