About us

D:4 was founded in 1997 as a result of a cooperation between the business partners Marcus Nitschke and Jörn Focken.

To this day, the original idea of founding a planning office for the fields of architecture and church has developed into a particular specialisation and an interdisciplinary team.

Architects, monument conservators and designers work together with cultural scientists and real estate managers, so that we can advise our clients on specific questions.

A wide range of project experience in the architectural, real estate and cultural sectors is the basis of our ongoing demand for the careful consideration of new projects and assignments.

Our clients vary from public to private, from church to cultural institutions and individuals. For us, the focus is always on individual consultation and the joint development of ideas and goals. Contemporary ideas, well thought-out concepts and holistic consulting are the hallmarks of our work.


Our service profile in the field of architecture includes all service phases according to HOAI (LPH 1-9). Here we can draw on expertise in new construction, building in existing structures as well as in renovation and maintenance.

In addition, we are active in the field of building evaluation and have many years of practical experience in the analysis of room programs and the creation of usage profiles for individual buildings and larger real estate portfolios.

Furthermore, we prepare energy reports and provide comprehensive energy consulting.


Our employees bring in profound knowledge in dealing with listed buildings. In recent years, monument preservation tasks have become a special focus of our expertise.

Within the scope of these tasks we create:

  • building-historical investigations and building surveys incl. archive research, building research on the building and photo documentation
  • Plans for the preservation of historical monuments
  • Damage documentation and restoration reports
  • Colour diagnostic tests

We also assist our clients in making arrangements with the authorities and other parties involved.


At the interface between architecture and monument preservation, we can advise our clients with our specialist knowledge and many years of experience in the field of sacred buildings. In addition to new construction tasks, our field of activity also includes the accompaniment and support of congregations of all denominations in the management of their properties.

Construction projects in the field of sacred buildings always place special demands on our work: The sensitive analysis of the needs of the congregations, the historical and political contexts of the religious communities and the future visions of our clients for their property define our work. In recent years, we have been able to accompany many congregations in the renovation, redesign, conversion and optimisation of their buildings.


In many of our architectural projects, we work with artists from the design phase onwards. We explicitly understand art as an integral part of architecture, not as an application, as is often the case with "art on building" projects.

In the area of sacred architecture, we support church clients in the implementation of competitions for the artistic design of church interiors and accompany the implementation of the selected works in a moderating capacity.

In addition, D:4 founded the architecture gallery and the associated publishing house treppe b in 2016. The gallery space in the Corbusierhaus Berlin hosts temporary exhibitions on post-war modernist architecture as well as contemporary positions, but is also used for concerts and other events.


Today, many construction projects in the social and cultural sector can be co-financed by subsidies. We support our clients in the acquisition, application and administration of project-related funding, whether state, federal or EU funding.


The preparation of studies and expert opinions for individual buildings or larger building stocks is an important part of our work. Here we work with both private and public clients and create concept studies, feasibility studies, monument preservation analyses, but also energetic reports and profitability analyses.

We accompany our clients in operational decisions for the realization of their projects in an individual and trustful cooperation. Due to our interdisciplinary team we are not only able to deal with architectural and monument preservation issues, but always include political, social and historical contexts in our evaluations and recommendations.

Our individual achievements are:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Utilization concepts
  • Climate protection concepts/energy concepts
  • Valuation of real estate
  • Financing concepts
  • Real Estate Consulting


Detailed design of buildings and interiors (m-w-d)

We are looking for an architect for demanding implementation planning. We expect good knowledge of technical regulations and standards, pleasure in detail and sensitivity for the use of sustainable materials. The focus of your work will be on public buildings, including community centres and kindergartens.

> more info

D:4 Hamburg: Architect:in for all work phases (m-w-d)

We are looking for an architect for demanding design tasks, experience in implementation planning and with construction management tasks are expressly desired.

> more info


AIV Forum 1-2021

Journal of the Association of Architects and Engineers of Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.


Peter Lemburg, Marcus Nitschke (Eds.)
21.0 x 29.7 cm
120 pages
ISSN 2567-5184
ISBN 978-3-96551-801-8
12 Euro

City Country Art

The Other Berlin by Fritz Lang


Metropolis: The Other Berlin by Fritz Lang
Berlin experienced a radical change in the 1920s. While the then modernist city was at the heart of the European art scene, artist and filmmaker Fritz Lang had a pessimistic view of the metropolis. In "Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler", "M" and "Metropolis", he created diabolical characters who painted a bleak picture of Berlin society shaped by the First World War.

Completely different rooms

Interview with Sebastian Behmann

Studio Other Spaces is an art and architecture practice founded in 2014 by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann.


What is the working method of Studio Other Spaces?
A project must have potential, open up themes that are interesting. Our works emerge from dialogue and in the context in which we operate.
We believe that the quality of the relationship with the client significantly influences the quality of the work. We do a very detailed analysis, not only spatially but also socially and economically and then we respond to that on different levels through our work.
In addition to the quality of the space, we are interested in how and in what form the space can bring people together and connect them, and whether its form is suitable for generating community. The clients have to be able to answer our question as to whether they have an idea of how the space should be filled with content. This is where we come in and try to get involved. So it's about defining the space, not about pure aesthetics. That's why our strongest projects are those where we are in close contact with our clients. It's important to us to create a real collaboration, where you work together and complement each other. Of course, this also makes the work more complicated, because everyone has their own ideas and perceptions, but such hurdles give a project more depth.

Sebastian Behmann and Olafur Eliasson © Anders Sune Berg

Other Spaces' sounds like a different, maybe a better world. What is the goal of the office?
Of course we want to change the world!
Besides an interest in the past, the most important thing is to create something that depicts the future and gives perspective. It's about designing a future in dialogue with institutions, private individuals or museums, and ideally building it.

And where does the name Studio Other Spaces come from, or rather what does it initiate?
It has several levels: On the one hand, we are interested in heterotopias and in built utopias. These are, for example, sacred buildings or museums, in other words buildings that are not rooted in everyday life, but where one formulates spaces with a certain aspiration that want to carry and change something. That is an important aspect of our work. On the other hand, we go into the everyday world. We process and negotiate things in such a way that they can be experienced and reached by everyone: For example, we are currently working with David Chipperfield Architects on part of a hotel in Paris. This is a relatively mundane task. But here we are adopting processes that we know from our many years of collaboration in the art world. The dialogues become different as a result and we often choose a different way of developing things. A lot of what we have learned in art flows into architecture. In the end, the works are good when you don't see any difference between art and architecture.

Fjordenhus © Anders Sune Berg

You talk about the connection between architecture and art. What potential arises from the connection, especially paired with perceiving and experiencing spaces?
I really enjoy doing things differently: For example, we built an elevator at Fjordenhus1 in Vejle (Denmark) that has special features
. For one thing, you can feel the wind when it's moving, because it's only separated from the stairwell by grids, and for another, it moves particularly fast. You really have the feeling of moving. The elevator is designed to make you bend your knees when it starts, and when you stop again you have to hold your bag so the key doesn't fly out. It goes against what you're used to. It's the only way to question what you see.

Fjordenhus © Anders Sune Berg

Your buildings are about a perceptual experience for the visitor. How do you build atmosphere?
At Fjordenhus, the visitor comes over a bridge into the open foyer, just like on a ship. He experiences what the city is all about: the lapping of the water, the wind and the light reflecting off the ceiling. These sensory experiences create a sense of place and answer the question: where are we? As in church construction, we use the available means to create a dramaturgy and an atmosphere. The arc of tension runs through the whole building and has a lot to do with the lighting mood and the acoustics. For example, not all rooms are lit in the same way. The foyer has no light of its own, but is only illuminated by the adjoining rooms. A dynamic that one is no longer used to today. From the metallic loud staircase, you then enter the first entrance room, which is very muffled with the help of acoustic stones. This gives each room its own sound quality: either deliberately loud or deliberately quiet and muffled.


The whole interview can be found in: Kunst und Kirche - Magazin für Kritik, Ästhetik und Religion, 3.2020, pp. 54-56.

The interview was conducted by Hanna Düspohl and Marcus Nitschke, D:4 Architekten Berlin.

Growing together - Landschaf(f)tstadt

Prof. Dr. Silvia Malcovati and Bernd Albers in conversation with Marcus Nitschke


Marcus Nitschke
Your contribution to the 2070 competition deals with the towns of Bernau and Schwedt in Brandenburg. How did you come up with these two places?

Silvia Malcovati
We started without a precise idea. At first we started to investigate places we had already looked at under other conditions, like Potsdam or Brandenburg an der Havel. Quite quickly, however, we realized how rich and diverse Brandenburg is. We then decided to explore the radials that were of great importance for our design idea, especially the radials towards the north-east. A good hint came from the mobility experts, who pointed out to us how important the relations between Berlin-Brandenburg and Poland are for Germany at the moment. This aroused our curiosity! Afterwards we collected information and drove through Brandenburg in this direction and visited several cities.

Competition entry Growing Together - Landschaf(f)tstadt © Bernd Albers/Silvia Malcovati

In Schwedt we met with the director of the town museum. The museum has quite a wide-ranging documentation of the town's history and the enthusiasm of the scientists there for discovering and communicating their own town's history is great. Thus, the decision was made to consider Schwedt as an exemplary location for the competition in order to look at Berlin-Brandenburg from a more distant Brandenburg perspective. Bernau, on the other hand, is one of the towns located on the same north-east radial and can be reached in less than an hour from the centre of Berlin. At the same time, it is a town that has developed a great deal of independence, especially since reunification, and continues to develop it regardless of its proximity to Berlin.

Marcus Nitschke
An interesting thought to see this relationship also from the Brandenburg point of view!

Bernd Albers
Our chosen location at the exemplary north-east orientation also has a lot to do with Berlin and with certain historical questions that result from imperial-era planning, then later from the Weimar Republic, and finally are also connected with Nazi planning. In addition, there are the complex issues of GDR urban planning, on the one hand modern urban planning in the early phase, i.e. in the Stalinist phase of the 1950s, and on the other hand from the 1960s onwards. These are all specific realities that had a strong impact on the entire Berlin-Brandenburg region. All these backgrounds then ultimately connect the three selected areas: Berlin-Südkreuz, Bernau and Schwedt.
In Berlin-Tempelhof at Südkreuz we find housing estates on the former imperial barracks site and thus the consequences of the 1910 Gross-Berlin competition, as well as the monumental Nazi airport. In Bernau there are prefabricated buildings based on the medieval city layout, which were built from 1975 onwards after the old town was partly demolished.

Schwedt, on the other hand, is so exciting because the different models all exist synchronously there: There is a vanished residential palace, an earlier and a later GDR planning history, and a major natural phenomenon with the renaturalized forest areas and the Oderbruch National Park. The petroleum industry generated this growth in the 1950s in the first place, but has since shrunk massively. At the same time, the structures of the historic old town are only partially preserved. So in Schwedt we find the most diverse urban models in the smallest of spaces, which is why we can experiment here with alternative strategies in an exemplary way.

Silvia Malcovati
The choice of areas of specialisation also meant that all three places were a very good match. It was possible to develop a more general strategy based on these three examples, which could be very flexible for similar cases in other places. All places played a relevant role since the time of Frederick the Great and have also received a landscape infrastructure, but they have all also received their own history in the agricultural context and a more recent history with the Second World War and the reconstruction in the GDR. And for each of these layers of time, it is possible to develop different strategies to tell these stories through the projects as well.
The common thread for all proposals is rail, which is an important component for our project. We assume that traffic will largely run on rails in the future. Accordingly, the rails play a central role in the selected places. In all three places, the railway stations have contributed significantly to development and transformation over time. The places are independent, but at the same time well connected. For our overall project, these were the decisive elements.

Marcus Nitschke
While the area around the Berlin-Südkreuz and Bernau are well connected in terms of infrastructure, Schwedt is rather isolated.

Bernd Albers
The railway line currently ends in Schwedt. We want to change this and propose a connection from Schwedt along the Oder to Stettin. This would allow the important Berlin-Szczecin radial to pass through Schwedt and thus also revitalise the magnificent natural area of the Oder. In Schwedt, however, we are also debating the old town, which was largely destroyed at the end of the Second World War and not rebuilt. On the other hand, we are working on the history of the Residenz with the castle, which burnt out in 1945, was demolished in 1962 and replaced by the Kulturhaus Schwedt in 1978.
Another point is the GDR extension, according to plans by Selman Selmanagíc from 1959-60, which were then replaced by industrialised housing from the 1960s onwards. The original plan had a center, but it was not built: as the next planner, Richard Paulick realized the housing construction at the edge of the area, but the public part was never implemented. We brought this area back to life in our plans, because without a public area the radiant residential buildings make no sense. We then proposed to develop schools, research institutes or higher education facilities in this content-empty place, which could be important for the future of the whole city.

Marcus Nitschke
Was there any reaction to your competition from the cities themselves?

Bernd Albers
Yes, the people of Schwedt are obviously enthusiastic, because they obviously see a chance for the further development and better connection of their city in the context of Brandenburg-Berlin through our competition project. We meet the mayor of Schwedt Mr. Polzehl on the occasion of the exhibition in Berlin. The mayor of Bernau, André Stahl, expressed himself positively and with interest in the media the very next day, so a good response!


here we go...