In this study the developers asked for more than a design proposal. They aspire to create a flagship project, which will determine their sustainability strategy for future projects. Our study evolved around the term ‘Biophilia’, coined by philosopher Erich Fromm:

“a passionate love for life and everything living; it's the wish to support growth, no matter if that of a human or a plant, an idea or a social group”

Our application of Biophilia as design principle for building development proposes managing the intersecting life cycles of the individual units and the building, as well as the social dynamic through the mix of usage. It is an approach, which attempts to create and sustain value by involving social design in the planning process. In other words, sustainability is viewed not only as a matter of resources, but also in terms of community.

What comes short in most models of sustainable building is a general consideration for the successful operation of the project in the long term. Sustainability certificates such as BREEAM, LEED, or the German DGNB offer a good set of tools to begin with. The way their criteria are implemented into the planning process though, is by way of integrating them into checklists alongside all other technical criteria. They are then treated as such and executed as efficiently and cost effective as possible, often missing their target as an end result. In order to achieve truly sustainable, long-lasting value, especially when dealing with existing buildings, we believe that planning should go a step further.

The design should subject to an ongoing value engineering process with varying parties involved at each stage of the project. The mix of usage is aimed to create a balanced coexistence, with positive synergy effects between users. It should be monitored within the first years of operation and if proven successful kept on when tenants change. Finally, a documentation of all personnel necessary to uphold functionality of the building should be made. Long term agreements are to be set up with contractors, facility management and agents for the curation of its event locations.

To be integrated into a neighborhood, a building must design a part of the neighbourhood. To become relevant and vibrant, a project must strive to enable life in all its facets.

Mitarbeit: Marie Gerhard, Xabier Cabanas, Nomundari Munkhbaatar

Visualisierungen: Anna Gassner

Paul Lincke Ufer

Reuterkiez, Berlin

in Bearbeitung


7.300 m²

12 Mio. €

6.600 m²

micro apartments: