The "TechnoCampus Berlin" is being built in Siemensstadt.

An office campus is being created in Spandau with a historic building and new buildings. Gastronomy and green spaces are also being considered.

Berlin. Coming from the city motorway in the direction of Siemensstadt, one of the first buildings you will notice is the striking clinker brick building with the turquoise Siemens logo. It is almost 100 years since the first construction work began on the so-called Wernerwerk XV. Today, it and its surroundings are once again undergoing change. The building is part of the "TechnoCampus Berlin" that is currently being developed on the site. And Patrick Reich, managing director of the real estate investment company Caleus, also says about the location that it is "the gateway to Siemensstadt".

Behind the "TechnoCampus Berlin" is an office location with around 60,000 square metres of space that includes the historic, listed Wernerwerk XV and two new buildings. What is also supposed to make it special is the open space design with green areas that are supposed to provide the campus feeling. Five million euros alone, says Reich, will be invested in the open spaces. He puts the total investment, including the development of the existing building, at about 400 million euros. Caleus is realising the project together with Axa Investment Managers, a company of the Axa Group.

The "TechnoCampus" is located a good kilometre from the historic Siemens administration building, around which the "Siemensstadt²" will be built in the coming years. There, too, the aim is to transform old production facilities into modern workplaces for companies from various sectors. The Gartenfeld island and the future "Urban Tech Republic" at Tegel Airport, where more companies are planned to settle, are also located in the somewhat wider area. Patrick Reich is positive about the upcoming developments. "The place will become even more attractive as a result," he says. 

"TechnoCampus": existing buildings in Siemensstadt fully let

The start was certainly associated with challenges. Caleus acquired the site from Siemens in 2013, when the existing building designed by Hans Hertlein was still occupied by Siemens subsidiaries. It took two years before the first new tenant was found in 2016, says Reich. The idea of developing a campus from the site, of adding new buildings to the existing structure, had already existed at that time. But the realisation still seemed a long way off. "I would not have thought that such a dynamic would develop so quickly," he says. According to Reich, the existing building with around 40,000 square metres of space is currently fully let, and a new major tenant, Deutsche Rentenversicherung, is due to move in in July. Currently, the conversion of the space is still underway. Then the last section in the listed building will also have been renovated, says the managing director. In recent years, the building has already been extensively renovated, including the façade and windows. The intention was to develop the existing building carefully, Reich explains, because it has an "uncanny charm". Even the old paternoster still runs there. The new building should also take the historic building into account. The two new buildings are to be "respectfully juxtaposed with it", says Reich. That's why they will also have clinker facades, even if they are more modern, as well as room heights of significantly more than three metres, also in keeping with the old building. Construction work began in May 2019 and should be completed by February next year.

Campus in Spandau to get new café and fitness area

The rents are to be between 25 and 30 euros per square metre, and according to Reich, value is placed on flexible utilisation options for the space. He is convinced that after the Corona pandemic, people will be drawn back to the offices, especially for social reasons. That is why communal areas are also planned. Because people will no longer come to work only at their desks, the offices must rather offer the infrastructure for creative exchange, Reich believes. "That will become even more important in the future."

A public café is also planned in a new building, as well as a fitness area for employees. The second new building will have a roof terrace, which will probably not be open to the public. The existing restaurant is to be doubled in size and have a larger terrace. With a multi-storey car park and an underground car park, a good 360 parking spaces will be created, 16 of which will initially be equipped with charging stations for e-vehicles, and almost 200 more can be retrofitted. There are almost 400 parking spaces for cyclists. According to Caleus, sharing mobility and a logistics hub to which employees can have parcels delivered are also being considered. Photovoltaic systems and the building's own combined heat and power plant will ensure a sustainable energy supply.

What also distinguishes the "TechnoCampus" from Reich's point of view is the mixture of companies of different sizes and from different sectors. Companies come from the IT, technology and finance sectors, but a language school has also rented space there. The space in the new buildings has not yet been let, but demand is good, he reports. Among the interested parties are federal authorities or companies from the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. Once the new buildings are finished, Reich expects about 4,000 people to work on the campus.