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Living par élégance at the Ministergärten, Berlin

Facts and Figures
Company PORR GmbH & Co. KGaA, PORR Spezialtiefbau GmbH
Principal MUC Areal Bau GmbH
Location Berlin - Germany
Type Commercial building, Residential construction
Runtime 07.2019 - 11.2022

B.Place city palace constructed by PORR near the Holocaust Memorial

PORR Hochbau Region East was commissioned by MUC Areal Bau  to erect a 30m-high stand-alone building with seven full storeys, one penthouse floor, and two basement floors with 100 parking spaces in one of Berlin’s most historic locations. PORR Spezialtiefbau was responsible for creating the construction pit. The 6,300m² of commercial and interaction space on the ground floor and 1st floor were handed over as a refined shell, and the 134 flats and penthouses in turnkey condition.  

“We brought all our experience in construction site organisation and construction logistics to bear on this project,” says Andreas Kimling, regional manager of PORR Hochbau Region East. It was essential to maintain a constant dialogue and close cooperation with the general contractor for the interior fit-out to ensure that the project met with the client’s satisfaction. In accordance with the state building regulations for high-rise buildings, the construction had to comply with exacting technical requirements and sound and heat insulation standards, which were important in achieving a high quality fit-out. 

Air-raid shelter remains found during the excavation work 

PORR Spezialtiefbau created the construction pit, which was up to 9.5m deep and enclosed with in-situ concrete diaphragm walls anchored in a single layer. Originally, the bottom of the pit was to be sealed by a 2m-thick course of natural marl.

However, as the retaining layer was not sufficiently thick in some areas, additional sealing bulkheads and 600m2 of jet grouted slab were constructed to reduce the risk of leaks. In view of the site’s location in the government quarter, the civil engineering work had been expected to yield underground finds. Remains of an air-raid shelter, which had already been noted in the subsoil report, were removed with the aid of large secant boreholes with a diameter of 880mm. Another, previously unidentified air-raid shelter was discovered during the excavation. This was also demolished following a historical assessment, and the area surrounding the construction pit was backfilled with liquid soil. 

Public city balcony opens up new vistas  

Once a fashionable residential area, later taken over by the public administration sector and, after the war, became part of the border zone between East and West Berlin, the historical site called for an architectural idiom that was both classical and modern. With its continuous facade and structured natural stone cladding, the design by Fuchshuber Architekten is reminiscent of Berlin’s historic city palaces. Above all, however, it is designed to offer space for people to meet, interact, and share their ideas and visions, which is why it also provides an appropriate infrastructure for visitors to the Holocaust Memorial. The main attraction is the city balcony, which is open to the public and offers an unobstructed view over the stelae that constitute the memorial, and an elegant café. A car-free zone in front of the building provides a quiet and pleasant ambience.