German Bundestag Visitor and Information Centre (BIZ)
Due to its location in front of the Reichstag building, the visitor information centre (BIZ) has an unobtrusive architectural appearance. The centre however offers an easy-to-find entrée to the guided tours of the German Bundestag. The new oval-shaped building is aligned axially to the Reichstag and has its “address” at Platz der Republik. Based on its position not far from the course of the former Berlin Wall and for functional reasons, the information centre has entrances in the west and east, a “park” and a “city entrance”. Visitors coming from both entrances come together in a central area. The visitor guidance is based on a spatial dramaturgy whereby east and west as well as the future of the German parliament can be experienced en passant. The BIZ opens up new perspectives on the history of the German national parliament and resolves all the difficulties of visitor guidance. During the day, the entrances and exits are marked by the transparent areas. At night, light radiates outwards through the metal mesh. Visitors to BIZ first undergo a security check before being ushered into an oval-shaped central area which is illuminated by an elliptical skylight strip and connected smoothly with the ground floor by means of a ramp and a flat staircase. Skylights ensure natural illumination of the rooms. The quality of the landscape architecture is based on Lenné’s design of the Grosser Tiergarten park. Green spaces reach right up to the building which is sensitively incorporated in the park.