Bunker St. Pauli

The amazing Bunker St. Pauli, right in the heart of the city, will extend over five storeys in the shape of a pyramid. One of the project’s most eye-catching features is the landscaping plans: a spectacular roof-top garden, in all likelihood one of a kind in Germany, with a fantastic panoramic view over Hamburg, in line of sight of the Elbphilharmonie and a leafy and meandering green walkway that will surround the bunker.

Rendering Bunker St. Pauli © Matzen Immobilien GmbH

In addition to this new public rooftop park, the bunker will host a memorial for the victims of the Nazi regime and the Second World War. In addition, spaces for culture, exhibitions and a hall for sports and cultural events will be created.

Bunker St. Pauli

NH Hotel Group has won the tender to operate the new nhow Hotels that will be built in the top of the stunning Bunker St. Pauli. The building will have 136 rooms, a bar, a café and a restaurant. It is scheduled to open mid-2021. The differentiating factor that tipped landlord EHP Erste Hanseatische Projektmanagement GmbH and property developer Matzen Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG in NH Hotel Group’s favour was its comprehensive proposal, plans that dovetail with the creative scene in the Schanzenviertel district in St. Pauli.

Bunker St. Pauli © Matzen Immobilien GmbH

Built in 1942 in just 300 days, even with the use of forced laborers, the bunker on Feldstraße was one of two so-called flak towers, initially intended primarily for air defense. It was also propaganda of the Nazi regime. During the II World War, tens of thousands of Hamburgers found protection against Allied air raids. Meanwhile, the bunker St. Pauli has long been home to companies from the media, culture and creative industries., and will remain there after the hotel is built in the rooftop.

International Bauforum 2019

From 19th to 24th August, the Hamburg Deichtorhallen will be turned into a design workshop for the future of the Magistralen, the international Bauforum 2019.

The Magistralen, in their function as arterial corridors, are the city’s entrances, first addresses, local centres – and also its dividers, barriers and transit spaces. With their heterogeneous architectural, urban, transport and social structures, they shape the image of the metropolis and are thus a location of great challenges and opportunities for Hamburg’s future development.

International Bauforum Hamburg © BSW Hamburg Fotograf: Carsten Rabe

The Ministry for Urban Development has invited around 150 experts and creatives from the fields of architecture, open space, traffic and town planning, science and culture to turn their minds to these urban spaces under the aegis of a “Bauforum”. The Bauforum is a Hamburg event format of long tradition. Within a mixture of a creative hackathon and a specialist conference with a festival atmosphere, Hamburg’s own specialists will come together with renowned national and international experts to draw up new ideas together on the important topics and sites of urban development. Several big Hamburg development projects of the recent past were preceded by a Bauforum: subsequently, the “Perlenkette” on the banks of the Elbe in Altona (Bauforum 1985), the HafenCity (Bauforum 1989) and the “Sprung über die Elbe” (Bauforum 2003) have all taken physical form.

International Bauforum 2019 | Magistralen

Seven very different Magistralen running through all the districts of Hamburg have been selected for the international Bauforum. They differ in length, in the historical development of sequential uses and structures to each side of them, and in their traffic handling capability. In this way, they all face different challenges and offer different potential as drivers for the city around them. At the same time, there are similarities: the Magistralen concentrate traffic flows and link city and countryside, while themselves having a certain centrality. At the same time, the surrounding spaces are dominated by traffic – an exclusivity that must be rethought, especially as innovation and changing patterns of use in the mobility field are opening up new opportunities. On the edges of the Magistralen and in the adjoining areas of the city, there is still potential for diverse urban activities. Also important is the potential for open space: the once purely functional areas along these traffic arteries come into focus as a potential urban backbone for their neighbourhoods, while valuable green spaces in the vicinity can be better set off against their surroundings.

The Bauforum offers the chance to look to the future and draw up new development horizons for these complex spaces, in order to enrich the social debate about the future of the city. All results of Bauforum Magistralen 2019 will be presented and discussed on Sunday, 24 August. The Bauforum will be accompanied by a diverse public programme of specialist lectures and cultural events.

Figure ground plan Magistralen © Kartengrundlage LGV (Bearbeitung-urbanista)

The whole program can be downloaded here International Bauforum

Guiding Architects meeting in Andalucía

This year the Guiding Architects Meeting took place in Andalucía. It was hosted by Blanca, our Guiding Architects Member in Andalucía. The last year has been very successful for all members with more than 3.000 tours and almost 36.000 participants. The meeting this year was the first informal meeting. Therefore, we were less focused on bureaucracy but on continuous development.

