Ampere . Listed industrial building becomes co-working space

Stage 1 - 6 . HOAI
Size NFA/sqm: 
Berlin . Germany
Preserving history

Project Pager

As an urban entity and prime example of German industrial architecture from the 1920s, the old Humboldt substation is well known in Berlin’s residential district of Prenzlauer Berg. This imposing brick building designed by Hans Heinrich Müller is currently undergoing a careful revitalization and transformation in keeping with its listed building status. It will be a challenging task because the historic shell of the building needs to be retained, past restoration mistakes need correcting and the complex interior is to be expanded into a multifunctional and popular creative centre. Civil engineering of the highest quality is required. The new structure will be a place for the international tech industry to exchange ideas and will breathe life back into this long disused building.

Arranged in the form of a campus, its centre will offer microlofts and co-working spaces, community spaces and drop boxes for food deliveries and will have everything the creative heart desires - and, of course, all this under one roof. The existing structures of these charming, industrial spaces will be remodeled and updated with new elements like a collage. Filigree supports in the hall that formerly housed the phase shifter form a framework into which ceilings and furniture are integrated. The new grids break up the hall-like character of the interior making it livable.

Open staircases lead to airy gallery levels adorned with work spaces. The former transformer rooms will now be used to house smaller temporary accommodation units. The round control room in the heart of the building will retain its old control panels and be transformed into an inspiring meeting room. Piece by piece, this 5,500-sqm area will be turned into a lifestyle project featuring modern design, the latest technology and cutting-edge content which preserves the electric spirit of the place.


Preserving history is, in our view, a process of restructuring, of creating a new experience of the old. Ask me about it.

Peter Buche . Project Architect