Location of The Reichstag and it’s Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage System.

Fig.1 – A view above the Spree river and the Reichstag, Berlin, 1945. T
Fig.2 – Aerial view, Reichstag Building, Platz der Republik Square, Government District, Spreebogen, bend in the Spree River

Norman Foster is inspired by environmental design and with the Reichstag rebuild he designed the underground thermal energy storage. The original building comprised groundwater wells for direct cooling; however, the hydrochemistry was not addressed sufficiently, and the re-injection wells were clogged with iron after a short while, rendering the whole groundwater cooling system useless. He had the first concept drafted by Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, and Kaiser Bautechnik, Duisburg. Also the system was enlarged to cover not only the Reichstag building, but also the office buildings of the parliament planned in the vicinity.

The system comprises of two aquifers that are in different geological layers at different depth. In Quarternary sands in ca. 60 m depth an aquifer is used for storage of cold to cover summer cooling loads, and two sets of 5 wells each access that aquifer. Another aquifer in Lower Jurassic sediments (Hettangian and Lower Sinemurian) in about 320 m depth serves for storage of excess heat from CHP in summertime, to assist heating during winter. Here only 2 wells are required, and temperatures may reach up to 70 °C.

Fig. 3 – Schematic of the two ATES layers beneath the Reichstag building

This enables the building to burn renewable bio fuel – refined vegetable oil – in a cogenerator to produce electricity, a system that is cleaner than burning fossil fuels, which results in 94% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The hot water that is pumped up to heat the building drives an absorption cooling plant to produce chilled water.

Images

Fig.1 A view above the Spree river and the Reichstag, Berlin, 1945. T (2015) https://warthunder.com/en/devblog/current/754 (accessed 25.04.19)

Fig.2 Aerial view, Reichstag Building, Platz der Republik Square, Government District, Spreebogen, bend in the Spree River (2011) https://www.alamy.com/aerial-view-reichstag-building-platz-der-republik-square-government-image62038807.html (accessed 25.04.19)

Fig.3 Schematic of the two ATES layers beneath the Reichstag building (2016) https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Schematic-of-the-two-ATES-layers-beneath-the-Reichstag-building-13_fig2_309188865 (accessed 25.04.19)

Exercise 1.3: Precedent Research: History and Geography

After carrying out a physical critique of the Reichstag, I then carried out an analysis of its history and location.

Built in 1894, originally designed by Paul Wallot and built on the site of an old palace, it was used by the German Empire (1871-1918) and the Weimar Republic (1919-33). Feb 27th 1933 the building caught fire and bombing during the second world war led to neglect, in postwar years it led to further deterioration. In 1970 it had undergone partial restoration and became a museum of german history.

The Reichstag building was designed by Paul Wallot and built southeast of the meander of the Spree. After ten years of construction work, the final stone was laid by Kaiser Wilhelm II on 5 December 1894. The six-story complex in the style of the Italian High Renaissance covers an area of about 13,290 square meters, and its four towers are 40 meters high. “Dem deutschen Volke” (To the German people) was inscribed above the main entrance in 1916.

The events of 9 November 1918, when the Social Democrat and member of parliament Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the republic from one of the windows of the building, focused political attention on the Reichstag. The democratic constitution of the first German republic, passed in Weimar on 11 August 1919 by the National Assembly, expanded the parliament’s authority considerably.

The Reichstag building suffered heavy damage in bombing raids during World War II, and the fight to take the building continued until the very end. In 1955, the Bundestag decided to rebuild it, although without a dome, the original of which had been demolished in 1954 because it was structurally unsound. Renovation was carried out according to plans by Paul Baumgarten and not completed until 1972. The decorative figures that had been destroyed were not restored, and the façade was simplified. Despite the restrictions on use mandated by the Four-Power Agreement, parliamentary committees and groups met in the Reichstag building as often as possible. On 4 October 1990, the first parliament representing all of Germany and consisting of members of the Bundestag and former members of the GDR’s Volkskammer (People’s Chamber) met in the plenary chamber of the Reichstag building, followed two months later by the first sessions of the freely elected, all-German Bundestag beginning on 20 December 1990. (Berlin.de,s.d)

Although British Architect Norman Foster had won the competition he entered to design and rebuild the Reichstag, the German Parliament oversaw the decisions on the design. Originally, Foster’s design didn’t include a dome and a german architect proposed adding a reconstruction of the dome, which threatened Foster’s vision for the interior. He then began exploring ideas for what he came to call the ‘cupola’. He had originally planned a neutral palette of whites and greys, this was overshadowed by a politician who insisted on a bright colour scheme. Although Foster was faced with demanding and often contradictory clients, he took great pride in the outcome. He understood the importance of creating the design for the German people and he notes how important it is that both the public and politicians enter the building through the same entrance.

Norman Foster was inspired by environmental design. The cupola drives the buildings natural lighting and ventilation strategies. The centre light sculptor reflects horizon light down the chamber, while a sun shield tracks the path of the sun to block solar gain and glare. As night falls the process is reversed. The building burns renewable bio fuel – refined vegetable oil – in a cogenerator to produce electricity, a system that is cleaner than burning fossil fuels, which results in 94% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Surplus heat is stored as hot water in an aquifer deep below ground which can be pumped up to heat the building or to drive an absorption cooling plant to produce chilled water. (Foster & Partners, s.d)

Referencing

Berlin in Brief: The Reichstag Building https://www.berlin.de/berlin-im-ueberblick/en/history/the-new-berlin/artikel.453018.en.php (accessed on 16.04.2019)

Foster & Partners Fosterandpartners.com https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/reichstag-new-german-parliament/ (accessed on 16.04.2019)

Project 1: Context – Precedent Studies

A precedent study is research into a key interior that is an existing building and has been transformed for a new use.

