Start of construction for Lohsepark community center in HafenCity Hamburg

The time is soon to come: In May 2021, construction work is to begin on the long-awaited community house at the playground in Lohsepark in HafenCity. The colorful wooden house with a lookout tower and green roof by rethmeierschlaich architekten will be built in the area of the playground on the western side of the park. This will create a social meeting place for visitors of all ages in the park.

Community House Lohsepark

Gemeinschaftshäuser Lohsepark © rethmeierschlaich architekten

One can already guess where the community house will be located: since the house and its location were co-planned from the beginning as an integral part of Lohsepark and the playground, the play areas in this area are only temporary and are mainly simply designed with lawns and hedges.

Preparatory work from the end of February 2021

In order to be able to start the construction in time, the hedges within the play area are being removed at the moment. Subsequently, some trees have to be taken out of the ground in order to have enough space for the construction site equipment. However, these measures are only temporary: once the building is completed, the adjacent parking areas will be restored and the trees replanted. Then the fenced-in play area will finally be fully usable as well: Due to the construction work, the area will be temporarily somewhat restricted in size for the construction period until September 2022.

Common place through common design

As one of a total of three community houses in HafenCity’s parks – the other two are being built in Grasbrookpark and Baakenpark – the house in Lohsepark will become a new meeting place for a wide range of neighborhood activities. The wooden building designed by rethmeierschlaich architekten is bold, colorful, inviting and visible from afar thanks to its observation tower.

The utilization concept was worked on intensively with the active participation of the neighborhood. Inside, the community center will be flexible in use: Half of the space will be available for community use as a neighborhood office with two multipurpose rooms and a kitchen. The other half will provide functions for the park and play areas. A café, public restrooms and storage areas for loaner equipment and toys are also planned. It will be ready in the fall of 2022.

You can also learn more information on our Architectural tour HafenCity East.

Urban planning competition for the extension of Hamburg`s main station

The urban planning competition for the expansion of Hamburg’s main station has been launched. The City of Hamburg is launching a competition in coordination with Deutsche Bahn. It is an important step on the way to the expansion of Hamburg’s main station: With the public announcement of the urban and open space planning competition on January 29, 2021, the Europe-wide application and selection process starts, in which architectural firms, landscape architects and urban planners can now apply directly. The competition is being organized by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, represented by ReGe Hamburg and in close cooperation with Deutsche Bahn (DB).

competition Hamburg's main train station

Hamburg Hbf © Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang

The process is the starting point for the expansion of Hamburg’s main station and the further development of the entire station environment. The capacity of the main station is increasingly reaching its limits due to the increase in travelers and passers-by. A structural extension of the traffic junction is urgently required. The aim of the planning competition is to obtain an integrated overall picture and to create infrastructurally, architecturally and urbanistically appropriate solutions for the main station and the surrounding area in order to advance the mobility turnaround. The requirements of the passengers as well as the transport companies and tradespeople are the focus here. At the same time, it is important to treat the issue of historic preservation and the neighborhoods affected by the conversion with respect.

Urban planning competition for the extension of the main station Hamburg

Following the start of the tendering competition, 30 offices will enter the first phase of the competition from April 2021 to develop basic urban development concepts. The number of participants is deliberately set high in order to obtain as diverse and different concepts as possible.
These different concepts will be examined and evaluated in a first jury meeting in August 2021. In the second phase, 10 offices will then remain and will be called upon to prepare a detailed concept. A second jury meeting to select the winning design and announce the winners is scheduled for the end of 2021.

Rethinking the main station and its surroundings

The jury includes Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dr. Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Change, and Franz-Josef Höing, Chief Planning Director of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, on the Hamburg side, as well as Sven Hantel, Member of the Management Board for Production DB Station & Service AG, and Oliver Hasenkamp, Head of Property Development and Planning DB Station & Service AG, on the DB side.

Selection procedure and public dialog process

The competition will be accompanied by a public dialog process, the results of which will be incorporated into the concepts. In the form of several events, citizens will be invited to contribute their comments and ideas to the competition. This process will start with an initial digital information event with parallel online participation in mid-March 2021.

