Built on tradition: how past and future merge at Berlin Decks

By the beginning of the 20th century, Berlin had become the largest industrial hub in Europe. Within a few years, the city had transformed into a test lab for the future of urban life – the epitome of a networked world where industry and culture went hand in hand. "Spree-Chicago" and "Elektropolis" became its nicknames. Fast forward nearly a hundred years and Berlin is once again a playground for young companies and new technologies. The historic buildings of the past now offer a space for the cutting edge.

Situated on the northern edge of Moabit, Berlin Decks proves just how much creative potential there is in the past. The area first became a place of the industry back in 1912 when the Thyssenkrupp Group built a brick administration building, a structure which has occupied the site ever since. Other manufacturers settled in the area, including Saxony porcelain, AEG light bulbs and Borsig steam locomotives. Today BEOS is revitalizing the area along the Spree canal, drawing on and developing this industrial heritage in a responsible and thoughtful way. With the site’s historical identity and innovative heritage as a backdrop, a new space for companies to experiment is taking shape. Berlin Decks combines classic office setups with flexible co-working spaces, all sited in a campus architecture that offers ample green space to escape.


Where their condition permits, buildings are being completely renovated and brought up to the latest efficiency standards. The basic structure of the Thyssen building with its high ceilings is being retained, as is the façade, which has been fitted with new windows. Inside you can find some historic features: located on the ground floor is an original fireplace lounge which can be used for conference meetings and an entrance area with a light-filled ceiling that serves as a reminder of the building's almost 100-year history. The extension of the upper floor, which will include the renovation of the building’s original roof, will create a light-flooded office space with a view of the Spree canal, an idea developed by architecture students of faculty IV at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences, who presented it as part of their "Building in Existing Contexts" study module.

Berlin Decks is more than just an industrial site with some office space. It’s a place for knowledge transfer and cooperation that will bring together traditional companies, start-ups and workshops in one place. And Thyssen – the company that settled there at the very beginning – is moving back in the summer. Together we are shaping the world of tomorrow where future and past intertwine.