guiding architects meeting Budapest

For the start of the new guiding season the annual guiding architects meeting took place on the last weekend in February. This year the 36 partners from all over the world met in Budapest.

2017 was a very successful year for our network with more than 3.000 tours and almost 36.000 participants. a-tour was the absolute front-runner and carried out over 450 tours in Hamburg. The opening of the Elbphilharmonie has certainly played a very important role.

As always, the focus of the event was on the further development of the network for architectural tours with numerous presentations and workshops. But of course the architectural tours were also part of the meeting this year. We experienced the city on the Donau river from the perspective of an architect and our partner Arne Hübner let us look behind the scenes.

guiding architects meeting Budapest

Thermal baths, train stations, art nouveau and a party scene with its ruined bars reminiscent of early 90s Berlin. The Paris of the East is cheaper than its French sister and therefore certainly a selected destination of “easyjetset”. The charm of the Hungarian city on the Donau river almost makes one forget Victor Orbans hostility towards democracy. Visit our partner GA Budapest.

This year, however, we chose the coldest weekend for our meeting.
The thermometer showed minus twelve degrees! The wind however, made it seem much colder.

Together with our partners from Istanbul, Sydney and New York we decided to cut the architectural tour short on Sunday and end the afternoon in one of the warm thermal baths, since we had heard: modern architecture and old spas somehow belong together in Budapest.

The trip took half an hour with several stops to get swim suits. Time enough for a chat with the taxi driver. He explained that our hotels are located in the busy flat part of the city, in Pest. Opposite, on the other side of the Danube lies the more tranquil hilly Buda. The two parts are connected by eight bridges, of which the chain bridge is the most important. Which is the most beautiful view of the city, is up to you.

guiding architects meeting Budapest

Guiding Architects Meeting 2018 Budapest © Évi Fábián

We were curious, but also a bit nervous before our first visit of the thermal bath. How does it work? With the taxi we drove to Buda and the Rudas-Bath. But unfortunately the small traditional Turkish bath was completely overcrowded. Half an hour of waiting seemed too long,so we decided to visit the Gellért-Bath instead, which was only a few minutes away.

That was the right decision. We sat in the warm water, simular to a concert hall, the lighting, the hot steam and the magnificent facades formed the orchestra – great introduction for the Hungarian bathing culture. The Gellért-Bath was calm and elegant. Towels hung like colourful flags on the horizontal iron struts of the domed building and some tried their hand at a gymnastics exercise. Separate areas for men and women created a very special atmosphere. We almost missed the common outdoor pool with sauna on the first floor, but then we enjoyed a last bath with a view of the Danube.

All in all, it was once more an impressive guiding architects meeting in a beautiful city, which was very well organized by our network partner GA Bupapest. Despite the freezing cold, it was nice to get to know the city on the Danube and to discover one or two architectural highlights.

For our next meeting in spring 2019 Andalusia has been chosen. Everyone is already looking forward to Spain at hopefully milder temperatures.

 

 

The Fontenay

On 19 March 2018, the new luxury hotel “The Fontenay”, located directly on the Alster, opened its doors to the first hotel guests.

Since the the groundbreaking ceremony in 2014, a new five-star superior hotel with 131 rooms and suites has been built on the site of the former Hotel InterContinental, a unique property on the banks of the Hamburg Außenalster. It was based on the design by Störmer Murphy and Partners in collaboration with Mattheo Thun (interior design), which won first place in an international competition in 2013.

The Fontenay

night view © The Fontenay

A sculptural, eight-storey solitaire rises above three fluid circles forming the hotel’s ground plan.
The building has a particular urban power and expressiveness, while its flowing contours harmoniously blend in with the park-like terrain alongside the lake. Large treetops huddle against the curved façades.

