GSW Headquarters

The GSW a major company in residential and commercial property headquarters in Berlin is designed by Suaerbruch  Hutton in 1999 the renovation of the GSW Headquarters, the new design features a curve, high-rise structure and a touch of colour to the city. The original high-rise is remembered as one of the more successful rebuilding projects also the tallest high-rise building after World War 2. The curved building mostly made of  natural resources contains pink and red coloured blinds that add a touch of colour to the unified city in theme with 1950’s architecture.

SuaerBruch design’s features a sense of functional and conscientious design recognised for his use of colour and curvilinear forms. His other designs include –

KfW Westarkade (2010) Frankfurt


Cologne Oval Offices


Photonic Centre, Berlin


The GSW Headquarters are located just 250m away from the iconic war landmark Check Point Charlie, the building takes its place as part of the urban cultural skyline in Berlin, the bold colours act as a symbol of optimism in one of the most heterogeneous areas of Berlin. Suaerbuch’s designs use the Natural colour system. This system uses references cards to match the correct colour scheme based on the colour percept’s of human vision so white, black, red, yellow, blue ,green which helps an individual predict the matching colour. The red/orange blinds in the GSW Headquarters stand out from varied mix of old and new architecture in Berlin city centre.

‘We like to use ecological aspects of buildings as design generators. For example, the west façade of GSW Headquarters, being the most obvious ecological building element, is where we concentrated the colour. Here the colour and depth of the façade and the movement of the shutters give the building legibility, idiosyncrasy and certain sensuality’

The building is fitting with the logic of the Baroque street plan and 19th century urbanism; also it looks like office tower which was usually for the Berlin skyline when it was first built. It registers the conflicting space between the other high-rise buildings either side of the Berlin wall. It acts a model for urbanisation in Berlin. The red and pink make the building instantly recognisable; this was the first thing that caught our attention whilst exploring Berlin. The building itself is energy and economical friendly built of mostly environmental resources.

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Refs (4/03/13) (4/03/13)  (4/03/13)

 Ruth Heavey

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