A rich slice of Berlin life – the DomAquarée CityQuartier complex
Live, work and relax – no other ensemble illustrates the visionary urban ethos behind the DIFA CityQuartier developments as clearly or has been as convincingly realised as DomAquarée in central Berlin. Its completion in 2004 also marked the company's first major public commitment to sustainability. This far-sighted strategy benefited a location which is now more vibrant than ever.
“When the CityQuartier product range was being developed at the end of the 1990s, DIFA was able to draw on its existing experience of organised properties in the shopping centre segment,” says Bent Mühlena, head of Project Management at Union Investment Real Estate. DIFA took the shopping centre concept to a new level, creating urban precincts with a broad range of uses, from retail and offices through to leisure offerings, apartments and hotels – and a dedicated management Team.
“Developed in a unique location, the project made an important contribution to the rebirth of central Berlin,” continues Mühlena. It was precisely the exciting potential of the site, which is surrounded by historic landmarks such as Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island, Schlossplatz square, Unter den Linden and Hackescher Markt square, that acted as a key driver. The ensemble was constructed directly on the river Spree on the site of the former Palasthotel, which opened in 1979 and was operated by the Interhotel chain until 1992. Following the closure and demolition of the Palasthotel in 2001, construction of the DomAquarée CityQuartier went ahead.
Designed by Sergej Tschoban and opened in May 2004, the ensemble comprises innovative offices, apartments, a Radisson Blu hotel, attractive retail outlets, high quality restaurants and visitor attractions such as the 25-metre-high AquaDom, the Sealife Centre and GDR museum. Since its completion, a diverse range of long-term office tenants have chosen to base themselves at DomAquarée: IT companies, accountants, banks, lawyers, marketing companies and communications agencies.
In addition to the benefits of its location in Berlin's city centre, the property offers versatile office space and a prestigious conference lounge which is available to all tenants. DomAquarée covers 37,737 sq m and was awarded a German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) Silver rating for sustainable construction in 2011, reflecting the high priority given by Union Investment to sustainability from the earliest stages of the project.
The decision by the DIFA management team to create the DomAquarée CityQuartier, which is now fully let, demonstrated real vision. The former royal palace is currently being reconstructed on a site directly opposite and will form a new focal point in the historic heart of Berlin. In its own way, DomAquarée undoubtedly helped to create the conditions for this most recent development in central Berlin.