The winning design of the competition is to form the basis for defining the guidelines for the expansion of the main station and the urban design of the immediate neighborhood for the coming years and decades.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

The development plan for the Elbtower in HafenCity has been given the green light. After three hours, the commission approved the development plan for Germany’s third tallest building. The 245-meter office and hotel tower is to be the finishing touch to HafenCity. The cost of building the Elbtower is estimated at at least 700 million euros. It is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Elbtower HafenCity

Elbtower © HafenCity Hamburg GmbH/moka-studio

Too high, almost bludgeoning Hamburg’s skyline, and bringing too much shade for residents in Rothenburgsort – these are the most common of the 26 objections, revealed a meeting of the Urban Development Commission. However, the CO2 consumption was also criticized. And an anti-terrorism concept for the building was missing. However, the representatives of the urban development authority defended themselves against this point of criticism. The express elevator to the viewing platform on the 55th floor, for example, could only be entered after online registration and after being scanned by a body scanner.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

In December, the developer Signa from Austria had submitted the construction plans for the skyscraper. Actually, the building application should already be available in the middle of the year. The media speculated whether the Corona crisis might have an impact on the plans for the Elbe Tower. But at the end of last year, Signa submitted 400 folders of planning documents to Hamburg’s urban development authority for review. The company speaks of a milestone for the construction.

In the second quarter, the company wants to prepare the excavation pit and the foundations. Test drillings had shown that the ground at the Elbe bridges is actually somewhat firmer than expected and that the foundations do not have to be driven 111 meters into the ground, but only a good 70 meters.

Signa also announced its first tenant in December: Hamburg Commercial Bank plans to rent 11,000 square meters of offices – equivalent to one-eighth of the total office space. The selection of the hotel operator is said to be imminent.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

In 2017, an interdisciplinary and independent jury voted unanimously in favor of the design by David Chipperfield Architects. As a mixed-use high-rise with approx. 104,000 m² of gross floor area, the Elbtower will develop from a public, multi-use base with entertainment and edutainment areas, retail and gastronomy to semi-public uses such as a hotel, boarding house, fitness and wellness areas, children’s land and co-working spaces to modern and flexibly configurable office space on the tower floors. A public area is planned for the upper floor; gastronomic use is planned. The building’s social and communicative meeting point is a daylit, covered atrium. In the summer of 2020, a multi-story sample facade of what will be the city’s tallest building was constructed.
The 1:1 facade prototype of the Elbtower is a total of 11 meters high and 13.5 meters wide.

Elbtower model facade

Elbtower model facade outside © Helge Schwarzer

The Elbtower meets the highest sustainability criteria. It will be certified to the Platinum Standard of the HafenCity Ecolabel and will fulfill the ambitious Smart Mobility concept of eastern HafenCity. The Elbtower not only marks the end of the HafenCity development, but is also the prelude to the entrance to the center of Hamburg. Together with the new Elbbrücken subway and S-Bahn station, it will become a new urban hub that will radiate into the future urban development areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.

Parks and open spaces in Hamburg

Given the pandemic situation and the renewed lockdown, parks and public spaces have become indispensable refuges that provide a much-needed change of pace. Within the city, they serve not only as carbon binders, but also as recreational spaces and social gathering places. Today, we introduce you to some of these new parks and open spaces. Off to the fresh air for a winter walk!

parks and open spaces Hamburg

Lohsepark © VOGT

Lohsepark – The Green Center of HafenCity, Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich                              If a visitor turns 360 degrees in the middle of the approximately 4ha large Lohsepark by Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, he experiences one of the outstanding spatial qualities of the area: at both ends, the elongated axis of the open space opens up to the harbor basin. The open space concept emphasizes these spatial qualities with two fundamental design interventions: a visual axis from water to water and a precise spatial staggering in three height levels – city level, park level and historical level. Terraces connect the individual levels with each other. The detailed design of the terraces creates areas for different uses and distinguishable characters. Even lower, precisely demarcated by another height step, lie the historical facilities: the structural remains of the Hanover train station have their own visual language and tell of the past of the site, which was the central starting point for the deportation of Jews, Sinti and Roma during World War II. Like a deeper geological layer, the memorial lies one meter below park level and up to three meters below city level.

