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Sony Centre, Berlin, Germany

July 7, 2011


Although my sketch is exploring the exterior massing of the complex, the more interesting aspect of the centre is the structural roof above the semi enclosed exterior space between the buildings. Helmut Jahn devised a clever structural solution to cover the large span between the buildings, even though the buildings are different in heights.

It seems to me the structural integrity of the roof system is based on opposing stresses creating a neutral and stable system, somewhat similar to post tensioned bow trusses, except that they are like ‘orange pegs’ supported on a structural ring beam.  It’s a dominant engineering solution but Helmut Jahn managed to detail the components to make it a work of art.








One Comment
  1. You may think East Berlin is a reconstructed urban city following the North American tradition. You will be surprised to find that is just not the case. This Sony Centre is a masterpiece in architecture drama, scale, structural innovations, and interesting details. It is not your normal shopping centre precinct, consequently is it a place that is buzzing with activities.My sketch is to capture the ‘form-giver’ created by the different architects’ buildings.

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