Student-competition Transformation 2022: Switch!

The ideas of the urban planners and architects of tomorrow

Transformation 2022 - Switch! Young concepts for the historic Schaltwerkhallen

In the winter semester 2021/22, Siemens and the cultural association of the German industry launched the competition "Transformation 2022 – Switching!". The task: An architectural design for an urban use of historic production sites in Siemensstadt – the Schaltwerkhallen – as well as for the surrounding open spaces and adjacent new buildings. For this purpose, students of RWTH Aachen, the Technical Universities of Berlin, Braunschweig, and Darmstadt, and KIT Karlsruhe have developed exciting concepts.

From 15 designs, a top-class jury of experts selected the most successful projects for the design of a working and meeting landscape in the complex of the historic Schaltwerkhallen. The aim was to create a lively place by redesigning the existing substance, some of which is a listed building, in which various uses can operate alongside and with each other, including offices and commerce, social institutions for education and care, retail facilities, art and culture, sports and gastronomy.

The first impressions of the winning design

Jan Rehders, lead architect Siemensstadt Square

The students' approach to the topic was very inspiring throughout and made us want more. The work of two students from RWTH Aachen was very impressive and convincing in terms of content. Their contribution 'Where future roots' manages to reorganize the continuum of halls by means of targeted incisions that are greened in the space in between. The result is convincing 'space within space' solutions with an intelligently chosen mix of uses. All in all, the halls were handled with care and in a manner that respects historical monuments. The holistic sustainability concept seems well thought-out and very fitting for the industrial charm of the Schaltwerkhallen.

Jan Rehders, lead architect Siemensstadt Square

Visit the Schaltwerkhallen virtually and explore all the details about the 15 submitted designs. The students present their ideas personally in video messages and explain how they envision the future of the historic building.

View of the winning design from the student competition 2022

A jury of ten specialist and expert judges evaluated the designs at the end of March 2022 and decided on a winner. Specialist judges have the professional qualifications of the participants. The expert judges are particularly familiar with the task of the competition and the local conditions.

This was the jury:

Expert judges:
• Matthias Böning, Chairman of the Architecture Committee, cultural association of the German industry and Partner Böning Real Estate Solutions
• Stefan Kögl, General Manager Siemensstadt Square
• Nadine Deiwick, District Office Spandau of Berlin
• Christoph Hoja, Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing
• Prof. Jens-Uwe Fischer, University of Leipzig and member of the cultural association of the German industry

Specialist judges:
• Prof. Claus Anderhalten, University of Kassel and partner Anderhalten Architects
• Axel Beck, Architecture Award Winner of the cultural association of the German industry 2005 and Partner Atelier WW Architects
• Stefan Behnisch, Behnisch Architects Partnership mbB
• Prof. Anna Lundqvist, BTU Cottbus (Department of Landscape Architecture) and partner Man Made Land, Berlin
• Ulrich Pape on behalf of Prof. Peter Haimerl, University of Artistic Design Linz and partner Peter Haimerl.Architecture

These universities participated in the competition with their students:

• KIT Karlsruhe - Chair of Urban District Planning
• RWTH Aachen - Chair of Urban Planning and Design + Institute of Urban Planning and European Urbanism
• TU Berlin - Chair of Design & Building Science
• TU Braunschweig - Chair of Design and Building Theory + Institute for Sustainable Urbanism
• TU Darmstadt - Chair of Design & Urban Development

In cooperation with Siemens, the cultural association of the German industry has launched the competition for architecture and urban planning students at RWTH Aachen, the Technical Universities of Berlin, Braunschweig, and Darmstadt, and KIT Karlsruhe. In a digital introductory workshop in October 2021, the participants were able to familiarize themselves with the Siemensstadt Square construction project and the planning tasks for the area of the Schaltwerkhallen. They developed their designs during the winter semester 2021/22 with their lecturers at the universities. A jury of experts assessed the results in a virtual meeting at the end of March.

Redesigning historic industrial buildings for urban use and combine them with modern new buildings: Not quite an easy task for the participants of the student-competition. The Schaltwerkhallen were an important Siemens production site for over 100 years. With the planned opening of the area, new living and working spaces are also to be created in and around these buildings.

Now the winners have been determined from the participating students of RWTH Aachen, the Technical Universities of Berlin, Braunschweig, and Darmstadt, and KIT Karlsruhe.

The €5,000 1st place prize went to Sophia Lieberich and Laura Weber, students at RWTH Aachen University, for their project "Wo Zukunft wurzelt". Second place and €3,000 in prize money went to Philipp Goertz and Linus Hermann, also students at RWTH Aachen, for their project "100 kV. Ein Experimentierfeld für Berlin". In addition, a special prize of 2,000€ was also given. This prize was awarded to Lea Appel and Marie Molz from the TU Darmstadt for their project "Waldwerk".