Holzmarkt Betriebs GmbH
Text description provided by architect.
Until the early 19th century, the Holzmarkt area on the river Spree was a central lumber port for Berlin.
It later became a border zone of the GDR, a vacant brownfield after reunification, and from 2003, home to the legendary techno club Bar25.
In 2012, this gave rise to “Holzmarkt 25”, a cooperative cultural quarter with a concert hall, a club, recording studios, restaurants, and many small kiosks and huts serving the public waterfront and drawing around 500,000 visitors every year.
With the new Haus 2+, the first all-timber building enters the stage: its progressive design and P commitment to sustainability set a clear statement amidst this seemingly improvised patchwork of buildings.
Fully clad in bright red wood, the three-storied addition marks the main entrance to the area. Its complex and curvy shape is composed of simple geometric volumes that offer individual room layouts for its diverse tenants – the 200 square meters are shared by a bakery and a tattoo studio, a booking agency and an artist, a photo studio, and a physiotherapist.
A tight budget and a small footprint required maximum space and resource efficiency. Therefore, architects Moojin Park and Ben Scheerbarth used what was available on site:
Like a “friendly parasite,” Haus 2+ shares the exterior stairwell of the neighboring concert hall, eliminating the need for its own CO2-intensive space for circulation.
It uses an existing basement as a floor slab and the district heating station inside as the main energy source. Its roof terrace integrates with Holzmarkt’s sequence of open arcades, bridges, and balconies.
Haus 2+ combines three timber construction systems. Internal walls are from mass timber, slabs from timber box elements, and exterior walls from timber frames, all clad with a timber façade.
Regionally prefabricated and screwed instead of glued, all components can be disassembled, segregated, and reused with little effort. In keeping with the cradle-to-cradle principle, the Haus 2+ echoes Holzmarkt’s roots – a trading port for wood.