After the general planning team around architect KIM Nalleweg und Trujillo was awarded the contract in an architectural competition in May 2016 , the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung’s construction plans became more concrete.
The German federal parliament approved 20.4 million euro for building a new office and event space for Die Linke’s party-affiliated educational institution in summer 2014, after the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung had sought to receive a publicly funded headquarters like all other political foundations since 2010. Countless rounds of voting later, the building permit was issued in August 2017. This laid the foundation for the bidding process for the structural engineering and construction.
The symbolic ground-breaking ceremony was conducted by Chair of the Executive Board Dagmar Enkelmann, Executive Director Florian Weis, the planning team (represented by Max Nalleweg), as well as building director Axel Krumrey on 30 October 2017. Roughly 50 guests, including the then-chair of the parliamentary budget committee, Gesine Lötzsch, accepted the invitation. Dagmar Enkelmann expressed her excitement about the beginning of construction. Even the Stiftung’s eponym “would be delighted by what is emerging here”. Shortly thereafter, the civil engineering firm began excavating the pit for the building’s foundation.
Particularly close coordination is required with the Deutsche Bahn, as the train line to Ostbahnhof is only 20 meters away from the planned building. Everyone who builds in Berlin knows that the groundwater often flows quite near the earth’s surface. For this reason, the pit for the building’s foundation had to be secured with steel sheet pile walls, and afterwards a water-proof floor out of liquid concrete had to be pressed into the ground. This required not only the corresponding equipment, but above all time. The underground engineering work was only completed in February 2018.
Parallel to the construction work, the architect agency deepened its plans for the façade and windows on the new building. After all, special sound-proofing requirements had to be fulfilled. In the Stiftung itself, planning concerning in-house technology and event spaces was running at full speed.
By late March 2018 discussions had reached a point that the results could be reflected in the specifications of corresponding bidding processes. Just in time for Rosa Luxemburg’s 147th birthday, on 5 March 2018, the cornerstone for the new building was laid in the building pit. Alongside the daily newspaper Neues Deutschland, the Chair and Executive Director of the Stiftung, supported by the chair of Die Linke in the German parliament, Dietmar Bartsch, his deputy Gesine Lötzsch, the state chair of Die Linke in Berlin, Katina Schubert, and the national treasurer of Die Linke, Thomas Nord, “sunk” the building’s construction blueprints as well as an organization chart from the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in a time capsule into the ground. Immediately afterwards, the engineering firm began preparations for the base plate.
All ten floors of the building are expected to be finished by the turn of 2018/2019. The façade and first steps for the interior design will also begin this year.
The grand opening celebration is planned for 5 March 2020.