OMA's Axel Springer Building Opens

John Hill
6. October 2020
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA

Six years after Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the competition to design an office building for media company Axel Springer in Berlin, the building was officially opened, on October 6, 2020.

The new Axel Springer building was opened this morning ceremoniously, with speeches by Koolhaas, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner. The trio had the following words to say on the occasion, in regards to the cube-shaped building bisected by a diagonal atrium that is the latest addition to the Axel Springer Campus.

Rem Koolhaas: "Paradoxically, the current pandemic and concurrent digital acceleration, demonstrate the need for spaces conceived for human beings to interact. In the typical office building, a visitor enters, and then disappears. It is far from clear what happens inside. In the new Axel Springer building, people and their interaction[s] are the essence. The Springer building is a tool for the further development of a company in perpetual motion. It offers its users a physical base – a wide variety of spatial conditions, intimate to monumental – in contrast to the flatness of working in virtual space."

Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA

Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "Axel Springer signed a bond for the future with the development of its publishing house. It paid off, thirty years ago when our country was reunited, just as it does today. But it seems to me that this new house, too, does not only interpret the times in which we live. It wants to stand for the future. This house also wants to be a symbol. A symbol of the radical transformation of a publishing house into a media company, a response to the demands and challenges of digitization."

Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA

Mathias Döpfner: "We wanted the new building to be a symbol and an accelerator of our own transformation. Long before the coronavirus, the mission was to find a new answer to the question of why office space is still needed at all in the digital age. Rem Koolhaas has provided a spectacular reply. Open, multifunction spaces that enable maximum flexibility of use. Avant-garde architecture as a magnet for encounters and communication. The building as a powerhouse of creativity."

Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy OMA

To learn more about OMA's design of the new Axel Springer building, visit OMA's profile and check out Ulf Meyer's article on the building from February 2020, when construction was done but the coronavirus had yet to take hold in Germany.

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