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

School of Architecture © Guiding Architects

Blanca explained that Andalucía has a surface of 87.268 square kilometres and is therefore bigger than Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria or Switzerland. The different landscapes have various colours and scents, the special light has become a profound element of the architecture in this region. Andalucía is placed at the interface of Europe and Africa, where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea meet. Many different cultures have left their traces in this area and in the turn of history have contributed to an unbelievable heritage. Andalucía has a lot to offer: Only 40 kilometres away from the skiing area in the Sierra Nevada you will find tropical valleys or volcanic deserts.

After a morning of skiing on top of the mountains in the Sierra Nevada we had a complete change of scenery in the afternoon. The bus took us to the sea in only 30 minutes, where a sunny spring day was expecting us. After a tasty Paella lunch in one of the beach bars, we went for a stroll along the coast.

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Sierra Nevada © a-tour

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Granada beach © a-tour

What is a visit of Granada without visiting the Alhambra!
On the next morning we met at the Plaza Nueva and experienced the iconic building (which in reality is a whole city) led by Blanca. We were divided in different teams. That way we had a great combination of team building event and architectural guided tour. We had to split the tasks within our teams in order to be able to answer all the tricky questions Blanca had prepared. What an experience!

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Alhambra © a-tour

The Alhambra was built in the 13. and 14th century from the Moors as the glorious residence of the Kings of the Nasrids. It is the landmark of Granada and a real crowd-puller. Luckily Blanca had reserved tickets months before.

We were especially lucky, because Blancas family is one of the few that is still living in the Alhambra. We were treated to a coffee break in the patio of the house of Blancas uncle inside the Alhambra. Later on we even used the meeting room in the legendary Palace of Charles V. for the presentation of our progress.

Saturday was designated to continuous education. We had chosen the school of architecture as our meeting place. The school is located at Campo del Principe in the heart of the old Jewish quarter of Realejo. Team building, workshops and a marketing lecture where on the agenda before Blanca explained the architectural school on a guided tour to us as well.

Guiding Architects meeting in Andalucía

On our last day, Sunday, Blanca introduced us to the city of Granada in a different way. We crossed the town in one section, starting at the highest point and ending at the lowest.

In the morning the bus took us all the way up to the top of the mountain San Miguel with its fascinating view over the snow covered mountains on one, and Granada with the Alhambra on the other side. We experienced how the landscape and the town are connected with each other and how a certain chaos also builds up an interesting contrast. Up here Antonio Jiménez Torrecilla has realized a small, but very impressive project: the Nazari Wall.

A wall that is intended to provide visual continuity (especially in a distant view) for the stretch of wall, redefining the lost historical boundary and protecting the original remains.

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Nazarí Walln © a-tour

Structurally, the massive and solid presence becomes unnecessary, so its interior becomes an empty space, a genuine singular point of the project: a passage that allows us to walk inside the walls, a mysterious doorway that connects two historically different parts of the city, evoking the underground Granada and at the same time, the hallways of the defensive enclosures. In the new wall, a simple stacking of stone slabs arranged one above the other leave a series of minimum random gaps that from the inside, allow a view of the city. A contemporary, fragmented and changing view that recreates the view we have from the lattice of the Alhambra.

A long stone staircase led us all the way down from here to El Albaicín. It is the oldest quarter of Granada. White, terrace shaped buildings, angled streets and small squares remind us of the Moorish background of the city.

Guiding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Guiding Architects © Hannes Werner

We visited another interesting project of Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas, the museum Jose Guerrero. Afterwards we continued into the city centre. The last project was as well the lowest point of the tour. The new Underground station „Genil“, also designed by Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas.

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Museum Jose Guerrero © a-tour

Guding Architects meeting in Andalucía

Genil Station © a-tour

Unfortunately our travel was almost over by now. We have experienced a region, that relates to its cultural roots and creates contemporary architecture in dialogue to the historical background.
Muchas Gracias Blanca! Thank you Guiding Architects!

Gruner and Jahr: Caruso St John designs winning architectural scheme

London architects Caruso St John have won the competition to construct the new Gruner and Jahr publishing house headquarters on Lohsepark, HafenCity. The panel, made up of representatives from the city, architects, investor Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate, project developer HIH Real Estate and Gruner + Jahr, voted unanimously for the design, which features striking green-enameled ceramic struts and three partially covered interior courtyards.

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

The judges praised the “high aesthetic standard” of the submission, characterized by “clean composure and high quality”. They added that the building design suggests a “restrained Hamburg Kontorhaus”, referring to a distinctive type of office building from the late 19th-century, of which several survive in Hamburg. The Caruso St John design also successfully meets Gruner + Jahr’s requirements for a building which is creative and innovative on the inside.

Julia Jäkel, Gruner + Jahr CEO: “The new G+J publishing house will be a building focused on on lasting elegance; a perfect example of business architecture that works without gestures of vanity. The building will be truly eye-catching from the outside, and an industrious workplace inside.”

