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Special Theme

Providing a network of architecture experts As a network operating all over Germany, ARCHITEKTENstern ties core capabilities of 46 architects and engineers in order to provide customised and sustainable building solutions. Clients benefit from the architects’ regional and national presence. Major projects cover high buildings and the interior decoration of savings banks, institutional buildings and logistics facilities. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: ELLWANGER MENZEL ARCHITEKTEN INGENIEURE GMBH

A nationwide presence, passion, flexibility and perfect solutions down to the last detail. These attributes distinguish ARCHITEKTENstern from the usual architectural practices and are the reason for the network’s success. The expert team led by architects and engineers decentralises its potential and expert knowledge by having offices in Berlin, Rotenburg near Hamburg, Hannover, Oldenburg and Reinfeld near Lübeck, whereas other medium-sized, owner-operated architectural practices tend to work within a geographically small radius. As an umbrella brand, ARCHITEKTENstern instead integrates local offices into a national network.

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Benjamin Ellwanger Chabert and Martin Menzel, both chartered architectural engineers, officially started the network in 2014, after working together for 17 years. They were colleagues who were employees of architect Werner Behrens. After taking over his practice, the two of them were thinking of ways to expand, while responding individually and appropriately to their client’s wishes at the same time.“We did not want to keep up an organisational culture in terms of a hierarchic pyramid,” Ellwanger Chabert explains. Instead, they launched ARCHITEKTENstern which works independently of its location and employs town planners, architects as well as interior de-

Top Architects Germany

signers, but also material flow planners, project developers and project managers to name a few examples. “Our architects are very flexible when they have to realise a smaller project. They closely cooperate with their clients and always meet them in person,”Ellwanger Chabert says.“When it comes to bigger projects, we usually put together a team with up to 50 architects.” A network that offers many advantages for clients This network system offers numerous advantages for clients, for example flexibility, motivating employees, and the ability to respond quickly to their wishes, Ellwanger Chabert explains.“If we operated just from a single place of location, it would be much more difficult to combine these advantages.” Plus, having a central administration enables ARCHITEKTENstern to emphasise on the local architectural practices’core capabilities. Some of them even look back at about 50 years of experience.“Hence, it is