Competition 1st Prize
The historic building on Leipziger Straße was erected from 1899 to 1904 according to plans by the architect Friedrich Schulze-Coditz as the seat of the Upper House of the Prussian Landtag, or Regional Parliament, called the Herrenhaus, or House of Lords. From 1955 its middle section and west wing were used by the GDR Academy of Sciences.
One of the special qualities of the Herrenhaus, i. e. the clear daylight interior routes along the axis composed of the entrance hall (court of honour) via the concourse to the plenary chamber, as well as the functional system of room sequences and accesses were restored.
The plenary chamber of the Herrenhaus was a closed, ‘introvert’ hall and thus the expression of an elitist political order. The redesign including large openings in the enclosing walls and a transparent ceiling responds to the democratic nature of the present system. The modular glass ceiling directs and controls daylight incidence. An exterior solar panel system produces electricity and at the same time functions as a movable awning which follows the sun.