Parks and open spaces in Hamburg

parks and open spaces Hamburg

Baakenpark aerial view © Mark Pflüger

Baakenpark – HafenCity / Atelier Loidl, Berlin                                                                                          Baakenpark by Atelier Loidl is the green center of the newly emerging eastern HafenCity. The 1.6 hectare peninsula, artificially raised from Elbe sand, is located in the middle of the former Baakenhafen harbor basin. With its wild shoreline, green slopes down to the water’s edge, and characteristic topography, the park forms an atmospheric counter-world to its surroundings. Baakenpark has a striking topography with several plateaus of varying heights. Due to the special flood protection requirements, the play and green areas of the park were laid out on three elevated plateaus. The three plateaus differ clearly from each other in their uses and atmospheres: in the west of the peninsula is the sports and play area, the middle level offers a play and sunbathing area with the embankment tribune, and in the east, away from the hustle and bustle, the 15m high “Himmelsberg” rises as a crowning finale as a vantage point visible from afar. The bridge from Versmannkai to Baakenpark provides a direct link for pedestrians and cyclists between the parts of the new city quarter to the north and south of the harbor basin.

parks and open spaces Hamburg

Baakenpark © Atelier Loidl

Hafenpromenade – Baumwall / Zaha Hadid Architects, London                                                              As early as 2006, following the decision of the public competition, Zaha Hadid Architects were commissioned by the City of Hamburg to extend the promenade. The reason for the competition at that time was the upgrading of the existing flood protection facilities at the inner-city harbor. Since the great flood of 1962, the city has been arming itself against renewed flooding with this protective wall on the Elbe. The design by Zaha Hadid Architects gave an effective urban dimension to the technically justified repair and raising of the protective structures on the Elbe. The result is a one-kilometer-long city promenade along the Elbe, a good nine meters above sea level. Ten meters and wider, this elevated pedestrian and bicycle route with isolated acute-angled pavilion buildings forms a kind of closure of the city to the shore. Via ramps, stairs and individual pedestrian bridges, it is linked to Hamburg beyond. The most important motif here is the wide stairways, which are based on the amphitheater type. Sometimes they are oriented toward the water, sometimes toward the city – creating different places to stay and communicate.

Parks and open spaces in Hamburg

parks and open spaces Hamburg

Krebs und Herde Landschaftsarchitekten, Winterthur (CH) © Ferdinand Graf Luckner, Hamburg

District Park – Neue Mitte Altona / Krebs und Herde Landschaftsarchitekten, Winterthur                      On the site of the former Altona train station, the new district Neue Mitte Altona is being created with a central city park. The park design was developed in 2013 with the intensive participation of citizens. The Swiss landscape planning office Krebs und Herde was commissioned to incorporate the resulting ideas into its concept. The entire park covers 2.7 hectares and was designed as a “flowing meadow landscape” that runs southward through the entire planning area. The monumental steel skeleton of the former goods hall, a historic clinker brick building and a preserved water tower anchor the new neighborhood in the history of the village. The sunken playground and park steps form a relief that links function and recreation in a natural way. A small wood will be created in the northwest of the park. There will be a varied exercise course on the playground. Next on the agenda is the renovation of the corroded freight hall structure and the associated installation of a climbing playground and a small-scale hall garden. In a longer development perspective, with the relocation of the long-distance train station, the park will connect with the existing green corridor through the city and extend to the “Altona Balcony” on the Elbe.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.

Free virtual tours by Guiding Architects

After the great success of Guiding Architects’ first series of virtual architecture tours, which took place in October and had over 550 participants, Guiding Architects is now hosting a second series of free virtual architecture tours.

From January 29 to February 12 2021, we will take you to Copenhagen, Paris and Rotterdam to present urban strategies around sustainability.

Virtual architectural tours by Guiding Architects

Virtual Tour 2nd Series © Guiding Architects

In the live streaming events, the speakers – architects and architectural journalists working and researching at their sites – will share their extensive knowledge with the help of (historical) photos, film and audio clips, aerial photos, city plans and architectural drawings. Participants will get a good insight into the areas, their urban context and the different approaches to sustainability, resilience, participation and mobility.

While the series is designed around a central theme, each tour is a stand-alone event and can be undertaken separately or as part of the series.

Free virtual tours of Sustainable Urban Strategies in Copenhagen, Paris and Rotterdam from January 29 to February 12, 2021.


