The site for the Quartier am Tacheles project occupies the majority of an important block in the heart of Berlin, bounded by Friedrichstrasse, Oranienburgerstrasse, and Johannisstrasse. The block’s central portion was largely destroyed during the Second World War and remained unbuilt during the East German period. Recently, the war-damaged Tacheles department store, which sits on the site, has served as both a tourist attraction and a home for squatter artists; however, after much negotiation with the government and the resident artists, the block is now to be redeveloped as an integral part of the surrounding neighborhood.
Streets divide the site into five sub-blocks. A fork on Oranienburgerstrasse creates an east-west passage that facilitates pedestrian access to a tram stop on Friedrichstrasse. From this axis, two streets run south to meet Johannisstrasse and another street runs north to access Oranienburgerstrasse through the large arch of the Tacheles building. While all of the streets are open to service vehicles, the western half of this network is designed to function primarily as a pedestrian route. Particularly important is the passage to Friedrichstrasse, which travels through three building archways framing courtyards in the manner of the historical Berlin Hofe. The eastern half of the network will remain open to automobile traffic, with removable bollards located at strategic points such as the Tacheles arch and the seam between the two squares.
The plan contains several other public spaces in addition to the Hofe, each having its own distinct character. At the heart of the site along the east-west axis is a formal linear square with a planted center, designed for shopping and lined with arcades. Just to the west is another square, fully paved, that is shaped like the two adjacent Hofe but expanded north to provide views of and passage through Tacheles. The area directly behind the Tacheles building is divided into two additional courtyards to provide more private outdoor spaces for the residents.
In all, the site comprises a maximum of 19,000 sq.m. of retail, 28,000 sq.m. of offices, 38,000 sq.m. of housing, and 19,000 of hotel on a site of 2.19 hectares.