The building boom that the reunification of Germany brought to Berlin ensured work for the practice set up in 1992 by the American Frank Barkow (Kansas City, 1957) and the German Regine Leibinger (Stuttgart, 1963). Graduates of architecture schools on opposite shores of the Atlantic, they came together at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and it was probably this experience that gave a special identity to their work amid that of other young teams active in the recently re-inaugurated German capital.
The studio’s list of commissions bespeaks the two nationalities involved and boasts a number of finished works all too rare for newcomers in the German context. Since the completion in 1995 of the rehabilitation of a factory in Neukirch and the enlargement of a training center in Connecticut, the team has carried out an apartment and office block, several nursery schools, and the renovation of a thermal heating plant, all in Berlin, besides various industrial buildings devoted to laser technology production. One of these, the warehouse of the Trumpf company, located outside Stuttgart, is the project that has secured them the most international publicity to date. Inserted amidst planting fields, it proposes a flexible floor plan that is able to grow with the changing needs of the client, and a metal roof rendered in north-south bands whose folds overlap so that the gaps illuminate the interior...[+]