Friday, 29.01.21 – 18:00 h
Nordhavn – The Sustainable Borough of the Future in Copenhagen
Host: Bo Christiansen, Scaledenmark                                                                                                        Registration here

Virtual architectural tours by Guiding Architects

Konditaget Lüders by JAJA Architects © Scaledenmark

Friday, 05.02.21 – 18:00 h
Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris – a new sustainable, participatory and resilient neighborhood
Host: Catherine Haas-Adler, GA Paris                                                                                                        Registration here

Friday, 12.02.21 – 18:00 h
Water Management and Climate Adaptation in Rotterdam
Host: Anneke Bokern, architour                                                                                                                  Registration here

Virtual architectural tours by Guiding Architects

Aerial view of Dakpark in Rotterdam © architour

The tours will take place on Zoom in English, participation is free of charge. For more information and registration, click here:

Friday, 29.01.21 – 18:00 h          Copenhagen                                                                                           Friday, 05.02.21 – 18:00 h          Paris                                                                                                       Friday, 12.02.21 – 18:00 h          Rotterdam

BDA Hamburg Architecture Prize 2020

Despite Corona, this year again the best Hamburg buildings could be awarded the prestigious BDA Hamburg Architecture Prize and the BDA / Hamburger Abendblatt Public Architecture Prize 2020!

With these two awards, the BDA Hamburg (Bund Deutscher Architekten) wants to honor and highlight exemplary buildings that have been created in the Hamburg area in the past two years and set quality standards in contemporary architecture. Architects are honored together with their clients for their joint work. The award winners receive a certificate and all the award-winning buildings are made available to the public on the Internet and in a catalog documentation.

This year, for the first time, entertaining films were created documenting the jury work, the award-winning building projects and the award ceremony. All films and further information on the winning buildings can be found on the BDA Hamburg website.

BDA Hamburg Architecture Prize 2020

Jury: Martina Bauer, Architektin, Berlin· Till Briegleb, Journalist, Hamburg· Prof. Dietrich Fink, Architekt BDA, München (Jury chair)· Franz-Josef Höing, Oberbaudirektor, Hamburg· Prof. Mikala Holme Samsøe, Architektin MAA, München

The jury selected three equal 1st prize awards, six equal 2nd prize awards, and seven equal 3rd prize awards from 83 entries from the 2018 – 2020 construction years from the greater Hamburg area. It also awarded 19 buildings with an appreciation. For the public architecture price, which the BDA Hamburg assigns together with the daily paper Hamburger Abendblatt in a second stage, it nominated further nine buildings. The catalog will be published in spring 2021 by Dölling und Galitz Verlag under the title “BDA Hamburg Architektur Preis 2020 – Die Baujahre 2018 – 2020”.

Laureates of the BDA Hamburg Architecture Prize 2020                                                                      The three equally ranked BDA Hamburg Architecture Prizes 2020 (1st prize rank) go to:

1. prize_Carmody-Groarke_Grossmarkt-Theater-Pavillon

1. prize_Carmody-Groarke_Grossmarkt-Theater-Pavillon_©Johan_Dehlin

1st prize for: Großmarkt Theater Pavillon, Banksstraße 28, 20097 Hamburg                                            Building task: New pavilion for culture and gastronomy                                                                              Architect’s office: Carmody Groarke, London Client: Mehr! Theater, Hamburg

Jury assessment: In Hamburg, people don’t like to see crazy things, despite their affinity with the English way of life. But when an unknown architectural object from the island does land, it is met with the greatest sympathy. The silver flying disc in front of the Mehr Theater in the Grossmarkthallen, where fans of Harry Potter 2020 should actually be enjoying their potions during the break, is also a magical place in its own right. Like a shape-shifter, the bar container reacts to its surroundings, reflecting the lighting moods at the harbor with its cladding. The undulating aluminum skin takes up the curves of Bernhard Hermke’s iconic architecture, while the round basic shape responds to the striking “hats” of the ventilation towers. Inside, this wooden structure is a black-beamed marquee with an atrium and a view of Hermke’s concrete blaze. Cozy, quirky, spartan, yet full of character. A crazy combination that sets a dazzling accent. No magic spells needed, except perhaps, “Applaud!”

1. prize_gmp_Bahnhof_Elbbruecken

1. prize_gmp_Bahnhof_Elbbruecken_©a-tour

1st prize for the: Underground and S-Bahn station Elbbrücken Elbbrücken, 20457 Hamburg                   Construction task: New construction of two stops, underground and S-Bahn station                                Architect’s office: gmp – Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Hamburg                                          Client: Underground station and Skywalk: Hamburger Hochbahn AG                                                       Roof S-Bahn station: DB Station & Service AG

Jury assessment: These communicating tubes of mass transit are the new gatekeepers of the city. With their provocative fishnet stocking design, the two glass legs for the S-Bahn and U-Bahn greet the entrance to beautiful Hamburg, or say goodbye to the sad farewell. As the veiled sisters of the Elbbrücken, the two stations are an architectural welcome to a place that for a long time waited primarily for better times. Now they enter into a dialogue with the steel arches of the Elbe bridges, although they do come a little too close to them. But that’s perhaps the way it is with too much love for old landmarks. On the other hand, these intermediate stations for jumping over the Elbe can claim to put an end to the sad history of Hamburg’s train stations. Since the end of the war, the above-ground rail network has seen architectural quality demolished rather than built. Now, at this prominent location, the Elbbrücken double station finally formulates pride in the beauty of engineering achievements again and says its loud “Ahoy!” to travelers.

