Minimalist Loft in the Elbphilharmonie

The location could hardly be more beautiful. The Minimalist Loft is located on the 18th floor of
the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, the new Hamburg landmark designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Sitting on top of the old Kaispeicher, the glass structure with its undulating roof and spectacular glass façade includes not only concert halls, a hotel and restaurants, but also apartments on the western tip.

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

On the 18th floor, with a fantastic view of the Elbe and the extensive port facilities, lies the 132 square metres Minimalist Loft. It opens up to the view over its entire width with floor-to-ceiling glazing.

24 hours, in the most diverse atmospheres, the ship’s operation on the Elbe unwinds here like a film before your eyes. The south-west oriented apartment is characterized by a closed “back” to the entrance area and room-high glazing. In the middle of the glass front is the loggia with a striking U-shaped parapet element, the so-called tuning fork. The view sweeps over the formative white parapet element and the glass surfaces printed with reflecting dots onto the impressive harbour landscape.

Minimalist Loft in the Elbphilharmonie

These special characteristics inspired the design idea of Schmutz & Partner, the office responsible for the interior design. “To visually transform this unique harbour panorama into the depth of the rooms” was his goal, explains Professor Eduard Schmutz.

This is achieved on the one hand by creating a transparent, open sequence of rooms with a freely adjustable “kitchen and cupboard container”. On the other hand, the corresponding reflective surfaces, which also allow the virtual view of the harbour-landscape to be experienced in the opposite direction.

Sliding doors made of profiled cast glass allow the adjacent room areas to be merged or separated.
The volume of the various room zones can be increased or decreased according to the user’s wishes
and the rhythm of the day.

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

The different daylight and artificial light moods thus offer ever new and surprising light and room atmospheres. Black parquet flooring, basalt stone, steel and various glass surfaces take over the aura of the industrial harbour atmosphere in a figurative sense. The colour design supports this idea with a broken orange tone for the free-standing “container” and corresponding colour tones of the glass surfaces for the painted fixtures and wall surfaces.

Furniture by Jean Prouvé, Charles Eames, Gae Aulenti and a sofa bed developed for the special room staging as well as the master bed support the unique living atmosphere.

Only the view of the river Elbe, the harbour and the shipping traffic sometimes steals the show from the wonderfully designed apartment.

Would you also like to stand in the open loggia with a glass of wine in your hand after a great concert in the Elbphilharmonie? Whether as a business apartment or for a private weekend in the most beautiful city in the world, as the people of Hamburg like to say, you too can rent this special ambience in the Minimalistic Loft for a limited period of time.

Further information and prices can be found here.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie © Iwan Baan

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie Interior Design Prof. Edurad Schmutz © Rudi Schmutz

Living Elbphilharmonie floor plan © Prof. Edurad Schmutz

Grasbrook – the new district

Grasbrook – the new district will play a central role in Hamburg’s urban development for the coming decades. It will continue the development of the inner-city HafenCity, especially the eastern part, and thus create a leap of inner-city qualities to the southern side of the Elbe.

The new Grasbrook district will comprise not only about 45 hectares of land but also the water areas of the Moldau and Saale harbours, making a total area of about 64 hectares.

Grasbrook – the new district

The masterplan provides apartments for about 6,000 residents, a third of which will be subsidized housing, about 16,000 jobs, shopping facilities for everyday needs, services, a primary school, sports facilities and day-care centres, and about four kilometres of publicly accessible promenades and open spaces directly on the waterfront. In addition, the German Port Museum is to be built on the Grasbrook.

In September the “competition dialogue” was launched, which will lead to an overall urban and open space planning-picture of the new district by April 2020. The “competition dialogue” was chosen as the procedure, which allows for continuous dialogue and extensive public participation. As a particularly innovative element, open-space planning is not treated as a “subsequent greening”, but as an equal competition component at the same time as urban development. The Grasbrook is not to be developed as an isolated “island”, but in context with the surrounding urban spaces.

