Keywords Change this

Digital Media

Project timeline

2013 – 2020



Location Change this

Axel-Springer-Straße 65
10888 Berlin

Current state


Architect Change this

Client Change this

Axel Springer Verlag


Article last edited by Bostjan on
October 19th, 2020

Axel Springer Campus Change this

Berlin, Germany
by Rem Koolhaas Change this
1 of 13

Description Change this

Axel Springer has launched a move from print to digital media. Its new building on the campus in Berlin acts both as a symbol and a tool in this transition - a building to lure the elite of Germany's digital Bohemia. Bisected by a diagonal atrium that opens up to the existing Springer buildings, the essence of the design is a series of terraced floors that together form a 'valley' that creates an informal stage at the centre - a place to broadcast ideas to other parts of the company.

The 300 million euro prototype has been created for a working world of the future, a city machine of the digital age as it did not yet exist. Super-slim pillars support the roof 45 meters high, terraces and balcony corridors hang far above the heads. The gaze is drawn to gigantic windows, which are folded in several ways, behind which the golden building of Axel Springer's first publishing house shimmers. Only the narrow Zimmerstrasse, which was once covered by the wall strip, separates the two houses.

Axel Springer Publishing

Axel Springer Verlag is a legend in German history, attacked, feared and admired since it was founded in Hamburg in 1946. In his speech, publishing director Mathias Döpfner interpreted the building that he initiated and agreed with Rem Koolhaas down to the toilet paper holder as a promise of a new media future that uses all technical possibilities at the same time. Right from the start, the publishing house also demonstrated its political aspirations architecturally: the first Springer high-rise, which began in 1950 in the middle of Hamburg's old town and inaugurated in 1956, is demonstratively Americanizing with its white modernism, while the golden Berlin Tower, which was handed over ten years later and built directly on the wall showed far into East Berlin that the publisher Axel Caesar Springer stuck to the ideal of a free society despite the ongoing crisis in West Berlin.

The Structure

Koolhaas' project, a 52,000 square meters of floor space is more than the Berlin Humboldt Forum and is built on an almost square plot of only 10,000 square meters. Up to 13 storeys were piled up, and the system stretches high over the classic Berlin eaves of the buildings adjoining to the north. But what is conveyed here in terms of urban planning, on the other hand, acts as a downgrading of the noble Springer high-rise: the Koolhaas building appears to be as closed as possible except for the huge wedge with the bulging southwest windows and a narrow strip of light to the outside, shimmering like a comet in metallic black. That a small park will be set up in front of the house, that the roof should also serve as a green area and that the publisher demanded that Zimmerstrasse be free from traffic there is no compensation.


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