Does the world need more architects

"Sustainability has many facets"

Everyone is talking about green building. Is enough being done here now?

I think there is a lot of fake going on in this regard. I think some of the relevant standards and specifications are not optimal. You have to see sustainability holistically. It is not enough to use sustainable materials. Sustainable buildings have to work too. Especially for the people who then use them. Some building materials, such as wood, are “greener” than others. But it's not just about the material. The fact that - and how - buildings can later be dismantled and recycled also plays a role. As well as the size.

So what is to be done?

There is a lot that can be done to build as sustainably as possible. It's almost like "rocket science" now. Everything has to fit together. We make sure that buildings are functional, beautiful and recyclable. You have to create diagrams that show that the construction is energy efficient, made of sustainable material and a lot more. We do that for every competition. We create a booklet with around 200 pages for each project. Fortunately, we have a good record and win around 50 percent of the competitions we take part in. This is very important because you invest a lot in every project.

3XN has designed impressive office buildings such as CUBE Berlin, “Kvarter 15” and “Olympic House”. What does modern office architecture need?

This has a lot to do with the intended use. Cube Berlin, for example, is used by several companies. As a smart building, it has a kind of “central brain” that helps users find their place in it. Now, during the pandemic, this helps coordinate employee groups and reduce the risk of contagion. In contrast to the Cube, the Olympic House serves only one group - the IOC. Interaction and close cooperation are particularly important here.

Will new office buildings be smaller than before?

They will be as big as they were before, although more work will be done from home. What changes will affect the room layout and generosity: more and more flexible space for employees.