B:HUB – An Office Complex in the Rhythm of the Capital
With the B:HUB, an almost 300 m long office complex has been built at the Rummelsburger Bucht in Berlin. The building runs along the railroad line at Ostkreuz and integrates into the newly forming development; a chic residential neighborhood and an urban recreation area for locals and tourists. Whereas two decades ago the district was still marked by factories and industrial charm, now a popular leisure and living space has emerged in combination with the Stralau Peninsula and the Mediaspree embankment. We have developed an architecturally appropriate and energy-efficient lighting concept for the glass office building with the greatest possible flexibility for individually configurable spaces consisting of single and shared offices.
With the design for the B:HUB, the Berlin-based studio Barkow Leibinger has created an architecture that on the one hand, shields train traffic from the Rummelsburg Bay and on the other hand, exemplifies the densification and upgrading of locations with heavily trafficked infrastructures. Berlin’s Ostkreuz is one of the city’s hubs where regional trains provide connections to the main station as well as to the BER airport. The 43-meter-high B:HUB achieves a visual and acoustic distinction from the traffic infrastructure and the neighborhood on the Stralau Peninsula, both in its immediate vicinity.
To break up the length of the building, the rhythmic folding of the structure combined with the facade made of sculpturally shaped terracotta elements and window surfaces, create a space with tangible scale. Multiple changes of alignment form balconies, terraces, and horizontal ledges, resulting in a three-dimensional envelope that wraps around the building. The structure and proportions hint at the modern loft architecture within. Deep and high spaces as well as visible technical installations in the open ceiling characterize the design of the interior. The uppermost levels are each set back from the main volume and create space for attractive roof terraces. The floor space of just over 45,000 square meters across ten floors is predominantly occupied by a supermarket, which makes an important contribution to local amenities, while two major office tenants, the Deutsche Bahn and a federal authority, occupy the remaining space.
The B:HUB has three entrances on the base floor, which are linked through a common design language. The associated foyers are equipped with acoustic panels that aesthetically harmonize the clean and industrial (interior) architecture. These acoustic surfaces are partially overlaid with a studio-like lighting structure approximately 35 centimeters below the ceilings. Here, a black pipe grid functions as a supporting element with integrated power tracks, in which luminaire elements can be accommodated in the rungs, similar to a ladder. The combination of the minimalist, elegant materiality of the linear supporting grid and the illuminated components gives the spacious rooms an expressive and graphic appearance, while at the same time creating a powerful ambient lighting atmosphere. Accent lighting for walls, reception counters, seating areas, etc. can additionally be achieved by adjustable spotlights. The entrance situation offers visitors and employees a light-flooded and open reception into the building.
Like all rental spaces in the B:HUB, each office area has access to a balcony or loggia. This provides employees with pleasant space for informal outdoor work as well as locations for meetings and social gatherings. The office areas are generously designed and offer a pleasant working atmosphere with high ceilings and pronounced room depths. Here too, the industrial character of the interior design is continued, and we have developed an integrated lighting system that also blends in with the versatile ceiling. In order to achieve the calmest possible ceiling plan, the acoustic and cooling panels are visually linked to the lighting. While luminaires between the panels would have represented potentially disruptive factors, the integrated elements result in an arrangement parallel to the facade that can be dimmed according to the amount of daylight entering the window. The directional light ensures compliant office lighting during the day as well as the visibility of the building’s exterior during the night, without any outward light emittance. For this purpose, the lighting is dimmed to a minimum value, allowing the architecture to shine in the dark. This means that facade lighting can be dispensed with entirely, not only creating a contemporary and representative appearance, but also meeting ecological and environmental requirements to a particularly high degree. In addition to energy-efficient and sustainable planning using only LED luminaires, this also includes the avoidance of light pollution and light emissions into the immediate and distant surroundings.
Furthermore, the lighting concept in the open office spaces eliminates the need for corridor lighting. Due to the possibility of higher lighting intensities in the depth of the room, additional luminaires are not necessary.
As an additional option, luminaires can be added later in the lounge areas, meeting zones, and conference areas using the existing technical infrastructure.
The access road to Kynaststrasse is accompanied by minimalist light poles, which ensure an efficient source of light in the outdoor area of the building. Furthermore, the entrance areas of the building are marked by downlights in the projecting balconies. In this way, an inviting atmosphere is created which serves as an orientation for visitors. The tree planting on Kynaststrasse is subtly featured by uplights providing the site with a visual border.
We have developed an integrated lighting concept for the enormous building volume, blending well with the modern loft architecture and design, while simultaneously preserving the functional character of the building.