Project DescriptionThe Freie Universität Berlin has recently been named one of the ten elite universities in Germany. To complete its facilities on the extensive campus in the southwest of the capital a competition was held in 2005. The winning Murphy/Jahn entry includes a 186 room hotel, separate 3000 sqm conference center, and an underground garage with 150 spaces.
The design is based on a clear and stringent geometry completing the rhythm of neighbouring university institutes. At the same time, the form is dissolved into two separate structures establishing a transition to the residential environment to the north of the site. A continuous roof structure establishes a “fifth” façade and spans as a trellis supported pergola over the yard. These “vertical green fields” grown in with wisteria give structure, rhythm and shelter to the urban outdoor space between the hotel and conference buildings.
The conference center establishes a presence to the major road to the north and functions as the primary access point. The hotel entry is located diagonally opposite on the southern end of the sloping site. The open landscape outside the yard is dominated by evergreen groundcovers and lavendel, bares any vertical elements and generates a view corridor toward the state museum.