Thursday, 31 August 2023
A significant step was taken yesterday on the Bötzow site in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin: the topping-out ceremony was held for the first two of a total of four planned new buildings. The event marks an important milestone in an ambitious master plan. Around 300 people from politics and business, construction and neighbourhood gathered for yesterday's celebration.
In 2010, Professor Hans Georg Näder purchased the 24,000 m² grounds of the former Bötzow brewery on Prenzlauer Allee. The restoration of the original urban planning idea – the combination of work and leisure, public and private – is to transform the site into a new public meeting place for Berlin.
“The topping-out ceremony for the first new buildings on the Bötzow site is a milestone that further advances our vision of a vibrant and lively neighbourhood,” said the client, Professor Näder during his speech. ”History is reflected in this place as much as the prospect of an innovative future.”
Transformation with top staff – Chipperfield implements master plan
The transformation of the site is planned and implemented by the renowned architectural firm David Chipperfield Architects Berlin. It began with the restoration of the existing parts of the building in line with conservation practice, paying special attention to the historical substance. Its industrial character has been preserved as part of the identity of the Bötzow site, and the existing resources are used through conservation. The historical ensemble is complemented by four new buildings that reflect the earlier construction. The mixed use of the site and the interplay of the old and new buildings with public spaces opens up the site to urban space.
“Like so much in Berlin, the Bötzow brewery is a testimony to the city's complex history. Much of this history can still be felt on the site today. We share a vision with Professor Näder of letting the site continue to exist as an identifiable location and reintegrating it into city life again,” says David Chipperfield, founder of the architectural firm of the same name.
The first new building, which will make an innovative contribution to the urban development of Berlin after the project is completed, will offer flexible office space on 7,000 square meters. Completion is planned for the end of 2024/beginning of 2025.
Governing Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegner says: “The Bötzow site is an impressive example of modern urban development. Here, Berlin history and modernity merge harmoniously, creating a new home for innovative companies, creative designers and lively city life in Prenzlauer Berg. The Bötzow site is attractive for everyone who will work and live here, as well as for the neighbours of this new piece of Berlin. I would like to thank Professor Hans Georg Näder, the architects and builders, for their impressive work and the design of this extremely important urban space in Berlin. May the work continue without accident or complications until completion. All the best for the topping-out ceremony!”
“Human empowerment” in the heart of Berlin
As an international medical technology company, Ottobock and its wheelchair development department as well as employees from marketing and communications have been based at the Bötzow site since 2018. In recent years, the company’s representative office in the capital city, which is owned by Chairman of the Board Professor Hans Georg Näder, has grown to include additional departments and a patient care clinic focused on international patients, as well as a social content studio. Around 100 employees now work for the "human empowerment company", located in the heart of Berlin.
Prof. Näder: “Berlin is international, passionate and full of life, so it’s the ideal place for our creative think tank. This is where we are continuing to advance the digitalisation of our industry. Together with our tech hubs, the excellence centres and our patient care businesses, we have built up a strong competence cluster in Europe that lets us implement innovations, from the initial idea to the treatment of our users.”
Picture credit: (c) Marion Schönenberger
from left to right: Steffen Müller, Projektleiter Dreßler Bau / Kai Wegner, Governing Mayor Berlin / Hans Georg Näder, Owner of Ottobock and chairman of the board / Bernd Kemmerling, Project manager Bötzow Berlin / Harald Müller, Partner of David Chipperfield Architects Berlin / Heiko Panzner, Polisher of Hentschke Bau