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More room comfort and unlimited design options

The “taz, die Tageszeitung” daily chose a self-confident public image for itself in the form of the new Berlin head office. Designed by Swiss architects E2A, the building is destined to support a vibrant, non-conformist sense of individualism among the staff. Part of the concept hinges on fostering a workshop feel – AOS’s highly flexible Free Line room divider system assists ably in this context.The “taz, die Tageszeitung” is a national daily founded in 1978 firmly in the spirit of the leftist student protests in what was then West Berlin. In 1989, the publishing company, which had repeatedly been in financial distress, relocated to the immediate vicinity of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. There, in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, of late some 250 staff were housed in a building dating from the late 19th century and in a glass new build. Since both structures were bursting at the seams, the publishers acquired a plot between Friedrichstrasse and Besselpark in the nascent creative quarter, there in an effort to once again bring all the staff together under a single roof. In a wide-ranging architectural competition, the proposal submitted by Swiss architects E2A won the day, as it not only seemed to best fit the special taz spirit but was also persuasive in terms of urban planning.

The edifice boasts a striking mesh of diagonal steel struts that wrap around it. Thanks to this eye-catching measure, the very façade attests to the special load-bearing system involved. The characteristic diamond mesh made of galvanized steel is intended, so the architects, to bring to mind Vladimir Shukhov’s diagrid avant-garde radio tower while also emphasizing the flat hierarchies that apply inside the building. There, concrete and glass predominate. Because the load-bearing structure is placed on the periphery, in the interior spacious rooms prevail that can be configured at will. A full 13 meters deep, these spaces foster a workshop world that can be adapted as required. The architecture is destined to enable staff to create their own personal working environment – resulting overall in the vibrant world associated with the taz. In addition, in the loft-like rooms flexible acoustic solutions come into play that can be adapted specially to the staff’s particular needs. AOS’s ultra-light Free Line partition system guarantees not only first-class acoustics, but also structures rooms wherever required. The Free Line system wall panels feature upholstery either in the red used in the taz logo or in a grey tone that harmonizes ideally with the fair-faced concrete walls. With their noise-absorbent core, the elements function either as wall or desk dividers, are simple to use and completely flexible. In this way, swiftly changing workstation configuration is child’s play. As a result, the taz Verlagshaus offers a working environment that first took on final form once the staff had moved in – and has been in a state of permanent change ever since.


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