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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Case study: cube berlin

Teamwork is key to double skin façade by Guardian Glass, which meets complex aesthetic and technical performance requirements of cube berlin.

Developed by CA Immo, cube berlin is an 11-storey office building, which is an excellent example of how innovative architectural design can be successfully combined with the complex technical requirements of an ‘intelligent’ commercial building.

Designed by 3XN Architects, cube berlin has a fully glazed, double skin ventilated façade not only meets the aesthetics required by the architect, but also meets the high structural and energy performance requirements. Due to the combination of glass used in the façade, the aesthetics are visually appealing, reflecting the building’s surroundings on all sides and dynamically changing its appearance depending on the viewing angle, weather and time of day.

Torben Østergaard, partner at 3XN and architect on the project comments: “Our initial idea was to sculpt the building so that it would enter a dialogue with the urban space, the surrounding buildings and life at Washington Platz… In order to make the building work as a sculpture on the square we were looking for reflective glass that emphasises the surface while also visually reflecting the surroundings. Our hope is that the design will prompt the question at by-passers ‘What’s actually going on here?’ and maybe even evoke a sense that the building is actually flirting a little bit with you.”

Another important design element was to maximise natural daylight for the building’s occupants. As Torben Østergaard states: “As the floor plates are rather deep, we were aiming at a fully glazed façade, not only to produce the best possible daylight conditions but also to allow for the particular feel of floor-to-ceiling windows that offer great outside views.”

The project also stands out due to its high level of commitment to environmental sustainability. The ventilated double skin façade was a crucial factor. As well as being a natural daylight provider, the façade also offers effective protection against (solar) heat gain, while allowing occupants to benefit from natural ventilation.

Matthias Schmidt, Head of Development at Investor CA Immo states: “The façade design is very energy efficient and together with a clever technical concept that includes regaining energy from heat, adds up in total to an effective energy solution that negates the common idea that glass buildings are severe energy spenders.”

Torben Østergaard: “Façade designs of this character often meet technical issues that challenge the initial design intent. However, in this case, it’s been a win-win because the technical performance of the façade in terms of energy control goes hand-in-hand with the architectural aspirations.”

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