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

The London-based practice won out over twelve internationally renowned offices in the engineering architecture competition run by investor Warburg-HIH. The competition awards four prizes, and the top-ranked winner is taken forward for construction.

Located in the Lohsepark area, the new building complex will play an important role in the development of the HafenCity location. An ensemble of buildings, encompassing a gross floor area of more than 75,000 m² is set to be created. It will comprise, in addition to the Gruner and Jahr headquarters, both office space and residential buildings. Public facilities such as restaurants and cultural exhibition areas on the ground floor, supplement the usage program. The plot is 15,200 m² in size and construction is scheduled to commence in 2019.

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

Caruso St John impressed the panel with a sustainably beautiful building design. A row of green-glazed ceramic struts soars over an open ground floor, gradually tapering towards the top. These elements are created by hand, and give the building an iridescent green appearance when viewed from the side. Approached from the front, it is open, bright and inviting. The interior space groups office and meeting areas around three courtyards, and can be flexibly divided or left open, enabling a huge range of use options. Employees can access gardens and outdoor spaces on the tiered roof areas, as well as enjoying views over Hamburg.

Berlin architects Baumschlager Eberle triumphed over six competitors in the residential category of the competition, run by investors Adlershorst Baugenossenschaft eG and HIH Real Estate. Their winning design has a meandering shape which impressed the panel with its balanced distribution of publicly funded and privately financed apartments. The northern part of the building, facing Gruner + Jahr, will house the publicly funded apartments and commercial areas, while the southern part of the building contains the owner-occupied apartments.

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Apartment building Lohsepark © Baumschlager Eberle

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Apartment building Lohsepark © Baumschlager Eberle

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Apartment building Lohsepark © Baumschlager Eberle

headquarter Gruner and Jahr

Headquarter Gruner and Jahr © Caruso St John

The competition entries from all 20 participating architectural offices, for both the commercial and residential categories, will be exhibited from October 6 to October 21 2018, at HafenCity InfoCenter im Kesselhaus, Am Sandtorkai 30, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm

One day in Hamburg: discovering Elbphilharmonie

Last Saturday the weather in Hamburg was at its best. In bright sunshine, nearly sixty guests from Zurich, Lugano, Graz, Salzburg, Aachen and Berlin, among others, came to Hamburg. The cheerful group of architects and architecture enthusiasts met at five o’clock at the HafenCity information centre, the Kesselhaus.

discovering Elbphilharmonie

Start at Kesselhaus © a-tour

discovering Elbphilharmonie

One day in Hamburg © a-tour

Torsten Stern, the owner of a-tour, welcomed the group and gave a brief overview of the historical development of the city.  At the city model the main urban planning ideas of HafenCity were explained.
The HafenCity is the largest urban development project in Hamburg. Through a step-by-step planning and implementation process, approx. 157 ha of port areas directly in the south of Hamburg city centre are to be restructured. New buildings with a total of around 2.7 million square metres of gross floor area will be constructed on approx. 127 ha of land, only 800 m from the town hall – apartments for 12,000 to 14,000 inhabitants and service areas for more than 45,000 jobs. This new part of the city centre will enlarge it by 40%. A unique and historic opportunity for the city of Hamburg, which is now once again oriented towards the Elbe.

The group then walked over Sandtorkai and the pontoons in the inner harbour opposite the Magellan Terraces to the Elbphilharmonie. After just one year it is the new landmark of Hamburg and already an icon of contemporary architecture.

discovering Elbphilharmonie

Torsten reports the bumpy genesis, which today, in retrospect, reads almost like a movie script. The story started with great ideas that were to be realized as a gift – free of charge for the City of Hamburg – and continued with disputes about costs, construction standstill and a happy end.

From the outside, the participants first learned everything about the architecture, the building and the facade. Of course everybody already knew that the Elbphilharmonie was planned by the renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron.

The base of the Elbphilharmonie was built from 1963 to 1966 as Kaispeicher A. The architect at the time was Werner Kallmorgen. In its function as general cargo handling of tea, tobacco and cocoa, it soon became obsolete with the increase in container shipping.

discovering Elbphilharmonie

Elbphilharmonie © a-tour

The window elements of the new building were printed with about 500 different print sample screens. The dot prints vary depending on the function of the room and orientation to the building and were precisely calculated. There are two different dot colors: The grey ceramic screen printing dots reduce the solar radiation, the chrome dots create increased mirror effects on the outer facade.
From here the group took the tube up to the public plaza, starting from the eastern forecourt to the western balcony.

On the western balcony the participants learned about the panorama window with no railing to emphasize the superb view. This window was already designed for Kaispeicher A by Werner Kallmorgen. At this spot the “Kaffee-Klappe” for the dock workers was accommodated. The idea for the “Kaffee-Klappe” was to enjoy the view of the Elbe during the dock workers lunch break.

