As adventurous as Humboldt himself:
The design by the architecture firm Hybrid Space Lab for the Berlin Palace.
Publication, Julia Weiss, Journalist @ Tagesspiegel, Berlin, 31 January 2023
As adventurous as Humboldt himself: The design by the architecture firm Hybrid Space Lab for the Berlin Palace.
Nothing but pavement, no access to the water and hardly any trees – the surroundings of the Humboldt Forum are not very inviting. Frans Vogelaar and Elizabeth Sikiaridi from the Berlin architectural firm Hybrid Space Lab want to solve the problem with a daring proposal. They have designed a new building to complement the palace, which they call the “Humboldt Volcano”.
It features a botanical garden through which visitors can reach a roof terrace. On the way, they pass pop-up restaurants. Native woody plants grow outside, exotic plants inside, even a waterfall rushes by, according to the design. “Alexander von Humboldt developed the idea that all of nature is interconnected and pioneered concepts of sustainability,” say the architects. “Today, the project that bears his name is devoid of any green space.”
The design is meant to be visionary. Hybrid Space Lab sees itself as a think tank and design laboratory. Their ideas have a very special appeal. The office already made a name for itself in 2016 with another design for the Humboldt Forum. Back then, they wanted to grow a “Humboldt Jungle” on the outer façade and transform the building into an enchanted palace. The feuilleton of newspaper “Die Zeit” asked: “Is this the salvation for the unpopular palace?”. The newspaper “taz” wrote of a “enchanting image”.
However, the architects themselves do not believe that their new idea will be realised soon. “The project does not have an expiry date and we are patient,” they tell the Tagesspiegel.
Great ideas just need time. Christo had to wait from 1971 to 1995 before he could cover the Reichstag.