The Marie-Elisabeth Luders House is one of the buildings in the new parliamentary complex in the new government quarter of Berlin. It is the functional and architectural complement of the Paul Lobe House to the west, which is the Bundestag s committee building and the parliamentarians office building.The relationship between the two buildings, which have been designed by the Munich architect, Stephan Braunfels, as an ensemble, is emphasized by some characteristic features: the bridge crossing the Spree to the north, the comb-like basic structure of the two buildings; the similar treatment of the features on the Spreeside face of the buildings, and the wide porches of the buildings.
The Marie Elisabeth Luders House
The Marie Elisabeth Luders House – named after the recent Reichstag s deputee and later chairwoman by seniority of the German Bundestag Marie Elisabeth Luders – serves since its completion in December 2003 as the scientific service- and infrastructure centre of the Parliament. In addition the building accommodates various special facilities, such as the parliamentary car pool, a post office and a sports area.
On the west face of the building is the parliamentary scientific library, which has the form of a cantilevered rotunda. After completion it will be the third largest library of its kind in the world. It will have an adequately-sized reading room with catalogues, stacks and facilities for its users to consult with staff members.
The administrative staff and the scientific staff of the library and scientific service will be
accommodated on either side of the building s central hall. The storage and plant areas of the two lowest (basement) floors complete the facilities of the service center.
Apart from its main functional areas, the Marie-Elisabeth Luders House has a number of special features. The large hearing chamber for parliamentary committees is particularly prominent, both functionally and architecturally, because of its position on a bend in the Spree. It is almost completely separated from the main building, being only accessible via a check-point in the northern access courtyard, or via the Spree bridge. It has three main areas: the external lobby and foyer, the 140 seat hearing chamber, and the 128 seat gallery for press and visitors.
A memorial of the Berlin wall below the library is accessible for the public. Other special feature of the new service center are the recreation, social, and exhibition rooms.
In the basement of the library rotunda, which serves as a memorial, are some original segments of the Berlin wall. The former border and its wall, which divided Berlin, ran through today s parliamentary area until 1990.
While the hearings chamber and the library are accessed from the north at ground level, the hall, which is conceived as the central entrance area to the office tracts, has been constructed at a level 6.40 meters higher.The connection between the eastern and western levels is dramatically emphasized by the broad open stairway, which leads up and away from the southern Spreeplatz, via three extensive landings, to a prominent viewing terrace set above the central hall. On either side of the light and transparent hall, are two tracts of offices, three to the north, and two to the south. The offices in these tracts look out onto planted courtyards; floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that the rooms are well-lit with natural light, and to optimize their natural lighting, the external courtyards in this part of the building are 6.40 meters below street level. The four square buildings, surrounded by two sets of serried offices, form a structural analogy to the committee rooms of the Paul Lobe House.
Contributed by ArchiTeam
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