MVRDV has been appointed by London-based investment manager Fabrix Capital to revitalise the Berliner Union Film Atelier (BUFA) campus, the iconic film and office campus on the border of Berlin’s Tempelhof and Neukölln districts where the Oscar-winning film Cabaret was filmed, transforming the site into a bustling creative and community hub.
BUFA’s first studios were built in 1912, with world famous films such as Emil and the Detectives, The Golem and Cabaret having been filmed there. The 256,000 sq ft car-fee campus, which overlooks Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, contains office, studio and warehouse space, and is occupied by a range of media companies including YouTube. MVRDV’s proposal for the site makes use of this outstanding brick studio complex in the creation of an exemplar of sustainable planning across multiple scales.
“BUFA is clearly steeped in history but now is the time to update and upgrade the campus in a thoughtful, sensitive way,” says founding partner of MVRDV Jacob van Rijs. “A new green oasis will also be introduced to showcase emerging perspectives on activism, human rights and environmentalism, while stimulating biodiversity by welcoming insects, birds, and bees. The new campus will house playgrounds, gardens, secret pathways and rooftop terraces to enhance community connections and stimulate creativity and knowledge-sharing on the site.”
Along with the site, Fabrix also owns Berliner Union-Film, an operational film company that provides studio space and post production services to the media industry. As part of the upgrade, Fabrix will also refurbish rentable spaces and develop vacant land to create a campus where occupiers can grow their businesses and attract and retain talent.
“Berlin is a city of innovation, creativity and ambition, which perfectly matches the ideals of Fabrix and MVRDV,” added managing director of Fabrix Clive Nichol. “Along with MVRDV, we look forward to writing a new chapter in BUFA’s narrative by using natural and reclaimed materials to create a truly sustainable and inclusive campus. As part of the redevelopment, we plan to create a number of attractive public spaces within the site which will house event spaces as well as social, cultural and educational facilities that can be used by the whole community.”