Berlin City Entrance West


2023 -


Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen Berlin


Berlin, Germany


Mixed Use


66.5 ha


Competition Dialogue with 8 Teams,
Urban Framework Plan & Vision 2040


Hosoya Schaefer Architects

Burckhardt Architektur
IBV Hüsler


Bloom Images


The West City Entrance currently consists of individual, separated subareas reminiscent of O.M. Ungers’ concept of unplanned city archipelagos, surrounded by leftover spaces. The concept of the Westkreuz Urban Lagoon envisions and designs these open spaces and their edges along with the building islands in a positive sense as a lagoon – a continuous open space into which the city archipelagos are integrated as compact urban islands, elegantly connected through passages.

Compact, dense urban bodies as island-like structures with shaded open spaces and a fine-grained mix of uses – akin to the city of Venice – stand in contrast to large, green open spaces – in Venice, this is represented by water. This also creates an exciting spatial contrast.

The continuous open space functions as a sponge for the neighborhoods, retaining water during heavy rains. In the sense of the lagoon, this water also becomes a natural part of the open spaces and building designs.

The continuous open space enables optimal climatic ventilation and, in conjunction with the large railway tracks, facilitates the influx of cool air.

There is a unique mode of transportation within the lagoon – just as boats are used in Venice, in the urban lagoon, people move around using bicycles or small autonomous shared taxis that do not use the city street network but instead share the bicycle infrastructure (so-called “lagoon mobility”). Upon arriving in the neighborhoods, one must switch to lagoon mobility, similar to Venice.

Connections and bridges gain special significance – the access must strategically network the islands. The pathways become a sequence of spaces staged both urbanistically and naturally, with bridges turning into places to linger, and necessary embankments being upgraded to drought-resistant landscape dunes or sun meadows.

With the guiding idea’s strong focus on new car-free mobility, dense, livable neighborhoods, and simultaneous consideration of urban climate and ecological priority spaces, we see the opportunity to transform the current infrastructure landscape with its strong separating effect into a neighborhood of diverse quarters. These quarters would form spatially and atmospherically distinct neighborhoods but, through intensive and intelligent networking, would overcome many barriers, integrate them invisibly, or even make them a prominently designed element of the neighborhood identity – intertwined close-knit communities, surrounded by greenery and tracks.



Zürich office

Flüelastrasse 10, 8048 Zürich, Switzerland (Google Maps)
T. +41 43 243 6313 F.

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Kyoto office

Jimukinoueda bldg. 603, 21 Sakaicho, Gojo-Takakurakado, Shimogyoku, Kyoto 600-8191, Japan
T. +81 75 744 1503