In the heart of Berlin, the Estrel Hotel has already reached the status of being Germany’s largest hotel, and sees one of the highest turnover rates in the country. With Berlin’s new airport expected to open in the next year or two, the hotel has realized that they need to expand, and they are doing it by adding a 578 foot tower, with 814 rooms, which will not only make it the country’s tallest hotel, but the tallest building in Berlin.
The project, being called the “gateway to Berlin” has been designed by the German-American architectural firm Barkow Leibinger, also based in Berlin, after presenting their design against six other competing designers. What made this design stand out was how well the new structure integrated with the existing hotel.
Barkow Leibinger related their design to the Tangram children’s game as it is “organized into a series of extruded triangulated volumes of different sizes and heights mediating the tower into the low-rise surrounding neighborhoods. This cascading family of forms, from high to low-scaled, radiates to form two strong orientations: to the street side (Sonnenallee) and to the water side (Ship Canal). Functions are distributed into the different sized volumes including the hotel, an office building, park house, glass-roofed hotel entrance atrium, and the low-flat conference center.”
Construction is expected to begin late this year or early 2015 and will be completed within two years. Anyone taking bets on which will open first? This hotel or the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport?