The creative master builder

From an early age, Thomas Kröger knew that he wanted to be an architect when he grew up. As a child, he would draw houses – in extreme detail – as a way of imagining himself in other worlds. So naturally, he went on to study architecture. After graduating, he gained his first experience with some of the best in the business, working alongside Norman Foster in London and Max Dudler in Berlin.

It only took a few years for Kröger himself to become one of the best-known, most creative and innovative German architects. His work is extensive and his client base international, with projects including office and residential buildings, art galleries and museums, restaurants and cafés. The architect has a fondness for rural landscapes, and frequently travels between the vastly different worlds of Berlin and the Uckermark – a beautiful rural area outside the German capital.

After teaching as a visiting professor in Stuttgart and Boston (as part of the Berlin Program), Kröger started teaching architecture at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2019.

Kröger likes to describe his role as an architect by saying: “It’s not about me, it’s always about the place.” But the truth is that, without Thomas Kröger, many exciting places would not exist. AchtBerlin is an outstanding example of his ingenious talent for combining new and old buildings.

The design element that serves to connect the old and new structures at AchtBerlin are the two oval sunken gardens, one in each courtyard. The first, larger one allows light through to the new basement level and complements the old building with its special design as a walled garden. The second, smaller one is adjacent to the spiral ramp that leads down to the underground bicycle garage. This spatial approach to the courtyards provides a taste of the generous scale of the new section and its extraordinary spaces.