Workplace of the Week - RTL Audio Center Offices, Berlin
The design of RTL Audio Center mixes the energy of the music industry with the gritty, hip nature of Berlin, a technology-advanced space made to support the production company's team. Broadcasting and media production company RTL has relocated its Berlin-based audio units to a new location. Completed in January 2021, the RTL Audio Center Berlin was designed by Swiss architecture studio Evolution Design.
Inspired by the energy of the music industry, interiors deliver an inspirational journey across the worlds of radio and news production, entertainment, and events. Berlin, too, plays an important role in the concept, with interiors referencing the gritty, hip nature of the city.
The overall aim of the project was to rethink radio and audio production and to design a technologically advanced hub with interiors that motivate and inspire media workers and visitors alike. The move also consolidates the operation of four radio stations and several media production companies into one space. The 2,700 square meter center provides workspace for nearly 200 staff.
Interiors reflect user journeys through the space. The reception is the first point of entry and the most public area. It is designed to surprise and impress visitors and to give an insight into the workings of a radio station. The rock-shaped reception desk is decorated with microphone lights and vertical baffles lit in the form of a soundwave. Facing the reception is the Wall of Fame – an impressive display of RTL’s golden records and awards. The visitor’s lounge has been styled as an interactive experience: a faux brick wall, inspired by Pink Floyd’s album The Wall, accommodates media screens and features more of RTL’s award trophies.
The heart of the social life in the office is the loft-inspired hub – a semi-public space that encourages employees, guests and music stars to get together, socialise and entertain. It comes complete with a professionally equipped stage that enables RTL to organise in-house concerts with German music stars.
Look and feel
The design of the entire space is linked by a Roter Faden, or common thread: a journey into the world of music. Design elements such as light profiles, neon lights, wall graphics and furniture pieces – all in RTL’s trademark red – curl throughout the space.
The unmistakable character of the center is further enhanced by visual references to Berlin’s edgy urban life: meeting rooms styled as famous brick-walled Berlin bars, cosy shared flats and verdant parks, pay homage to the iconic city.
To create a loft-like interior, finishes such as gunmetal, plywood and solid wood were used alongside glazed partition walls, perforated cladding panels, denim-textured carpets and custom-made graffiti-style murals. Handrails sourced from Berlin’s U-Bahn add an urban touch. Striking lighting solutions, including custom-made lights resembling microphones and a lighting feature that suggests sunshine filtering through treetops, further evoke both the music industry and city life.
The project faced two key challenges. The production and broadcasting studios required specialized construction – including double-studded thick gypsum walls set at angles, and interior glazing set at a slant – in order to deliver an optimum sound environment. A second challenge lay in creating interiors that reflect the energy of the music industry but retain an air of timelessness – they should not date too quickly – and which also cater for the wide variety of musical styles played by the four stations.