1. prize_LH-Architekten_Schulterblatt

1. prize_LH Architekten_Schulterblatt_©Dorfmueller-Klier

1st prize for the: Schulterblatt residential and commercial building, Schulterblatt 65, 20357 Hamburg Building task: New construction of a residential and commercial building with bank branch and associated offices as well as 4 small rental apartments                                                                                     Architect’s office: LH Architekten Landwehr Henke + Partner mbB, Hamburg                                         Client: NM Nord-IMMO Management GmbH & Co. KG

Jury assessment: When strangers in Hamburg stand in front of a new building and laughingly shout “Go for it!” to each other, something extraordinary must have happened. And if it happens regularly, as with the corner building erected on the Schulterblatt in place of the most famous branch of the Hamburg Savings Bank, then someone has done something very right. Where the windows used to clink on every Hamburg riot night, there now stands a residential and commercial building that both picks up on the founding spirit of its built neighborhood and its structure, and creatively reflects the liveliness of the Schanzenviertel. A slender “framework” of concrete beams and columns, in which large light wooden windows, loggias and, in the setback, a terrace create sculptural depth, connects logically with the context on all sides. Artistically refined by vertical concrete hatching with cheeky grained zig-zag graphics, however, the stubbornness of the genius loci is also met. The house itself is now making a ruckus, in the best sense of the word.

BDA Hamburg Architecture Prize 2020

The BDA / Hamburger Abendblatt Public Architecture Award 2020 goes to:

The 1st Public Architecture Award for Waterworks Falkenstein, Falkensteiner Ufer 38, 40, 40a, 42a, 42b, 2258 Hamburg                                                                                                                                     Building task: Renovation and conversion of the former pumping station of the Bauerspark waterworks into condominiums in accordance with the preservation order                                                                   Architect’s office: BIWERMAU Architekten BDA                                                                                        Hamburg Client: Renovation in accordance with the preservation order / extended shell: Waterworks Falkenstein GbR, Stephanie Siewert / Andreas Hanitsch / Extensions: various private clients

The winning building was chosen by a wide margin from nine nominated buildings by the readership of the daily newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt.

The 2nd Public Architecture Prize is awarded for the building “Großmarkt Theater Pavillon” to Carmody Groarke, London and her client Mehr! Theater, Hamburg.

The 3rd Public Architecture Prize was awarded to gmp – Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Hamburg and their clients Hamburger Hochbahn AGand DB Station & Service AG for the “U- und S-Bahnhof Elbbrücken”.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.

Architecture Trip Munich

Since this year’s Corona was not a year for long-distance travel, we were all very happy to be able to carry out at least one excursion within Germany, our architecture trip to Munich. This took place from 21 to 24 October 2020.

Our 11-member travel group visited the Bavarian metropolis of Munich, which is facing huge challenges due to the rapidly growing population and the associated search for affordable housing.

The first day gave us a rough orientation of downtown Munich.

We walked from our hotel located at the Sendliger Tor through the Sendliger Straße to the Jewish Center. From our Guiding Architects network partner Claudia we learned that the design was by the Saarbrücken-based architectural office Wandel Hoefer Lorch, which had won the 2001 competition.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, Ohel-Jakob-Synagoge © a-tour

The tour led us further past the residential house on the Oberanger of Staab Architekten to the Hofstatt area, which was built by the Swiss architects Meili, Peter.

Architecture Trip Munich

This is where the headquarters of the SZ and the Münchner Abendzeitung used to be located, says Claudia. This “Forbidden City” was developed in 2008 after the SZ moved to a high-rise building on the eastern edge of Munich and was opened to the public at the end of 2013.

We continued walking past the Frauenkirche and through the Schäffler Hof, which was designed by the Swiss architect Ivano Gianola and was one of the first passages in Munich, to the Fünf Höfe.

