Student Day at Berlin Decks

Developing existing buildings: Architecture students from Beuth University present their visions for Berlin Decks

The building complex on the Friedrich-Krause-Ufer has been in existence since 1887 - and even though it lacks heritage protection, parts of the architecture are certainly worth preserving. The site represents an opportunity to combine the old with the new, and not only for BEOS. A group of students from Berlin's Beuth University of Applied Sciences also had the opportunity to present their mock designs for future use.

"Along the Berlin Ring, there are still a great many partially and wholly unused areas that offer great potential for urban development," explains Mara Pinardi, a professor at the university. In her opinion, the location between the Ringbahn and the ship-ping canal, as well as the existing buildings there, made Berlin Decks the ideal location for her "Building in Existing Contexts" module, which Bachelor students imcomplete in their fifth semester. "The module teaches them the ability to engage with existing historical buildings and areas," says Pinardi.

Starting in October 2019, the aspiring architects worked in small groups on their concepts, met for viewing appointments on the site and reconstructed the history of the area using historical photos. "With the existing building, the challenge was to work with the different construction phases," says Pinardi, summarizing the task. At the beginning of February, the 39 students met on the BEOS campus for their final presentation where they presented their ideas using sketches, posters and models. The designs all shared a desire to respond to the needs of the modern workplace. So, in addition to offices, many students planned spaces for onsite childcare, libraries, workshops and canteens. Their models saw the area not only as a workplace, but as a space for community encounters.

"The generous support from BEOS was particularly important in handling the project," Pinardi adds in conclusion. The day ended in the greenhouse, which was set up as a temporary project space by Berlin agency Cee Cee Creative in one of the former warehouses. While enjoying drinks and snacks, the students had an opportunity to further exchange ideas and talk to BEOS employees.