In 2018, Snøhetta participated in the competition for the Highrise Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany. Inspired by the idea of tower and plinth that are unified by a diaphanous veil-like facade, the design emerges like a singular silhouette against Berlin’s urban skyline. The façade’s diffusive design, and a series of green roof balconies, allow air and light to penetrate the building, creating a pleasant living experience for future tenants, residents and visitors.
Snøhetta’s design proposal outlines plans for a rational building, but with a soft, luminous feel. The veil-like facade provides soft light to both office and retail spaces and apartments. The tower gently leans to the North-East corner, anchoring the building to the ground while preserving a maximum amount of views towards the iconic Fernsehturm. The South-West corners of both the tower and plinth are lowered towards the historical public square Alexanderplatz, establishing visual connections between rooftop garden and the prominent public plaza.
A series of green roof balconies mark a continuation of the green spaces below and create an oasis-like feel between veil and tower. The rooftop of the plinth gently splits into an open-air roof garden facing onto Alexanderplatz, creating a beautiful amenity for its many users while also introducing a new, innovative high-rise to the Alexanderplatz and the city of Berlin.
In the transition zone between veil and tower, several green spaces emerge to create a soft landscape in the concrete context and inviting the public to interact with the residential courtyard while also providing views through the opening in the Southwest façade. This natural zone radiates out from the central courtyard, spilling outwards both onto openings on Alexanderplatz and the main street in the North.
While retail spaces naturally occupy the first floor, offices are situated at the highest level of the building, creating both a public and a private sphere.