We heard from our guide that Basel’s star architects Herzog & de Meuron developed the concept for the huge quarter after winning the competition held for it in 1997.

Everyone wanted to see more and so Claudia showed us the Salvatorgarage. She explained to us that Franz Hart had built a striking new parking garage here in 1964, with a single-flush office wing in front of it facing Salvatorplatz. The new facade of the addition of galvanized steel by architect Peter Haimerl contrasts with the heaviness of the old brick facade. The steel mesh provides the desired delimitation and forms a robust and significant enclosure for the new parking spaces.

Since everyone had already walked quite a bit but the hunger for architecture was still not satisfied, Claudia showed us another highlight at the end of the day, the New Maxburg.

We learned that it was built by Sep Ruf and Theo Pabst on the site of the Herzog-Max-Burg, which was destroyed in World War II. Claudia explained to us that it represents one of the outstanding buildings of the reconstruction in Germany.

The second day led us first to Nymphenburg to the Rothkreuzplatz and the Herz-Jesu-Kirche.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, Herz-Jesu-Kirche © a-tour

We heard that because the previous building from 1951 had burned down, the Catholic parish church Herz Jesu was rebuilt in 2000 according to plans by Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten.

We were met by a cubic building with its 14-meter-high glass blue front and (semi-)transparent walls. Inside an outer “glass box” there is another wooden cube into which different amounts of light penetrate through wooden slats depending on the position of the sun. An impressive building and we wondered what could top this building on this day.

After a short ride with the subway we arrived at the project “Living at Dantebad”. Here the office Florian Nagler Architekten 2017 created a serially structured building with 1 and 2.5 room apartments for refugees and homeless people for the municipal housing association GEWOFAG during the refugee crisis.

By bus we went on to the Olympic area. There we saw the renovation of the Olympic Village of Women, which is part of the listed ensemble together with the Old Mensa, the Student Tower and the Olympic Village of Men. Claudia had another surprise in store for us. The janitor of the complex was waiting for us and we got the opportunity to get a great view over the complex and the Olympic Park from the roof terrace of the student high-rise. Since there was also a light hairdryer, we even had the spectacular view of the mountains when looking south, which the people of Munich love so much.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, Olympipark © a-tour

Just a few minutes’ walk from the village, the plans for a memorial to the Munich assassination attempt in 1972 were realized in 2017 by Brückner & Brückner Architects.
Still gripped by the impressions of the memorial, we went over to the Troika, which is formed by the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Hall and the Olympic Stadium Swimming Hall. After visiting the buildings and studying the beautiful roof structure, we spent our lunch break in the sunshine on the terrace of the restaurant at the Olympic lake.

Freshly strengthened we strolled on and already from a distance we saw the striking BMW headquarters. We heard from Claudia that the BMW Group headquarters were inaugurated in 1973 according to a design by Professor Dr. Karl Schwanzer from Vienna. We had the opportunity to visit the foyer of the BMW headquarters.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, BMW Museum © a-tour

Claudia explained that Schwanzer, who also worked for Oscar Niemeyer, had suggested BMW build a museum right next door. So it is not surprising that the typical concrete bowl with a diameter of 40 meters reminded us a little of Niemeyer’s legendary design for the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, which we also visited on our architectural trip to Brazil. At the end of the day we passed the bridge to the “BMW-Welt”, which opened in 2007. Claudia told us that it was built according to plans by Coop Himmelb(l)au.

On the third day we will take the subway to the Kunstareal.

From Claudia we learned that the art area with its 18 museums and exhibition houses, more than 40 galleries and cultural institutions and six universities is unique in Germany.

We went over to the Lenbachhaus. The Munich painter Franz von Lenbach had the building, which now houses the Städtische Galerie, built in 1891 in the style of an Italian country house. Next to the new three-story annex, which Norman Foster built in 2013, we see the former studio wing and the painter’s yellowshade villa.

Next on the agenda was the Nazi Documentation Center. The sharp-edged white exposed concrete building was erected in 2015 according to plans by Berlin-based Georg Scheel Wetzel Architects and has the shape of a cube with a side length of 22.50 meters. Narrow, high window slits in precise rows provide targeted views of the historical surroundings at Königsplatz.

From here we reached the double building with the University of Television and Film and the Egyptian Museum by Peter Böhm.

