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Archive: IBA Berlin 2020

Sleeping Giants – A new future for XXL buildings

Not only in Berlin, but in many other cities and metropolises the future of large buildings is discussed that are no longer being used and have become vacant. This not only applies to industrial buildings alone, but also to office buildings, public swimming pools, hospitals, department stores, airports, schools and churches. Some of them are considered old "burdens", but many are landmark buildings or even architectural icons of their period. Therefore, these sleeping giants have a large impact on the identity and image of neighbourhoods and entire cities.

Their regeneration and revival can give an important impetus for a lively synthesis of uses and users in the surrounding urban areas. Thus, Berlin views these "XXL buildings" as an important source of potential for the city, one which requires special attention. The real estate market is only interested in them to a limited extent.

Could, however, creative forces, the commitment of players, cultural strategies, and ideas on ways of boosting energy efficiency and architectural development contribute to them being appreciated again? The event highlights the opportunities and limits of an architectural and functional reinterpretation. A look at the wide range of international examples – new utilization concepts, innovative constellations of players and alternative financing options – should inspire and stimulate a discussion on the future of Berlin’s "sleeping giants".

Diskussionsrunde; Raumlabor (c) Thomas Rustemeyer
Sleeping Giants – A new future for XXL buildings; Illustration: Rustemeyer


23 November 2011
  • Senate Building Director of Berlin Regula Lüscher
  • Carsten Venus, Blauraum Architekten
    From the church to the municipal swimming pool – An Overview
  • Winy Maas, MVRDV, Rotterdam
    Opportunities for architectural and functional reinterpretations
Examples from home and abroad
  • Wohnhochhaus Lyoner Str. 19, Frankfurt am Main
    Gisbert Dreyer, G. Dreyer Planungsgesellschaft mbH
  • Angel Building, London Islington
    Wade Scaramucci, AHMM Architects, London
  • Lingotto Fiatwerk, Turin
    Dr. Paola Virano, Leiterin des Stadtplanungsamts, Stadt Turin
  • NDSMWerft, Amsterdam
    Eva de Klerk, Projekt und Konzeptentwicklerin
  • Stadtregal, Ulm
    Volker Jescheck, Hauptabteilungsleiter Stadtplanung Umwelt Baurecht, Stadt Ulm
  • Ehemaliges Senf Laboratorium, Dijon
    Fokke Moerel, MVRDV, Rotterdam
  • Kaapelitehdas / Nokia Kabel Fabrik, Helsinki
    Pia Ilonen, Architecture & Design Talli Ltd
  • Vanessa Miriam Carlow, COBE and Dr. Sonja Beeck, Kassel University
    where the big things are // picture safari to the sleeping giants of Berlin
  • Senate Building Director of Berlin Regula Lüscher
    Closing remarks
  • Moderation: Dr. Jürgen Tietz, freier Journalist

Villa Elisabeth

Event management
Tel.: 030 21403195

Senate Departement for Urban Development and the Environment
Werkstatt – Baukultur, Kommunikation, Oberste Denkmalschutzbehörde
Am Köllnischen Park 3
10179 Berlin

Graphic design:
chezweitz & partner
Illustrations: Thomas Rustemeyer
Photo: Volker Kreidler