After a short stop we continued the tour to the 37m high Plaza. From here we had a spectacular view over the city and the harbour. The special feature of the Elbphilharmonie is its unique combination of architecture, location and music: its outstanding architecture, its location on the waterfront directly in the Port of Hamburg and its diverse concert and music education programmes.

Visting the Plaza

A special feature is the visual axis that creates the connection between the city centre in the north and the port in the south. On the city side, the vaulted section is steeply designed, as a reference to the church towers of Hamburg, which have a decisive influence on the city silhouette. On the port side, the vaulted section is correspondingly flat and wide, as a reference to the port architecture.

Of course, everyone will also experience the acoustic peculiarities. Both large and small halls are acoustically autonomous from the rest of the building. The large hall has two decoupling shells. Between these shells are 362 steel spring packages. The shells do not touch each other, so they cannot transmit the sound. For example, ship horns and propeller noises are not audible in the hall. In addition, no noise from the apartments or hotel rooms should enter the concert hall and vice versa.

Yasuhisa Toyota was responsible for the acoustics of the concert halls of the Elbphilharmonie. All tiers and open spaces in the main hall are covered with the so-called “white skin” made of about 10.000 gypsum fibre boards, which were individually milled according to computer calculations. Each plate is unique and guarantees outstanding acoustic performance due to the precise scattering and reflection of the sound.

Would you like to discovering the Elbphilharmonie with us?

discovering Elbphilharmonie

Vespucci © Maja Brunner

discovering Elbphilharmonie

Harbour © a-tour

discovering Elbphilharmonie

River Elbe © a-tour

New regulation for the visit of Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Some 850,000 people attended over 600 concerts in the first year of the Elbphilharmonie, more than 4.5 million visited the Elbphilharmonie Plaza, nearly 70,000 took part in guided tours of the concert halls, and the Elbphilharmonie’s music education programme attracted over 60,000 people of all ages as participants. The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg can look back on an impressive success story since its official opening a year ago.

By December 2017, some 4.5 million visitors had flocked to the Plaza. That’s more on average than those visiting Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria or the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Since its completion the Elbphilharmonie concert hall has transformed in people’s minds from a hugely expensive delay-ridden project to a celebrated landmark. Its location in the middle of the harbor is unique. The passing ships appear close enough to touch it. At sunset, when the “blue hour” begins, spectacular light reflections can be seen, a moment often snapped and preserved by visitors on their smartphones.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

For the past year, you are likely to hear one all-important question in Hamburg: “So have you been inside yet?” To which the answer can either be: “Yes, it was magnificent.” Others reply: “No, I haven’t managed to get tickets yet.” And yet, even without concert tickets, you can visit the Plaza, the name given to the 37-meter-high (121-foot-high) viewing platform of the Elbphilharmonie, providing an impressive look at the building’s architecture and great panoramic views of the harbor.

New regulation for the visit of Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Due to this success, the Elbphilharmonie introduced a new system to better meet the significantly increased demand for group visits on the public Plaza. This is a real quality initiative of the Elbphilharmonie. In the beginning, practically everyone could spread their half-knowledge about the architecture of the building on the Plaza. This will change on September 1, 2018. From this point on, only certified guides and their groups are allowed to visit the Plaza.

In order to receive the certificate, the guides need the seal of approval of the Hamburg Tourism Association and Hamburg Tourismus GmbH as well as the successful completion of a written examination on the subject of the Elbphilharmonie.

In the future, a visit to the Plaza of Elbphilharmonie will only be possible with certified guides. Of course, some guides from a-tour have already passed the examination with flying colours and received the certificate. Now they are official Elbphilharmonie Plaza Guides. Therefore you can book our architectural guided tours to Elbphilharmonie in the usual form, even after September 1st 2018. Our architects will explain the history and architecture of Hamburg’s new landmark in every aspect and detail.

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

A second innovation concerns groups of more than six people. Since May 1st, 2018, groups of more than 6 people can no longer enter the Plaza for free. Instead, a contingent of Plaza tickets is available for group visits and can be purchased for the price of five Euros per person.

Individuals and small groups of up to 6 persons can still purchase Plaza tickets for two Euros per person and also spontaneously visit the Elbphilharmonie Plaza. The Plaza is the interface between the traditional harbor warehouse and the new construction of the Elbphilharmonie: at a height of 37 metres, the Plaza offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city and the harbor.

Up to 17,000 guests flock here every day to enjoy this view. Thanks to the Elbphilharmonie and its concert halls, Hamburg has been declared one of the best places to visit by various travel guide publications.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie Plaza

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

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)

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