We took a short coffee break on the roof terrace of the TUM Munich in the “Voerhoelzer Forum” before continuing to the Pinakothek der Moderne. This classically beautiful building combines four collections from the fields of art, architecture, graphics and design on 12,000 square meters of exhibition space.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, Museum Brandhorst © a-tour

Via the Brandhorst collection of Sauerbruch Hutton we reached the new Siemens headquarters of Henning Larsen. The headquarters for about 1,200 employees was designed to be open and transparent. The heart of the new headquarters is the atrium, which is located in the middle of the building and is accessible from all sides.
Unfortunately, however, we were not able to access it because of the corona measures and so we used one of the beautifully staged courtyards for our group picture.

Architecture Trip Munich

Architekturreise München, Gruppenbild © a-tour

Then we had a very short walk over to Odeonsplatz, where our tour ended.

It was three great days in Munich. Thanks Claudia for the great impressions we got. We will surely come back.

The detailed travelogue will follow. More information about our architecture tours can be found here.

New building for HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is building a new office building in the Am Sandtorpark/Grasbrook neighborhood as a zero-emissions building in order to optimally position itself for its growing urban development tasks and the associated increase in personnel and space requirements in the future.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is responsible for four of Hamburg’s future projects – HafenCity, Grasbrook, Billebogen and Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. At the same time, the construction project will redefine a previously unsatisfactory urban planning situation and complete the development of the quarter. As a zero-emissions building, it will set new standards for sustainable construction and the careful use of resources. In the basement, the building also provides space for the shore power plant for the sustainable supply of the cruise ships. In order to obtain planning permission for the office building, the Authority for Urban Development and Housing is drawing up the HafenCity 18 Development Plan. Early public participation will start on October 30, 2020, with construction of the building expected to begin in 2021 and completion planned for 2023.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

Heizwerk HafenCity © a-tour

While HafenCity is developing eastwards as far as the Elbe bridges, the urban planning situation at the intersection of Am Dalmannkai and San Francisco Strasse remains unsatisfactory to this day. It was created in the 1990s, even before the HafenCity Masterplan was adopted, by the location of the combined heat and power plant, which still today and will continue to be an important component of the sustainable heat supply in western HafenCity. With the new office building, the opportunity is now being taken to give the disordered surroundings of the heating plant a clearer urban structure and to give the urban space more urbanity through new uses.

New building for HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

A six-storey office building with a gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 7,200 m² is to be built on the approximately 1,500 m² site. Attractive uses are planned for the first floor locations of the building, such as store units, gastronomy, culture or services, which will create additional offers for the neighborhood and contribute to a lively street space. Due to the proximity of the new cruise terminal currently under construction (Hamburg Cruise Center HafenCity), the necessary shore power system for the sustainable supply of cruise ships will be integrated in the basement of the new building. In this way, pollutant emissions from the ships during berthing times can be significantly minimized.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH will construct and use the building as its future new corporate headquarters. In the competition for the office building, which it launched in September 2020 in agreement with the Hamburg Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is setting high quality standards. Since 2007, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH has been demanding that builders comply with demanding environmental standards with its own eco-label. The demands placed on the participating planning offices in the architectural competition are correspondingly high. The zero-emissions building should be CO2-neutral in its overall balance sheet, i.e. over the entire building life cycle from construction and operation to deconstruction and disposal. According to the so-called cradle-to-cradle principle, the origin of materials and future dismantling and reuse must be included in the planning process from the very beginning. In addition to the ambitious sustainability goals, it is also important to develop a room program that is adapted to modern, digitalized working environments. The spaces should create the greatest possible flexibility and openness for HafenCity’s employees, but also for future tenants and users.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

Heizwerk HafenCity © a-tour

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH wants to use the new building to create the conditions for the company’s future strategy. The results of the architectural competition are expected to be presented to the public in early December.

In order to create planning rights for the site, which is currently still part of the operating area of the combined heat and power plant, the Authority for Urban Development and Housing is currently drawing up the HafenCity 18 Development Plan. Following the involvement of public interest groups in July 2020, early public participation is now to take place. The documents will be available for one month from October 30, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

You can also learn more about the building on our HafenCity West architectural tour.