Exercise 1.1: Choose an example from the list given and do some initial secondary research into the building and its interior.

My chosen building is the Reichstag (the new German Parliament building). After looking at all four building choices briefly, this building stood out to me more than the others, originally built to house the parliament of the German Empire. The fact that it was damaged during the second world war and then rebuilt fascinated me.

Just before the architects started the rebuild, it was wrapped in enormous strips of fabric by artists Christo and Jean-Claude (Jaimes,2018), this brings the history to a close and the start of new beginnings for the building itself.

Fig.1 Wrapped Reichstag by Christo and Jean-Claude

Images

Fig.1 Wrapped Reichstag https://www.archdaily.com/775601/ad-classics-new-german-parliament-reichstag-foster-plus-partners/56247593e58ecec3c4000350-ad-classics-new-german-parliament-reichstag-foster-plus-partners-photo (accessed on 05.04.2019)

Part Two: Research Context & Material

Excited to be moving on to my second assignment. I started by researching both William Morris and the Arts & Craft Movement and also Bauhaus and Modernism, why they came about and the influence they had on design. Here you will find an annotated picture map with my research which I found on the OCA online library, an article on My Modern Net a book by John Pile. Both very informative and the recommended resources were extremely helpful in understanding the change in movements.

Pile, 2005:267

Reflecting on my feedback for Assignment 1 – Exploring Principles and Theories

I have received formative feedback from my tutor with regards to my model assignment. It notes that it would be useful to reflect on the feedback and identify what I feel are the key themes and areas for development.

Overall I am doing very well, which I was extremely pleased with considering it was my first ever model making assignment. I need to document more frequently, which I do realise is something I need to do, I’m hoping with time it will become a habit. I’m also aware that whilst deciding on what to create for my final piece I was remembering how pieces of furniture were arranged within the room, how the windows were dressed etc., this I need to document more by taking more photo’s or drawing sketches, include this detail in my learning log to help me progress. This will then hopefully lead me to delve a little deeper into understanding age of finishes of furniture rather than guessing and liking the look of it. My tutor writes that I go on a creative journey through each exercise which he gets through my writing but he would like to see more graphic or modelled material to show this journey. I need to get into the habit of recording my work even if it needs improvement, it is still part of my learning journey. I also need to try to connect my evident feelings from a space to the choices I make, I will try to elaborate on my choices giving reasons for feeling that way.

Overall, I am pleased with my feedback and look forward to finishing part two.

Reflection

At the beginning of my journey I felt a little concerned as to how I was going to be able to capture the elements needed to create a model, I found it really exciting researching an interior and returning to the room to absorb areas within the room that I may not have noticed first time round. I was able to document what I saw but not necessarily how I felt about the room or how the room made me feel. As time went by and I kept returning to my learning log it gradually felt normal to write down my ideas and express myself in a way that I haven’t done before.

If I was to return to an exercise like this again I would be inclined to read ahead and remind myself to look at the interior and its furnishings in a way that would help me understand how the room makes me feel by listening to the sounds, detailing the smells and emotions to help me build a better picture to move forward.

All in all an excellent start to my Interior Design Course and looking forward to the next assignment.

Final 3D Model

Here is my final piece, a model that captures the atmosphere and/or experience of my chosen interior. Originally my idea was to suspend the tassel and feathers but after sitting it on the board I much preferred the way shadows are cast from different angles.

I have not found this task easy by any means but when you are told to think about how an interior makes you feel, how can you represent movement, smells, sounds, quality of light and shadow and ultimately the atmosphere, you have a chance to really look at furniture, soft furnishings, patterns, colours and creatively put together an abstract piece that is unique to your way of thinking, which for me ended up being quite enjoyable!

Model making

Over the weekend I sat at the table and collected my materials together to create my final model. It needed to capture the atmosphere and/or experience of the space that I have spent time analysing.

My end goal was to create a large tassel, using simple materials this process was fairly simple to do. Once I have added feathers to give the tassel a softer edge, I will suspend it by attaching the peg to a board. By using string such as this, it’s more rustic than wool, giving a sense of age, like my chosen interior. By adding feathers I’m hoping to give the model a softer, more calmer look and style. This process was a challenge at first but I have thoroughly enjoyed creating something that captures the atmosphere of my chosen interior.

Here is my final piece, a model that captures the atmosphere and/or experience of my chosen interior. I have not found this task easy by any means but when you are told to think about how an interior makes you feel, how can you represent movement, smells, sounds, quality of light and shadow and ultimately the atmosphere, you have a chance to really look at furniture, soft furnishings, patterns, colours and creatively put together an abstract piece that is unique to your way of thinking, which for me ended up being quite enjoyable!

Capturing Experience and Atmosphere through model making

After trying but failing at creating models I have read and re-read the brief for Assignment One. It’s really important that I remember the reasons why I felt calm when sat in the room, at what point did I feel that way? I felt a sense of calm immediately entering the room, it was silent and empty, the sunlight was flooding through two or three of the large windows, it smelt of history and stories of families spending quality time came to mind. Spending a bit more time thinking about the atmosphere in the room helped me with ideas of my final model. I intend to create a shape of calm that will suspend from the ceiling. Wish me luck!