How the last two undeveloped plots at Checkpoint Charlie will exactly look like, we do not know today. Therefore, to find optimal solutions, various public participation formats were carried out. Furthermore, seven architectural offices were commissioned to develop ideas for a possible urban design of the area. These designs were made available to interested citizens and they were able to comment during an exhibition in our project Charlie Living near Checkpoint Charlie. Additionally, the exhibition can be visited at the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing until 21 August 2018. Following the various participation formats, an implementation competition will start soon, in which further architectural offices will draw up concrete plans for the development of Checkpoint Charlie. The winner of the architectural competition is to be determined until the end of 2018.

An important monument is about to be completed: On 19 July 2018 we celebrated the topping-out ceremony for BRICKS Berlin Schöneberg, together with all those involved in the construction, friends and representatives of the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district. The transformation of the historic post and telecommunications complex into a modern ensemble with offices, restaurants, shops, educational facilities and apartments is now in its final spurt. While the renovation of the existing listed buildings in the heart of Berlin-Schöneberg has been largely completed, two shell buildings along Hauptstrasse and Belziger Strasse have grown to the height of the adjacent roof ridges.

BRICKS Berlin Schöneberg is scheduled for completion in summer 2019. More than 90 % of the commercial spaces have already been let, with the apartments starting to be let in autumn 2018. More information: Website BRICKS Berlin Schöneberg

(Photo credit: Andreas Schwarz)

Trockland is proud to welcome the online travel portal Secret Escapes as their new tenant at K62 in Berlin-Mitte’s Klosterstrasse 62. Stretching over approx. 2,100 m², completely new and spacious offices have been created that impress with brightness, airiness and creative interior designs reflecting the spirit of “holidays”. The Trockland team worked closely with Secret Escapes to create an ambience that supports Secret Escapes’ growth plans. 150 employees are working at Secret Escapes’ new Germany headquarter. More information: secretescapes.com

INTRODUCING: ISRAELI FLYING AID

It is one of the largest tragedies of our time—the civil war in Syria. For the last seven years different groups are trying to seize control of the country. Millions of ordinary people had to flee from their homes, hundreds of thousands lost their lives, and tens of thousands of children became orphans. The bombs and chemical weapons do not make a difference, they hit all, children, babies, old people—this genocide is happening right before our very eyes.
Several non-governmental organizations are trying to help wherever they can. We would like to highlight one of them, the Israeli Flying Aid (IFA). Its members and supporters deliver life-saving aid to communities affected by natural disaster and human conflict, transcending differences, prejudices, race, nationality, religion and creed. And during the last seven years, Israel Flying Aid has been providing critical aid to Syrian civilians. With the campaign #Andtheworldissilent the Israeli Flying Aid calls for attention and support to immediately help the most innocent: children and orphans.

Together with another partner we support the Israeli Flying Aid and have committed to cover the organization’s administrative costs over a period of three years. With this financial security IFA can focus on saving lives in Syria instead on the daily struggle of self-preservation. More information: Israeli Flying Aid

Again, together with our team members, friends, and business partners, we were able to celebrate the blessing of a plot with the laying of the “Zohar” into the grounds of PIER 61|63 at Berlin’s East Side Gallery. Here, at the former border of East and West Berlin, freedom once was restricted by the Berlin Wall. Thankfully, those times are long gone and with the ceremony we symbolically injected joy, energy, unity, and a positive spirit into the grounds. We are convinced that there is no better base for the building’s foundation.

(Photo credit: Xavier Bonnin)

Topping out celebrations are true milestones and provide a reason to celebrate when the shell of a building is completed. It was with great joy when we just celebrated the topping out ceremony of Charlie Living. Trockland CEO Heskel Nathaniel and Stephan von der Heyde from the management of Züblin AG Germany thanked all project participants and especially the construction workers for their commitment and hard work. After the foreman spoke the blessings on the construction site, a crane pulled up the topping out wreath high into the sky - accompanied by baritone Denis Milo, who framed the ceremony with the song "Über den Wolken (Above the clouds)". The construction workers were particularly impressed by a small exhibition with photos of them at work; Their joy was great when they found themselves on the motives.

(Photocredit: Andreas Schwarz)

UNBUILDING WALLS AT THE BIENNALE IN VENICE

In the year 2018 Germany has been united for 28 years, exactly as long as the Berlin Wall (1961-1989) existed. On the occasion of this “time equinox” GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will present the exhibition "Unbuilding Walls" from the 26th of May 2018 in the German Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

The exhibition responds to current debates on nations, protectionism and demarcation. In the German Pavilion GRAFT and Marianne Birthler use the time equinox as an opportunity to investigate the effects of division and the process of healing as a dynamic spatial phenomenon. Particular attention is paid to outstanding urban and architectural examples. We are delighted that Checkpoint Charlie will also be part of the exhibition. The current discussion about past, present and future will be woven into the urban concept. More information: Unbuilding Walls.de

(Photocredit: Pablo Castagnola)

It has become a beautiful Trockland tradition that we, together with our team members, friends, and business partners commit the start of each construction project with our very own way of laying the foundation stone: We place a Zohar in the grounds as a symbol of an immaterial foundation. The Zohar is considered the most significant writing of the Kabbalah and goes back to biblical texts. The name Zohar means "radiant shine". As part of the ceremony, we want to symbolically expose the positive energy of the Zohar into the construction site in order to ignite the transformation from the past into the future; from separation and mistrust to unity and freedom.

We were especially delighted that Karen Berg, the head of the Kabbalah Centres worldwide, accompanied the ceremony on our western plot at Checkpoint Charlie with her inspiring words. We say thank you to all those involved for their continuous support and wish lots of success.

We are proudly welcoming our first project outside of Berlin: Together with the Mayor of Potsdam and Brandenburg’s Under-secretary of Economics and Energy we announced today in a press conference the development of a new hub for the digital transformation on the grounds of the former RAW. Dating back to 1838, the RAW served over 150 years as a railway repair and maintenance center for wagons as well as locomotives and was eventually discontinued in 1999. Located very close to Potsdam Central Station, the site’s core is the so-called “New Hall” from 1912. Today under monument protection, it will be refurbished and complemented with new construction. Trockland’s vision for the project is the creation of a future-oriented microcosm, where a lively and symbiotic exchange between science, established companies, organizations, and start-ups will take place.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND SOME 2018 TRIVIA

The holiday season and the New Year are for many a time of joy and reflection. For Trockland, 2017 was a successful year since it brought us new team members new projects. Therefore, we will start with gratitude and verve into 2018 and are curious, what the New Year will bring us.
With the Chinese New Year the "Year Of The Dog" begins, which is also connected with the element "Earth". Both stand for honesty, loyalty, reliability, sense of order and productivity – these values are a good basis for our work in the coming year. What else will we bring in 2018? There is the Football World Cup in Russia in July. Incidentally, next year Moscow celebrates its 100th anniversary as the country’s capital (again). Many significant figures in history would celebrate their 100th birthday, including John F. Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein and Nelson Mandela. 75 years ago, the book "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was published and has become one of the most successful books in history. Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state and the EU has proclaimed 2018 the "European Heritage Year – Architecture and Construction Culture Heritage ". Especially for us, the latter is a very positive sign!

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2018 be “your year”!