The Fontenay

“Hotel in the Park” – this was the title given by architect Jan Störmer to his thoughts when he began with the first designs. The amorphous figure develops from three interlaced circles. It blends smoothly into the Alster landscape and creates a balance between urbanity and nature. Due to its organic form, the hotel has no back side – it stands in the green from all sides and is flooded with light. The three circles merge in the middle to form a waist from which the elevators rise and where a glazed courtyard planted with trees and the 27-metre high closed atrium can be found.
The façade is structured into elegant, horizontal strips consisting of glass and reflective, large-format ceramic panels, which are, according to the Alster Ordinance, finished in shining white.

The Fontenay

The 27m high atrium © The Fontenay

Inside, as well, circles and organic shapes can be found everywhere: be it the semicircular 25-metre long sofa in the atrium, the circular lamps in the event area or the semicircular carpets in the corridors. The colour world inside the building creates harmony: light beige tones, green onyx walls, warm white nuances, turquoise and royal blue accents reflect nature. Terrazzo floors in the public areas, different variations of parquet, granite stones, hand tufted carpets – everything was made and selected especially for “The Fontenay”.

The Fontenay

Model of the hotel – Andreas Vallbracht © The Fontenay

Two courtyards in the centre of the building – a roofed atrium and an open courtyard – immerse the building in daylight. The amorphously shaped top floor accommodates gastronomic facilities and a wellness area. A dome covers an award-winning gourmet restaurant with panoramic views.
A 20-metre indoor and outdoor pool on the 6th floor allows guests to take a swim while enjoying views to the Alster. The pool adjoins a sun terrace and a more than 1.000-square metre spa area with sauna, steam bath, relaxation and treatment rooms.

The interior design by Matteo Thun + Partners is bright, the materials – marble, wood, textiles – and
objects are finely coordinated with muted lighting scenarios. Luxury shall be tangible without being obtrusive. The design and implementation of the interior design have been continued by Aukett + Heese.

The Fontenay

model view © The Fontenay

The Elbtower – a unique high-rise

The finale and overture at the same time: the Elbtower in Hamburg will be the conclusion of HafenCity’s development and simultaneously the prelude to the entrance to Hamburg’s city centre and the future urban development areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook. Less than a year after the first announcement of Hamburg’s plans for a high-rise building on the Elbe bridges in HafenCity, building owners and architects are now certain. Following the design by David Chipperfield Architects, SIGNA Prime Selection AG will implement the project.

In the future the Elbtower will take its place almost as a matter of course as an increasingly familiar part of Hamburg’s urban landscape, forming a – privately built and financed – sculptural urban counterpart to the Elbphilharmonie. It was the design’s great iconographic power coupled with a respectful incorporation into Hamburg’s built environment that convinced the jury assessing the three best bidder offers and purchase agreements on January 31, 2018.

The Elbtower – a unique high-rise

The Elbtower is neither an architectural diva nor does it symbolize an architectural extravaganza. Its distinguished and elegant form creates a surprising interplay from every angle and enters into lively dialog with the neighborhood.

The Elbtower

West view from Baakenhafen © Hosoya Schaefer und Chipperfield

The building is suited on an almost triangular plot amid major infrastructure (rail tracks, roads) and directly adjacent to the first bridging point over the River Elbe. The tower soars upwards from a broad, triangular base, four to five stories high, that takes up the majority of the plot. The tower’s structural form is composed of an interplay between concave building contours.

Seen from the east the building has an upwardly divergent form; seen from the west its low-rise construction echoes buildings in HafenCity as it appears to step back from the adjacent rapid transit tracks. Because of the site’s high exposure to noise and wind, there will be no large open space here; instead a protected, enclosed urban area with a central square will be created in the low four-story part of the building that faces southwest.

It is not just the iconographic effect of the building over distance that makes it important for Hamburg. Together with the new Elbbrücken subway and rapid transit station it will become a new urban hub with an influence reaching into the new urban development areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook.

The Elbtower

aerial view urban development © fotofrizz_Chipperfield

When tenders were invited for the plot a great deal of value was already attached to effective public uses in the base of the building. The Elbtower will be a mixed-use high-rise with more than 100,000 m² gross floor area, extending upwards from a public, diversely used base containing entertainment and edutainment areas, retailing and catering, via semi-public uses such as hotel, boarding house, fitness and wellness areas, “Kinderland” and co-working space, to modern, flexibly designed office accommodation in the tower stories. The building’s social and communication meeting point is its naturally lit roofed-in atrium. All routes cross this light inner space that will be a focal point giving the Elbtower its identity. Because of the extremely high noise levels in this location, the developer has opted not to propose any residential use.

David Chipperfield Architects

Additionally, the Elbtower fulfils the highest sustainability criteria. It will receive HafenCity’s platinum Ecolabel and will be integrated into eastern HafenCity’s ambitious smart mobility concept.

Franz-Josef Höing, the new chief planning officer of Hamburg, said that the selected project by Chipperfield Architects promises to be a tall and elegant house in this centrally located location on the Elbe bridges. The beautiful, slender tower presents itself very differently depending on the viewing direction. In its finesse and filigree façade as well as its white texture, it ties in with the Hanseatic tradition of the white city on the waterfront.

At 235 meters, the Elbtower will be an unmistakable focal point in central Hamburg. Construction could get under way 2021, with opening in 2025 or 2026.

Plans for new suburb Grasbrook in Hamburg announced

Plans for a new Grasbrook suburb, opposite the eastern HafenCity, were announced Tuesday (September 12th 2017) in HafenCity University. The suburb will form a bridge to the Elbe islands and make the district of Veddel more inclusive. The plans foresee 6.000 apartments, 16.000 workplaces, shopping facilities, primary schools and nurseries. Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Senator for Urban Development, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chairman of the Managing Board of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Prof. Jörn Walter, the outgoing Chief Planning Director, presented the plans.

Grasbrook

Grasbrook © Hosoya Schaefer Architects

Plans foresee 6.000 apartments, 16.000 workplaces, shopping, primary schools and nurseries

The new 46-hectare suburb will offer space for offices, commercial buildings, research centres and laboratories and use existing buildings as well. The suburb will have some 880,000 square metres of above-ground floor areas and will take up two-thirds of HafenCity. Several kilometres of parks and public spaces will be created beside the river. The plans foresee “a mixed suburb that meets the needs of a vibrant city… a place that links old and new with sensible degrees of residential, working and harbour usage areas.”

Grasbrook

Grasbrook © Hosoya Schaefer Architects

The city had previously announced plans for a new residential and office district as part of its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2024. Several technical aspects have already been examined.
High environmental standards

Plans for new suburb Grasbrook in Hamburg announced

One third of the apartments in Gladbrook will be publicly funded. All the buildings there must meet high solar energy and e-mobility standards. Some 40 per cent of parking spaces in residential buildings must have charging stations for electric vehicles while 30 per cent must be reserved for car sharing purposes. HafenCity Hamburg GmbH will be responsible for developing the new suburb.

Grasbrook

Grasbrook © Hosoya Schaefer Architects

Here you could find more information (in german)

Architectural tour program 2017

Our new Architectural tour program 2017 has just been released. This year we offer trips to Valencia, Calpe and Benidorm as well as “best of Brasil”.

Best of Brazil, Architectural tour program 2017

Best of Brazil © a-tour

The tours are tailor-made for Architects as well as other professionals and also for a culturally interested audience. In co-operation with our international network Guiding Architects we guarantee a high quality experience. Our guides – architects themselves – explain the details behind the facade. We „open doors“ exclusively and lead you into places, which make your journey unforgettable.

Architectural tour program 2017

This year we offer the following international Architectural tours:

Valencia, Calpe and Benidorm 5th until 8th October 2017
Best of Brasil: São Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro 1st until 10th December 2017

Valencia, Calpe and Benidorm, Architectural tour program 2017

architecture trip to Valencia © a-tour

The following trips are planned in the future or for existing groups on demand:
Dubai, Bilbao and the Basque Provinces, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen, New York City, Tokio,
Lyon, Wroclaw, Porto und Lisbon, Marseille, Nantes, Hamburg, Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Helsinki-
Stockholm-Riga and Tallinn, South Africa, Santiago de Chile-Buenos Aires and Barcelona

Here you could find an overview of all our programs.

Collector’s Edition

The Collector’s Edition of the award-winning Architectural Guide series by DOM publishers presents 200 buildings from twenty different cities which have produced outstanding architecture in recent years.

The authors are members our global network Guiding Architects which is dedicated to the promotion of architecture, open spaces and urban development. Each of these critics based in Europe, the Middle East or the USA presents five Highlights and five Hidden Gems comprising both modern buildings and landscape architecture.

The Collector’s Edition is available online.

Architectural Guide Collector’s Edition

 

Architectural Guide, Collector's Edition

Collector’s Edition

All authors are trained professionals with degrees in the field of architecture and most of them run independent architectural practices in their respective cities. They conduct guided tours for experts and non-experts, hold lectures, publish specialised texts, organise workshops and symposia, or work in teaching and research.

20 booklets in a slipcase: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bilbao, Budapest, Doha, Dubai ∕ Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt ∕ Main, Hamburg, Istanbul, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Oslo, Rome, Rotterdam, Turin, Venice, Vienna

Collector’s Edition

Collector’s Edition

Collector’s Edition

Collector’s Edition

134 x 245 mm
320 pages
600 pictures
20 booklets in a slipcase
ISBN 978-3-86922-266-0

Elbphilharmonie unveils 2017/2018 programme

The Elbphilharmonie presented Monday the programme for the upcoming 2017/18 season during a press conference attended by Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator of Culture and Christoph Lieben-Seutter, General and Artistic Director of the Elbphilharmonie. The new concert hall is now setting its sights on its first regular season. By summer 2017, more than 480,000 people will already have experienced a concert live at the Elbphilharmonie since the opening in January.

Elbphilharmonie unveils 2017/2018 programme

“The 2017/18 concert season in the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle will be much more extensive than originally planned. Huge visitor interest from Hamburg and around the world enables us to present a tightly packed, varied and exciting programme that can very much hold its own with the magnificent opening months,” said Lieben-Seutter.

Top world orchestras

The programme weaves a web of some 600 concerts that showcase classical music, jazz, electronic music, world music, avant-garde and pop. An extended offer for children and youths and the Elbphilharmonie’s world of musical instruments will allow as many people as possible to experience the new concert hall, said Brosda.

Elbphilharmonie © a-tour

Elbphilharmonie © a-tour

Over the past few months, there has been a veritable run on Elbphilharmonie tickets. Some 850,000 tickets will be issued for the new season. Ticket presales start at 10 am on June 12, 2017. To give as many people as possible a chance to obtain tickets, a limit of four tickets per concert and no more than ten per transaction applies. More concerts will be added causing a rise in the number of tickets available.

Some 20 top-notch orchestras from all over the world will be performing in the Elbphilharmonie including two from the U.S. (Cleveland and Philadelphia), three from London, and leading ensembles from St. Petersburg, Perm, Montreal, Amsterdam, Rome, Birmingham, Zurich, Berlin, Leipzig and Munich. The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) from Munich will give performances on three evenings alone.

Hamburg International Music Festival

Several themed festivals exploring topics such as music from the Caucasus, Schubert’s “Winterreise” (“A Winter Journey”) and Bohemian and Czech chamber music will be accompanied by enthralling portraits of musicians such as the composer and conductor Peter Eötvös, the pianists Daniil Trifonov and Murrary Perahia, the baritone Matthias Goerne and the artists Bryce Dessner and Yaron Herman, who oscillate between independent, jazz and notated music. The crowning glory of the season will be the 3rd Hamburg International Music Festival (April 27-May 29), which will be held under the motto of “utopia”.

All orders for subscriptions received by May 22, 2017 will be dealt with equally. Should demand exceed availability, the tickets will be allocated at random from all orders submitted. More infromation

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Around 12,000 people flock to HafenCity every day to see Hamburg’s spectacular Elbphilharmonie, the view of the harbour and the Speicherstadt. Over 26,000 guests visited during the weekend after the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Plaza in November 2016.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Over 1 million visitors to Elbphilharmonie Plaza

The concert-hall is now a must-see attraction for visitors from all over the world and not just for the people of Hamburg. Smartphones and cameras are being clicked as soon as fans reach the 80 metre-long escalator, the Tube, leading to the top of the former Kaispeicher. Commenting on the popularity, Christoph Lieben-Seutter, General Director of the Elbphilharmonie, noted: “The unabated, brisk flow of visitors even on cold days confirms the huge appeal of the Elbphilharmonie’s architecture and that of the site.”

Elbphilharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

The opening ceremonies of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg took place on 11 and 12 January 2017. As part of the festivities, German Federal President Joachim Gauck, Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz, Jacques Herzog from Herzog & de Meuron, and General and Artistic Director Christoph Lieben-Seutter have spoken.

This was followed by the first concert in the Grand Hall played by the NDR Elbphilharmonie-Orchester – the orchestra in residence at the Elbphilharmonie – under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock together with renowned guest soloists. The programme also featured the very first performance of the work commissioned specially for the occasion by Wolfgang Rihm titled »Zum Raum wird hier die Zeit« (Here Time Becomes Space).

There was an encore performance of this concert on the evening of 12 January. Both concerts was accompanied by a one-of-a-kind light display on the facade of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. In the late afternoon of 12 January, the Recital Hall has also welcome its inaugural performance. Ensemble Resonanz, the ensemble in residence in the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie, has dubbed this opening evening »unknown space«. The evening included, among others, the first performance of a commissioned work by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas, under the direction of Emilio Pomàrico.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – just opened

The new philharmonic is not just a site for music; it is a full-fledged residential and cultural complex. The concert hall, seating 2100, and the chamber music hall for 550 listeners are embedded in between luxury flats and a five-star hotel with built-in services such as restaurants, a health and fitness centre, conference facilities.

Long a mute monument of the post-war era that occasionally hosted fringe events, the Kaispeicher A has now been transformed into a vibrant, international centre for music lovers, a magnet for both tourists and the business world. The Elbphilharmonie will become a landmark of the city of Hamburg and a beacon for all of Germany. It will vitalize the neighbourhood of the burgeoning HafenCity, ensuring that it is not merely a satellite of the venerable Hanseatic city but a new urban district in its own right.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © a-tour

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © a-tour

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

52 Places to Go in 2017

we are thrilled that Hamburg was just published in The New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2017”
as a haven for architecture and design.

52 Places to Go in 2017

David Farley from The New York Times wrote “Zaha Hadid’s meandering promenade along the Elbe recently breathed new life into the riverfront and the nearby 19th-century Warehouse District, which made the Unesco World Heritage list in 2015. Adding to the sheen, the much-anticipated Herzog & de Meuron-designed Elbphilharmonie is scheduled to open this month. The 360-foot-tall glass structure sits atop an old warehouse, its spiky roof evoking sails and the city’s maritime past. And if all that architectural gawking tires you out, the uber-luxurious Fontenay will open this summer, the first five-star hotel in this northern German city in 18 years.”

a-tour can show you what’s new in Hamburg’s architectural scene. We offer architects, and people interested in architecture, tailormade tours to a range of specially selected recent projects in Hamburg.
a-tour are looking forward to welcoming you in Hamburg.

architectural-guided-tours-hamburg-World-heritage -speicherstadt

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