The Sony Center in downtown Berlin is getting a facelift – and something is also happening in the tallest building on the square. The Deutsche Bahn has moved out of the Bahntower.
The federal company is relocating the corporate headquarters for two years, because construction is going on in the glass high-rise building. “The Bahntower will be completely gutted and renovated,” said a railway spokesman. Meanwhile, the 800 employees work in another part of the Sony Center on the side that faces the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall.
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The owner, Oxford Properties, announced in autumn that it would renovate the Sony Center for 200 million euros. The real estate company of a Canadian pension fund and a New York investment company took over the complex in 2017 for 1.1 billion euros. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund recently announced that it would take over half of the shares for 667 million euros.
The Sony Center consists of eight office buildings with 112,000 square meters of rental space. They were built by the Japanese entertainment group Sony on the former death strip of the Berlin Wall and opened in 2000.
All office buildings, a cinema, shops and restaurants are now to be refurbished, as is the open space under the tent dome that characterizes the cityscape. Most of the work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. In the Bahntower, for example, the air conditioning and ventilation technology will be renewed in order to reduce the building’s carbon dioxide emissions.
The group as a tenant wants to return in about two years. 1,500 employees will then have their jobs there, almost twice as many as last time.
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This is made possible by more open floor plans with open-plan offices and more home offices, as a spokesman explained. The exterior of the glass office building designed by the architect Helmut Jahn will not be changed.