DZ Bank, Berlin Branch

The Berlin branch offices of the DZ Bank is one of the most interesting buildings from Frank O. Gehry. Rigid building regulations for the centre of Berlin ruled out the possibility of a sculptural shell like that in Bilbao. This 'typical Gehry trademark' is therefore located in the atrium: a glass, airship-like roof and expressive built-in features contrast with the strictness of the solid building structure.

A row of elegant apartments are located in the rearward wing of the Pariser Platz office block. The character of the building is deeply influenced by the high-quality materials such as the Oregon Pine panelling.

The lighting designers from a-g Licht in Bonn have grappled with the lighting design of the atrium both under daylight and twilight conditions. To make optimum use of the daylight the interior façade is stepped. The floor of the perimeter gallery is made of white translucent glass elements and this is beneficial as additional light for the offices in the basement levels.

At night, the dramatic lighting of the spectacular room and its high-quality materials comes to the fore. Spotlights on the eaves add lighting accents, while grazing light emphasises the vertical lines. Low-voltage halogen lamps are used to bring out the true colours of surfaces such as the interior facade of Oregon Pine.

The building's basement level accommodates the 'Forum' and 'Casino' areas which are also used for public events. A second glass membrane closes them off from the atrium. It is here that specially made ERCO double spotlights with halogen lamps illuminate an unusual piece of artwork: a cloud-type formation made of opalescent, molten glass tubes - a work of the American artist Nicolas Weinstein.

A real eye-catcher in the atrium of the DZ Bank is the conference hall. A stainless steel skin envelops the amorphous shape, whereas the insides are panelled with reddish wood. Uplights bring this natural surface to life, while double-focus downlights mounted in the stainless steel shell ensure glare-free light on the work surfaces.

Pariser Platz 3
D-10117 Berlin
Telephone 030-20241-0

The foyer is accessible to the public..

Technical data:
Floors (above ground): 5
Year (of completion): 1999
Total floor area: 16,000 m² / 172,224 ft²

Web-site of the lighting designer:

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