project area E1; model of "ALEXA" looking from the television tower (Stefan Müller, Berlin)
project development / investors:
Sonae Sierra / Foncière Euris
architect: José M. Quintela da Fonseca
winner of the architectural competition:
architect´s office Ortner & Ortner, Berlin / RTKL, Baltimore
office charged with realization:
office Franz Küng Gmbh, Berlin
building block / project area: E1
plot area: about 28,500 sq.m.
gross floor area (GFA):
about 160,000 sq.m. (incl. project areas E2-E4) and 1,600 parking lots in underground car park (E1)
gross leasable area (GLA): about 54,000 sq.m.
shopping and leisure centre with about 180 rentable units
total investment costs: 290 mio. EUR
start of construction works: autumn 2004
completion / opening: September 12th, 2007
History and building progress
Before World War II the development area E reaching up to Magazinstraße had been almost entirely covered by the mighty block of the Police Headquarters. Until 2004 the area was mainly used as a parking space.
In order to restitute the old historical connections to the square a framework for an urban strategy of this area was developed on the grounds of the International Competition for Urban Design Ideas - Alexanderplatz. In hopeful anticipation of the area to be the designated site for government and parliament buildings the area between Grunersteraße and Holzmarkt was planned to be divided up into smaller plots to be offered to foreign embassies or service enterprises. Later decisions with respect to the location of facilities belonging to a capital pointed, however, into the direction of the centrally located area between Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburger Tor or Tiergarten quarter respecitvely. Thus new concepts were necessary as to how to use and develop the plot. The ideas were developed on the basis of "Planwerk Innenstadt" which was thereafter specified at the same time.
In 1997, the plots of development area E were acquired by DEGEWO AG.
After many years of futile trials to develop the plots as small pieces of land to be sold to investors the Senate of Berlin was approached in 2002 by the Portuguese company Sonae Imobiliária to establish and operate (run) a shopping mall on the plot with a recreation and entertainment centre. Having examined the plan with respect to its applicability and possible integration into the neighbourhood the Senate Department for Urban Development finally approved the idea.
In 2003, the binding land-use plan I-B4d was especially constituted for the building area of "ALEXA" because the adjoining binding land-use plans I-B4a and I-43 did not cover the plot. Already at the end of 2003 the final building permission was given and in the meantime also the concerning plot had been sold to Sonae Imobiliária by the former property owner DEGEWO AG.
In October 2004, construction works have begun which started with the rehabilitation of the site from inherited waste and the excavation of the building pit (see also the progress of the construction works documented in the picture player). Since September 2007 the construction works for the five with each other connected buildings of the shopping and leisure centre are completed. Until the planned tower will be erected in a second building phase the therefore provided area in the northeastern corner of the project area will be designed as a spatious forecourt to the main entrance of the mall.
At Voltaire- / Dircksenstraße the mall will be enclosed by the future place "Ravelinplatz" (3,000 sq.m.).
On a total plot area of 28,500 sq.m. and a gross leasable area (GLA) of about 54,000 sq.m. the shopping and leisure centre ALEXA with manifold kinds of entertainment and leisure facilities will come into being. In a second building phase a 150 metres high office tower will be realized on the side near Alexanderplatz.
The concept of the shopping and leisure centre ALEXA is described as follows (source: Sonae Sierra):
"ALEXA is a shopping and leisure centre subdivided into various themes. The architectural design, supported by the use of art deco elements of the 1920s, recreates the tradition and easy-going era of Alexanderplatz in modern form.
The attractive mix of tenants will be presented in a clear structured way providing an exceptional shopping atmosphere. Thus ALEXA is planned to be more than an usual shopping mall and will be a new meeting point for Berlin and its guests. The Food-Court concept with a great variety of gastromic possibilities specially fitted to the customers as well as various entertainment features will create an unique atmosphere and a completely new retail and leisure experience for the visitors."
For more information to the project areas E2-E4 please see DEGEWO / GEWOBE.
Map of investors with project area "ALEXA" labelled
Model of "ALEXA" incl. projected office tower (photo: Holger Knauf, Düsseldorf)
View from the television tower onto project area E in October 2005
View from the television tower onto project area E in March 2007