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Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Germany), Berlin

2004
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
approx. 20.500 m2
Oliver Kühn
Alexander Moritz
Marlene Schwabe

The new Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth was designed as a continuation of central urban block architecture. On this site an existing conglomeration of buildings of different styles, heights and eras was to be unified with the addition of this new building. This meant a big challenge to all, especially to Berlin’s construction authorities who generally favour conservative solutions to reconstruction projects.
Abiding by the rules of Berlins „critical reconstruction“ GKK came up with an innovative interpretation: a unique design for a massive, heavily sculpted block binding together the existing buildings in the manner of truly morphological transformation.
Amongst many lines of sight and different heights within this environment the subject of “family“ is conveyed and visualised in many ways. A fine „molecular“ structure of small and big metal rings meshed together is stretched over the sculpture. Different connecting elements and combinations represent the image of a “family“.
The protruding upper levels form a very dynamic focal point to a structure that integrates heterogeneous parts and at the same time has an air of calm and continuity about it as a result of constant transformation. A big representative entrance hall connects with the upper levels via two pathways in the shape of a figure of eight where bright, varied open-plan office and communication areas are located.