Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Biosphere, Potsdam

The Biosphere and Flower Pavilion was constructed for the German Horticultural Show 2001 Potsdam in the vicinity of the Sanssouci Palace. The project is located in the Bornstedter Fields, a site used for the last 100 years by the military for troop exercises and barracks. The building is generated by the forms of the earthen berms on the site that had been built by the Soviet Army during their occupation as defensive barriers. The building is formed by a series of berms forming an artificial valley that is enclosed by a simple flat roof with skylights.

Carving into the earth, a sunken garden reduces the height of the building. The berm forms are clad in oak logs, grass, slate or are of poured concrete. With partial views to the adjacent park framed, the visitor is led through a series of inclined planes covered by tropical plants and flowers either at the level of the ground or from suspended bridges. After the six month garden show, the pavilion functions as a commercial attraction run by a film company.

Project Information

Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Team Competition — Julien Monfort, Heiko Krech, Stefan Barme, Oliver Neumann, Cirsti Weich


Team Construction — Heiko Krech, Christian Helfrich, Dietrich Bernstorf, Giuseppe Boezi, Bernd Jürgens, Stephanie Kaindl, Jan Kircher, Karen Lohrmann, Volkmar Nickol, Karin Ocker, Andrea Pelzeter, Florian Steinbächer



Exhibition Hall, Offices, Caféteria, Laboratory, Restaurant, Palludarium



Potsdam, Germany



11.000 sqm



2000 - 2001


Werner Huthmacher, Berlin
Margherita Spiluttini, Vienna


2004  BDA Preis -

Architektur in Brandenburg,


2002  World Architecture Award,

European Finalist

2001  ar+d Award -

The Architectural Review + d line


Stadt Potsdam, Entwicklungsträger Bornstedter Feld


Contracting | Property Monitoring

Harms & Partner, Hannover/Berlin


Construction Management

Assmann Beraten und Planen, Braunschweig/Potsdam


Structural Enineer

Hörnicke Hock Thieroff – Ingenieurgemeinschaft, Berlin


Mechanical Engineer

Planungsgruppe M+M, Berlin/Stuttgart


Landscape Architect

Büro Kiefer, Berlin


Natural Adventure Park

Martin Diekmann Landschaftsarchitektur, Hannover