Kleihues + Kleihues: Zentrale des Bundesnachrichtendienstes in Berlin - best architects 18

Kleihues + Kleihues

Zentrale des Bundesnachrichtendienstes in Berlin

best architects 18

office/administrative buildings


Berlin / Germany


Kleihues + Kleihues


The new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Agency in the centre of Berlin is the largest public construction project in Germany since 1945. The special challenge was to carefully position the gigantic and functionally complex building on the site while taking into account the high security requirements and respecting the scale of the surrounding urban fabric. With its finely differentiated elaboration of a confident architectural idiom, the main building (with 260,000 square metres of gross floor area) is a striking feature of the cityscape that lends its setting a distinctive identity. This is achieved through the clever distribution of the volumes on the grounds to avoid long, interrupted façades, giving preference instead to alternating longer and shorter wings. The façades of the main building, which follow the principle of reduced details, are designed to be seen from a distance, from where they unfold a sculptural effect. Most façades have a curtain wall of matte-finished aluminium sheets, creating a contrasting, ever-changing appearance depending on the fall of light. Despite the considerable size of the building, it maintains a human scale and offers a pleasant workplace for some four thousand employees of the Federal Intelligence Agency. The building design naturally meets the requirements of »energy-efficient construction«.