First phase

The Grasbrook is expected to be divided into three quarters: The quarters “Moldauhafenquartier”, “Freihafenelbquartier” and “Hafentorquartier”. The “Moldauhafenquartier” and “Freihafenelbquartier” quarters will be converted into a mixed-use area for living and working. The “Hafentorquartier” will be reserved for low-emission port-related uses (including offices, research facilities, laboratories and production) that have yet to be defined.

The development of the “Hafentorquartier” is intended to resolve conflicts of use between the parts of the Kleiner Grasbrook remaining in port use and the new Grasbrook district, with its mixed uses.

The first phase of the “competition dialogue” on the Grasbrook was concluded at the beginning of December 2019 with the first jury decision: Since then, the six winning designs have been finalised and will now be further processed in the second phase.

The planning teams (one office from urban development and one from open space divisions) are:

Mandaworks AB (Stockholm) mit Karres en Brands RB (Hilversum)
ADEPT ApS (Kopenhagen) mit Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH (Zürich)
Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd. (Basel) mit VOGT Landschaftsarchitekten AG (Zürich)

Mandaworks AB (Stockholm) with Karres en Brands RB (Hilversum)

The office Mandaworks from Sweden pursues a holistic approach of urban and landscape planning. The design for the Grasbrook is correspondingly far-reaching in its concepts for open space – especially the proposal to keep the east bank of the Moldau and Saalehafen completely free of development and instead turn it into a linear sports park. The residents of the neighbouring Veddel are also to be specifically addressed. New bridges cross the harbour basins and connect the individual quarters. “We want to preserve the impressive flying roof of the Überseezentrum and create a further attraction by programming the area underneath it,” Mandaworks says.

The Dutch open-space planners Karres en Brands focus on a clear public space structure: “We are promoting a city of ‘urban hacking’ that enables participation, appropriation and co-responsibility, but at the same time offers a stable spatial framework. The jury was also convinced by the idea of a consistent link to the neighbouring Veddel. The idea lies in a wide underpass from a new promenade along the Moldauhafen to a new square on the northern Veddel. On the north bank towards the Elbe, this design envisages a spacious park with sports facilities and promenades leading to the water. On the north side of the Veddel harbour, a new interpretation of the flying roof of the Überseezentrum can be found.

Grasbrook © Mandaworks

Grasbrook - the new district

Grasbrook © Mandaworks

Grasbrook © Karres en Brands

ADEPT ApS (Copenhagen) with Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH (Zurich)

The Danish urban planning office ADEPT envisages a strong green and blue centre for the new district. “Instead of a ‘tabula rasa’ strategy, we intend to merge new, low-rise and urban building types with the enormous construction volumes of the Grasbrook harbour structures,” the authors describe their design. A central role will be played by the preservation or new construction of the flying roof of the Überseezentrum, which extends along the north bank of the Saalehafen to the far end of the central Moldauhafen quarter, and other “local structures” such as the banana ripening plant on the south bank of the Moldauhafen. To make the Veddel accessible to cyclists and pedestrians, a circular bridge over the road at the Saale harbour and the railway tracks has been suggested.

Studio Vulkan convinced the jury with many small squares and public spaces to create open quarters. With as few interventions in the space as possible, the design relies heavily on the forces of natural space on site. The focus is on the “Grasbrooker Tidepark”, which links the previously isolated areas together via a common green centre. “Here it can be tested how a life with the constant change of water levels can become part of the urban space. This is a matter of reinventing and reinterpreting a ‘Brook’ (swampy lowland) as an urban open space type: a freshwater tidal flat traversed by tideways and covered with reeds in the changing tides,” says Studio Vulkan.