Moringa: Cradle-to-cradle inspired living in HafenCity

Moringa GmbH by Landmarken AG, as developer, is planning the first high-rise residential building in Germany based on the cradle-to-cradle principle in the Elbbrücken quarter of HafenCity Hamburg together with kadawittfeldarchitektur. By using smaller quantities of building materials as well as a sophisticated recycling concept it sets new standards. A further special feature of the “Moringa” rental apartment building with approximately 190 residential units are the green facades, roof and inner courtyard areas, which return more than 100% of the land area to nature. This improves air quality in HafenCity, reduces heat island effects, increases biodiversity throughout the quarter and provides various recreational areas for residents and visitors. This ambitious project is scheduled for completion by 2024.


Moringa_HafenCity_vorne © kadawittfeldarchitektur rendertaxi

The ensemble of three building elements is grouped around a green inner courtyard. As a pure rental apartment building with variable floor plans and one-third subsidized apartments, the new building addresses different social classes and thus also contributes to the relaxation of the rental housing market. According to current planning, approximately 190 residential units with a total living space of around 11,900 m² are to be built. These will include co-living areas with communal lounges, kitchens and terraces.


Moringa_HafenCity_Straßenseite © kadawittfeldarchitektur rendertaxi

The basement and first floor will have a day care center with outdoor area. In addition, co-working spaces are planned, which can be connected to multifunctional rooms that can be booked via app. Other areas for gastronomy and retail will supplement the mix of uses and ensure the development of a city loggia and a lively quarter in the east of HafenCity. An underground car park offers space for over 400 bicycles and around 50 cars, 30% of which will be reserved for car-sharing.

Moringa: Cradle-to-cradle inspired living in HafenCity

The design of the new high-rise residential building is noteworthy: Following the cradle-to-cradle principle, recyclable and healthy materials are separated by type wherever possible and are joined together in a way that allows them to be dismantled and reused. In the long term, the building industry is thus developing into a circular economy, which also sees buildings as a kind of ‘material store’. Instead of producing waste and disposal costs at the end of the life cycle, economic added value is generated and resources are thus conserved.


Moringa_HafenCity_Balkon © kadawittfeldarchitektur rendertaxi

Overall, more green space is created, horizontally and vertically, than is built over. The façade acts as the “green lung” of the quarter by performing cooling and air-purifying functions and generating oxygen. It contributes to the diversity of species in the city, shapes the habitat of the residents and also determines the design of the building. The roof gardens and the green inner courtyard also serve as retention areas for rainwater and for private and communal use, for recreation, urban farming, work and exchange.

The name Moringa is derived from a healthy “super plant”, the so-called Moringa Olifeira, to which many positive characteristics are attributed.

You can also learn more about the building on our HafenCity Ost architectural tour.

Ground-breaking ceremony for new elementary school Am Baakenhafen

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new elementary school Am Baakenhafender just took place. A new elementary school is being built here, which is directly adjacent to a day care center for children with an educational and family center.

On behalf of the school authorities, versatile, modernly equipped classrooms for around 460 students are being built. The city is investing around 32 million euros in the school building. The building is scheduled for completion at the end of 2022 and will be handed over to the newly founded elementary school.

There are plans for 20 general classrooms, which will be supplemented by subject classrooms. In addition, the school will have a canteen with a vitality kitchen and an assembly hall with a stage. The basement floors will include a sports hall for children in doubt – a large part of the break areas will be located on the roof of the building.

Ground-breaking ceremony for new elementary school Am Baakenhafen

At Baakenhafen, a mixed quarter is being created with living space for around 4,200 residents, around 2,200 jobs and a wide range of leisure activities. The new school building is being constructed on the central Lola-Rogge-Platz, which will be an attractive marketplace for local supplies. North of the elementary school is Baakenpark, which will open in 2018 – a green open space on the artificial peninsula in the harbor basin. To the east of the school building, a daycare center for children with an education and family center is being built, which will be structurally interlinked with the school building. On the first floor of the school, a store or café will be created to open up the building in addition to Lola Rogge Square.

Education and Family Center Baakenhafen

Elementary school and KITA Baakenhafen © LRO and Werk Arkitekter

As a meeting place and learning venue, the school is becoming an important building block for social and cultural life in the Baakenhafen district. But it is not only HafenCity’s residents who will benefit from the new school location: as with the Katharinenschule, children from the surrounding neighborhoods will probably also attend the school. The planning was carried out with educational concepts in mind and in close coordination between all those involved in the project – including the local school management. The architectural leitmotif of the LRO office aims at the cooperation of students and teachers. The aim is to promote and support varied forms of learning with the built space.

You can also learn more about the new school building on our HafenCity Ost architectural tour.