Cube Berlin: Reimagining Geometry
In the heart of Berlin, the Danish architectural firm 3XN has created Cube Berlin, reinterpreting the cube shape anew. The external dimensions of the building are equal in all directions – that is, a cubic form. But its surface is thought outside the box.
Cube Berlin is situated right next to the main train station in the German capital. Here at Washingtonplatz, the office building echoes its surroundings in prism-shaped patterns, offering passersby a transformed mirrored image of themselves and the life around them. The surrounding historical Berlin landmarks are also reflected in the facade’s many angles, casting new kaleidoscopic light over the surroundings.
Not a Greenhouse
When a building is completely clad in glass, there is often a risk that it will act like a greenhouse on hot days – a sauna in the sunshine. But Cube Berlin meets strict energy efficiency standards with its special design. The facade consists of an outer layer of glass and an inner layer of thermally insulated glass.
Between the two layers of glass, a cavity is created, varying from 30 cm to over 2 meters in width – depending on the angle of the facade’s triangular mirror facets. This allows for natural ventilation, ensuring that the building does not become an excessive heat box on sunny days.
At first glance, it’s not visible, but the facade of Cube Berlin has several outdoor terraces. On all four sides of the building, elongated balconies are wedged into the prism-shaped mirror surface. Additionally, there is a large rooftop terrace that forms a communal area for people in the building.
Cube Berlin has its own app, which allows users to customize and control functions such as indoor heating and cooling, access control via facial recognition, maintenance, reservation of parking spaces and meeting rooms, charging of electric cars and bicycles.
Through the users’ behavior, Cube Berlin “learns” and continuously adapts. This results in a building that constantly adjusts itself in relation to indoor climate and energy consumption. The idea is that the building and its users operate in synergy, ultimately making the building better for people and the planet.
Near Cube Berlin
Cube Berlin is located at the southern end of the so-called Europacity master plan, which is a growing urban area by Berlin Hauptbahnhof – the central train station in Berlin. From here, other central locations in the city are easily accessible, whether on foot, by bike, or public transport. A bit south is the Reichstag Building, which houses the German parliament. A short walk from there is the Brandenburg Gate, the famous, and only preserved, city gate to Berlin.