The cornerstone for the John F. Kennedy Haus was laid today, marking 50 years since Kennedy's famous declaration to Berlin and its citizens ("Ich bin ein Berliner") and the anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. Senate construction director Regula Lüscher presided.
With the traditional three blows of the hammer, Regula Lüscher, Alina Heinze (museum director, THE KENNEDYS), Moritz Auer (Auer+Weber+Assoziierte) and Henrik Thomsen (head of CA Immo Berlin) laid the foundation for the building, expressing their hopes for a construction process without incident.
In her welcome address, Regula Lüscher emphasised the building's significance for urban planning, the development of Europacity and the entire area around Berlin's main railway station: “No freedom without rules,” she said. “With their clear guidelines for height, colour and layout, the four buildings on the Washingtonplatz form a city quarter, a unit that frames the solitary, glass-clad structure of the railway station. Each of the four buildings exercises its freedom with its own variation on the general theme. That is what makes this city great – rules and variations on them.”
Added Henrik Thomsen, head of CA Immo Berlin, “By erecting the John F. Kennedy Haus, we are adding another crucial building block to Europacity. This top-quality building simultaneously represents the southern boundary of the quarter and a complement to our InterCityHotel structure and the neighbouring Steigenberger Hotel.”
The John F. Kennedy Haus will go up directly on Washingtonplatz, opposite the Federal Chancellery and not far from the path of the former wall that divided the city of Berlin, tearing apart families and robbing the inhabitants of the eastern districts of their freedom. The John F. Kennedy Haus pays homage to the fundamental, inalienable right of all people to live in freedom.
The John F. Kennedy Haus, designed and planned as a green building by Auer+Weber+Assoziierte (Munich) will cover a gross floor area of about 22,000 m² (237,000 ft²). The overall investment volume runs to some €70 million s. The John F. Kennedy Haus has already gained the interest of tenants, even though construction work has hardly begun: the law firm of White & Case LLP; flexible workstation provider Regus, and Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate service company. That put the rental status at 42%, even before construction began.
Source: CA IMMO