"Topography of Terror” Documentation and Visitor Centre Berlin

Reflecting on dictatorships, racism and human contempt

With over 500.000 visitors a year, the “Topography of Terror” is one of the most visited memorial sites in Berlin. From here, where the Gestapo, the SS and the Reich Security head offices used to be, the Nazi regime organised terror and death, persecution and destruction.

The winning design of an architecture competition in 2005 focused on transparency: The flat cube of the exhibition building has a lamellar façade and large glass surfaces through which there is a view of this historical location. The exhibition level of this new build needed an extremely restrained design, with few vertical supports and reinforcing structures, and wide ceiling spans. The support structure planning solution: a ceiling girder with a raster measuring 18 x 18m and just four corner supports each, made from the highest-quality exposed concrete. KREBS+KIEFER also designed the supporting structure for the outdoor facilities, including a glass-covered trench along the remains of the vaulted cellar wall where torture and firing squad executions were an everyday occurrence.


  • Structural Engineering