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Architect Max Dudler has designed a new office building between Bremen’s central station and its old town on behalf of KPS Real Estate BahnhofstraSSe 1 GmbH & Co. KG. The new tenants moved into the building on 1 August 2014 after a three and a half year planning and construction period. The building’s distinctive design seeks to strike a balance between restraint and an urbanist statement.
Location: Bahnhofstraße 1, 28195 Bremen, Germany
Client: KPS Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG
Architects: Max Dudler with Dietrich Architekten + Ingenieure
Team: Malte Meyer, Katharina Penner, Moritz Schröder, Irina Stier, Sebastian Wolf
Photographs: Stefan Müller
“We wanted to create a solid design at Bahnhofstraße. No boastful gestures. No gimmickry. A building that emanates a certain calm and durability, but at the same time has sculptural qualities. A building that could really only be in this place,” Max Dudler said about the new Stadthaus building in Bremen. For this purpose, the Max Dudler office took a close look at Bremen’s architectonic tradition and particularly its expressionist period. The design uses and refreshes some of these themes.
The building takes up a prominent position on Herdentorsteinweg, which forms the main link between Bremen’s old city and the central station to the northeast. The site and its two neighbouring plots are not directly part of a city block, but separated from it by the narrow, angular Ferdinandstraße. The building’s shape was therefore conceived as a hybrid, being its own building, but at the same time forming a part of the block surrounding it.
The building is slightly taller than the surrounding blocks. It is further differentiated with regard to the neighbouring buildings. The building’s complex staggering relates to the differing heights of the city’s buildings. The facade covers the building like an abstract texture. Only in its details does it become manifest.
To emphasise the vertical the corners have been given a bevel that is repeated in the window reveals on a smaller scale. With regard to the building tradition of North German expressionism, which played a significant role in Bremen, the building – transcending its location in the spatial sense – is subtly anchored in history, but without denying its time of creation.
The window openings are floor-to-ceiling. The ceiling heights of the individual storeys relate to the staggered heights of the neighbouring buildings. The ground floor as a public space was provided with a greater ceiling height and opens onto the street with biaxial windows. This also contributes to the visibility of the very narrow Ferdinandstraße, which is now better connected to city life. Besides the premises of the PSD Bank Nord on the ground floor, the building complex provides office spaces in the upper floors.
The result is an urban building that blends in well with the neighbouring buildings, but at the same time sets a standard for the further development of the area with its modern interpretation of Bremen’s expressionism. Continuing the in-progress upgrade of the quarter around the station, the building complex has also created a landmark and point of reference.