London and Houston, Texas-based real estate firm Hines has announced that they selected Gehry Partners to design what could become the tallest tower in Berlin.
The Los Angeles-based firm lead by Frank Gehry, FAIA, beat out three other firms in the second round of a design competition that began in May of last year. With the exception of Gehry Partners, all of the finalist firms were based in Germany: Barkow Leibinger, Ingenhoven Architects, and Kleihues + Kleihues. Five other firms participated in the initial round of the design competition: London's Adjaye Associates, Miami's Arquitectonica, London's David Chipperfield Architects, and Prof. Kollhof Generalplanungs-GmbH and BE Berlin, both based in Berlin.
Slated to become the tallest housing tower in Germany, the 500,000 square feet, $340 million, 300 unit project will be 492 feet tall and will include a hotel. The Guardian's Philip Oltermann writes that city officials are hoping that the project will have a "Bilbao effect"—referencing Gehry's Spanish Guggenheim Museum—although the project is not without critics.