Reestablishment of the Bauakademie Berlin as the National Building Academy
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The Bauakademie was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel as a symbol of Prussian virtues: a balance between tradition and future, a visualization of regional origins and local economics, necessitating economical and functional details, as well as prototypical and modest technical solutions, all combined into a harmonious classical form, embodying a universal cultural understanding.

Within the building volume of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's former Bauakademie that is to be constructed, national and international actors will find various frameworks in which they can present their visions and designs for cities, landscapes and architectural projects as well as for individual buildings, construction systems, processes and elements to an interested public.

Critical and visionary debates will be held in the Bauakademie on the interdependence between social developments as well as political processes and the built environment. Berlin's polyglot urban society and the capital of German politics form the socio-political background. The Bauakademie's events will themselves announce national and international changes. Schinkel's own ambition is a programmatic legacy for the new Bauakademie: the search for universal solutions in the areas of sustainability and the designed environment, and the related sciences.
It is in this sense that this series of exhibitions on Berlin 2050 would like to contribute to the public debate.

Spatial Concept
The present proposal takes Schinkel's Bauakademie as a structural and intellectual starting point, transferring this approach to the present day.

The main idea of ​​the design is to turn the building's public spaces – the foyer, the exhibition halls, the auditorium – into its core, and doing this in such a way that between this core and the outer rooms there is a naturally day-lit zone, which in turn serves as a circulation space. The former courtyard is thereby adapted into a contemporary atrium, interpreting the interior spatial effect for contemporary requirements. The exhibition halls will meet international conservation standards.

For the direct access to the building, as well as to the commercial units, the design proposes to place the entire ground floor at street level. Public access is afforded in a spacious and clearly understandable stairway. Visitors and users enter the new Bauakademie from Schinkelplatz on the building's central axis and reach the central foyer with the reception area passed the stairway. Two archaeological windows (one of which is also accessible from the south), the cloakrooms and toilets are located in the basement. Users look out onto the Schinkelplatz from the open stairway, the Schlossbrücke and the Altes Museum. The staircase is a tribute to Schinkel's staircase in the Altes Museum with its panoramic view over the Lustgarten and Schinkel's own projects.

At ground floor, the new Bauakademie and its fourteen commercial units will bring public space to life. A restaurant on the east side of the new Bauakademie contributes to the revival of the Werderscher Markt.

The exhibition halls are located on the first floor. From here, views can be had in all four directions. The large exhibition halls on the first floor with a total area of ​​1,300 m2 offer direct relationships to the surrounding area. The two-storey multi-purpose hall on the second floor with its surrounding gallery would be a place for lectures, discussions and receptions. The numerous seminar rooms arranged on the same floor together with the event hall would provide ideal conditions for conferences. Relatively independent of these, but also visually connected via a double-storey airspace, the offices and accommodations for fellows are on the third floor.

During the summer, the Schinkelplatz could be involved in events.

Functional Concept
The new Bauakademie will discuss fundamental questions of environmental design. This discussion takes place in the physical space with visuals, models and discursive events. The central activities of the new Bauakademie include the independent curating of at least two exhibitions a year (duration of three months) as well as the initiation and hosting of at least eight national and international conferences. Beside the Bauakademie's own program, the space could be rented to third parties. The rental income would be managed by the Bauakademie itself and would be used to finance its research, public relations and publication series. The commercial areas at ground level are used by independent operators and can function separately in time and space from the building academy. The archaeological window located at the edge of the building could also be made accessible outside normal working hours if required ("The Night of the Museums").

All in all, visitor numbers are expected to reach 240,000 a year (about four exhibitions @ 50,000, 150 events @ 300).

Operational Concept
The central challenge to the new Bauakademie will be, how it would gain its own independent reputation on a national and international level. If it becomes a place that can be rented by anyone, it would not develop its own profile, and that would not be consistent with the use of taxpayers' money.

The public thus has a right that the new Bauakademie acquires its own identity, which alone will provide it with the credibility to act on environmental issues in the interest and for the benefit of the general public to devote. In order to achieve and maintain this identity, the new Bauakademie needs an independent directorship that is disconnected from any political interference, presiding over an institution that is financially and personally adequately equipped. A newly founded, non-profit Bauakademie Foundation (with diversely invested capital) is to be so extensive in financial terms that the funds for the maintenance and operation of the building, its central activities (including exhibitions and events), as well as the staff salaries and tariff increases, Insurance, pensions, etc. would be covered.

Such a new building academy will require permanent staffing of five scientists / curators (including the directorship and a legal department); two persons in the area of ​​web presence / public relations / publications; two persons in the secretariat; four persons in the area of ​​building management / building services / leasing, and two persons in the human resources department.

Design Concept
The new Bauakademie, like Schinkel's original, is to be constructed as far as possible using solid, self-bearing brickwork. The facade elements (pilasters, openings) and window proportions will be adopted. The plastic effect of the neoclassical profiles and details would be interpreted in a modern way. In collaboration with contemporary visual artists, a facade relief program would be developed, which would give expression to the new content. New, contemporary systems such as elevators, air conditioners, multiple glazing of the roof above the event hall, would, of course, comply with the latest standards, but in principle would be based on Schinkel's architecture.

All in all, it is important to reinterpret the new Bauakademie in the spirit of Schinkel, thereby translating into today's language the original balance between fine details and monumental building configuration, between neoclassical elegance and the modern technology of its day, between order and flexibility.


Appendix

Summary of uses and areas
Institutes/offices 770 m2
Seminar rooms/Conference 535 m2
Multi-purpose hall/ incl. gallery 710 m2
Exhibition / Permanent Exhibition 1 300 m2
Foyer/Reception 445 m2
Shops/café/restaurant 1 315 m2
Other/Archive/Library/Fellows 665 m2
Archaeological window 190 m2
Services 445 m2
Coat facilities/Toilets 280 m2
Circulation 1 400 m2