with Vasilena Vassilev
Mark Mückenheim, Vasilena Vassilev
Mark Mückenheim, Vasilena Vassilev

As a strategy to allow for the best possible usage and navigation of the large and complex program of this major library for the city and state of Berlin, we developed a strict spatial matrix of diverse organizational criteria. The spatial distribution follows this order, resulting in a structural grid that becomes the major datum of the building. Vertically the grid adapts to the different ceiling heights of the program. Horizontally the book and media collections are oriented towards the protective center of the square floor-plan, while open reading areas are located towards the outside close to the facade, utilizing views and light. Following these programming operations strictly, the resulting total height of all functional levels ended up being exactly the length and width of the largest floor plate. Applying this logic further, all upper floors of the building are combined to form a perfect cube which is circumscribed by the structural grid. Large open void spaces are formed on levels where the floor plates do not occupy the full footprint of the building, they are established as vertical gardens overlooking Tempelhofer Feld and the City of Berlin. The open ground floor is fully glazed resulting in the illusion of a massive floating cube on the perimeter of the large open field of the former airport Tempelhof.