Bundesverband Deutscher Banken (Federal Association of German Banks), Berlin

Interior décor

Completion 1997


Visitors to the conference centre of the Federal Association of German Banks, comprising a foyer and four meeting rooms, enter through a ground floor hallway. Three of the meeting rooms are smaller whilst the one large conference hall, seating 200, needs to be versatile and flexible enough to host various types of events – from addresses with simultaneous interpretation to panel discussions, from receptions and dinners to festive evening events with stage acts, music and areas for dancing. Berlin architect Steffen Lehmann had all this in mind when he designed a wall panelling for the hall which provides excellent acoustics on the one hand and, on the other, conceals a great deal of storage space as well as numerous service entrances from the guests. Invigorating adjustable daylight pours in through six large skylights. A control booth and interpreter cabins are situated behind sound-insulating windows. The wall panelling was realised as one continuous band of sections. Depending upon their rear structuring, they at times act sound-absorbing, at times reflective. The sections are made of particle boards with a bright European maple veneer and solid wood insets. Their flush continuation is uninterrupted by doors or corners – and precise down to the very last millimetre – because our technical designers and carpenters wouldn’t have it any other way. Our company painstakingly made every section of the sound-insulating panelling individually so that each would precisely match the contours of the room. Integrating the many hidden panelled doors and cabinets into the sectional wall so that they would remain imperceptible called for exacting meticulousness from our technical designers and carpenters – a challenge to which our employees gladly rose. And with visible – or perhaps better said invisible – results: the three-sided hair-fine seams are indeed barely noticeable. Pivot hinges ensure that the doorstops are just as invisible. Roller catches provide tight closure and the handles are likewise concealed within the sectional cladding. Invigorating adjustable daylight can pour in through six large skylights. Smoke detectors, sprinklers, lights and loudspeakers were incorporated into the suspended ceiling. Horizontal blinds allow the light to be dimmed. As the ceiling was also to play a specific role in the room’s acoustics, Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau added acoustical elements to the plasterboard construction. The sectional wall is broken by only three elements: the control rostrum extending out from the front, the glass box for the three interpreter cabins, and the main entrance. This doorway, too, performs a noise control function and for that reason was clad in HPL “small wave” aluminium ripple. The entrance to the hall is additionally accented by an oversized door casing, also of maple.

Text: Anke Müller
Photo: Bernadette Grimmenstein