Department store Kaufhof is the latest to propose a skyscraper over Alexanderplatz as at least two, 150-meter towers move toward construction, Berliner Zeitung reported on Nov. 21.
Kaufhof’s plans call for new construction alongside – but only minimally contacting – the department store, according to the paper. However, the design would so encumber nearby public areas that pedestrians would be funneled into a covered walkway, sparking regulators to reject the initial concept.
“I view this constriction of public space very critically,” urban planning official Regula Lüscher told the paper. Kaufhof is developing alternative concepts. “Its urban planning aspects will have to be discussed and reviewed by planning regulators.”
The tower is just one of nine foreseen by a master plan for the square that was created by architect Hans Kollhoff. The plan originally called for 10 skyscrapers but since none had been built, the government revised the plan in 2015 to cull one tower and retain more DDR-era buildings.
The owners of the nearby Hotel Park Inn, France’s Foncière des Régions (FdR), are also working with architects Sauerbruch Hutton to devise their own tower near their lodge. While the Kaufhof and FdR projects are in planning, only two other buildings are further along – a residential and hotel complex next to Saturn as well as a residential and retail skyscraper adjacent to the Alexa shopping center.
U.S. real estate investor Hines wants to build a twisting, golden 39-story building next to Saturn. The project was designed by star architect Frank Gehry and, according to Berliner Zeitung, was supposed to have broken ground two years ago. However, the BVG requires a deposit from builders above any of its facilities in case the construction disrupts service.
Both sides are still reportedly negotiating the size of the deposit.
Berlin architects Ortner + Ortner are also waiting to construct a similar 37-story building between Alexa and the bcc Berlin Congress Center. The project is being financed by Russian property investor MonArch and will have 32 floors of residential housing. Construction was delayed when MonArch tried to win approval for an even higher building but was denied by the district.