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Berlin fire and police headquarters , Berlin

An award-winning extension for police and fire brigade headquarters

As a result of the move of the German Government to the centre of Berlin, the new police and fire brigade headquarters was commissioned to be built adjacent to the new chancellery.

The new complex has a total area of almost 7.000m2 and consists of an L-shaped masonry building dating from the imperial era (about 1870) and a new extension designed by Sauerbruch Hutton architects. The project has won several design awards.

Existing structures will continue to be used as offices and new buildings will include space for fire engines, communications and control equipment and additional offices.

Sauerbruch Hutton’s addition is a colourful, luminous structure that appears to float off the ground in front of the existing 19th century building. The base is recessed and provides covered parking for police and fire brigade vehicles.

The façade of the new addition is composed of a playful mix of large coloured glass shingles. The majority of the shingles are red and green, symbolic of the green used by the police and the red used by the fire brigade. The red and green also refer to the contrast between the 19th century red brick building, which is set among many lush, mature green trees.

As the entrance is set 6m below street level, far away from the main road, visitors must approach the building across a new footbridge.

The linking of the two buildings and the entrance to the main garage is by a new staircase penetrating into the south west façade of the existing building. The existing light well in the historic building was extended to include a new spiral staircase and lift shaft.