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Interior view with view of the existing uncovered structure.; Interior view with view of the existing uncovered structure.;

Pharmaceutical Campus Retrofit, Berlin

Transforming a Berlin industrial icon into a modern working environment

This pharmaceutical campus from the beginning of the 1970s is one of the most emblematic health care buildings in the German capital. Movement was a key design consideration at the time and can be seen in the architectural emphasis on the vertical access routes, such as staircase and pull-out towers, as well as the bridge buildings for horizontal access. The façades and the interior design evoke aviation motifs, with a palette of materials including mainly steel, aluminium and plastic.

Driven by a need to modernize the site, the current owner has been carrying out an extensive refurbishment. As a key link between the campus buildings, the three-storey pedestrian bridge was updated as a steel framework construction. With a total surface area of around 4,000m², the bridge building also houses about 40 offices and conference rooms as well as a central changing area for the laboratories.

Bridge pavilion: Renovating the steel structure

The bridge pavilion, originally built to a very high spec, was renovated in several phases during ongoing operation. Spanning 80 m and with a width of 16 m, the bridge building also acts as the base of the skyscraper and therefore classified as one, requiring a range of special solutions from our architects and engineers to protect the steel structure against fire. For example, the entire steel structure was coated with several fireproof treatments to achieve the fire resistance class required for the overall stability of the building. We developed almost all construction-related solutions specifically for the building and validated them with an independent opinion from a fire protection expert.

Project Summary

1970 year of construction

4,000total surface area

80mspanning of the bridge pavilion


Visualisation of the campus with the bridge building. Visualisation of the campus with the bridge building.
The three-storey bridge pavilion with a total length of 80m connects the two main buildings.

Energy savings: optimising the building envelope

While the façades on the office floors contain stainless steel elements, the lower entrance building is made of structured concrete. Our energy and sustainability consultants worked to optimise the building envelope, endeavouring to meet with Germany’s strict energy standards code. The range of façade solutions include new insulation and sealing and the installation of new windows. The high-quality aluminium cassettes were individually removed, cleaned and reassembled to their original overall appearance. The flat roof, laid out as a green deck, was also renovated and expanded into a walk-in green roof with seating and resting areas.

Integrating state-of-the-art technology

Floor plan corrections with new elements and technical systems allowed for the creation of modern and spacious rooms offering maximum user comfort, with an optimised access concept and improved lighting and sound insulation. The style of the new rooms reinterprets the building’s existing design language to deliver a bright, high-quality working environment with a range of multi-functional rooms and zones catering for both solo and group work. Our newly designed heating and cooling concept facilitates temperature control during the summer months via cooling ceilings. We also designed measures to upgrade and improve the sound insulation, including longitudinal soundproofing ceilings to improve reverberation across offices and conference rooms.

Holistic planning services

We were involved in this comprehensive renovation project with an interdisciplinary planning team. Aligned with our integral planning approach, which we call "Total Architecture", we provided interdisciplinary construction and planning services ranging from architectural and engineering design to integrated management and consulting services. In addition to engineering and architectural services for the planning of the refurbishment as well as site management, we also provided project management services and complex stakeholder management.