Grasbrook © Studio Vulkan

Grasbrook - the new district

Grasbrook © Studio Vulkan

Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd. (Basel) with VOGT Landschaftsarchitekten AG (Zurich)

Herzog & de Meuron and VOGT landscape architects have already gained experience in HafenCity with the construction of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and Lohsepark. Independently of each other, both Swiss offices have now proposed a new centre on the site of the former Überseezentrum. In order to achieve the desired noise protection for the residential development and the necessary floor space, they are planning high-density commercial buildings facing the neighbouring Veddel and in part also to the south towards the adjacent port. Herzog & de Meuron is providing the central residential quarter between the Moldauhafen harbour and the Elbe with a new water area around which a continually loosened up and continuously greened residential development is laid out in two rows.

In this design, a large green open space forms the centre of the new district. “It may seem conservative to choose a classic landscape park as a planning setting for the new district, but it is a clear statement,” the jury said. The park offers various attractions such as a large meadow, groups of trees and a spectacular view of the museum ship “Peking”. The north bank on the Elbe is designed as a narrow open space on two spatial levels. One can reach the water or enjoy the view of the Elbe from raised bastions. At the interface of the Saale and Moldau harbours, another small park is planned, which slopes down to the water. Towards the neighbouring Veddel as well as towards the port, a high, compact development rises, which, like the comparable concepts of Herzog & de Meuron, has been called for revision.

Grasbrook - the new district

Grasbrook © Herzog & de Meuron

Grasbrook © Herzog & de Meuron

Lots of greenery, leisure and sports facilities on the waterfront, spectacular new roof constructions, including public meeting places or space for creative start-ups, and low-car traffic concepts.

These are just some of the ideas for the new Grasbrook district, which are now being further substantiated by the planning teams newly assembled from Urban Development and Open Space.

There are again opportunities for participation in this phase: as an important intermediate step in the consolidation phase, citizens will have the opportunity to talk to the planning teams, get to know and discuss their thinking and working process.

On the basis of the results of the urban design ideas competition, which are expected to be available in April 2020, a functional plan will be developed in 2020, followed by the formal planning procedures (land use plan, development plan). There will be extensive public participation in all phases of development. The planned events will be announced in advance.

More appointments for Grasbrook – the new district :
Bürgerwerkstatt Grasbrook, Saturday, 25. January 2020 – 10h00 until 17h00 at Cruise Center HafenCity

Final presentation, Thursday, 2nd April 2020 – 17h00 until 21h00

First high-rise building in Cradle 2 Cradle principle

Landmarken AG, in cooperation with kadawittfeldarchitektur, will build Germany’s first high-rise residential building based on the cradle-2-cradle principle. Moringa, as the name suggests, is realised in a particularly sustainable manner with recyclable materials and also offers green areas on and around the building to at least the same extent as the built-up area of the land.

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

On the approximately 4,740 square meter construction site in Elbbrücken Quarter, directly on the northern shore of Baakenhafen, the project is beeing developed in HafenCity, which combines sustainable construction, subsidised housing and social infrastructure.

As is well known, buildings are responsible for 40 percent of all CO² emissions, Cradle 2 Cradle is supposed to provide the answer. The principle: Precious resources should not be wasted, but reused. Therefore, healthy materials are used in Moringa, the majority of the constructions are separable, deconstructable and recyclable. Almost all components of the buildings can be reintegrated into
the cycle of nature or recycled in a sensible way. As green lungs, the Moringa produces oxygen, reduce pollutants and summer heat island effects in the city.

First high-rise residential building based on the Cradle 2 Cradle principle

In its creativly developed concept, this project combines family-friendly living with neighbourhood community ideas and public uses on the ground floors. Rental apartments are being built on 17,700 of just over 20,000 square meters GFA, 33 percent of the apartments are publicly subsidized and create living space for families, couples, young people and seniors of all income levels. People living alone in the singles capital of Hamburg, the co-living concept of Moringa also offers shared apartments, common areas and services such as a community app for better connectivity.

In addition to residential use, Moringa will also have a co-working space, a daycare center and offers such as event rooms and exhibition space, fitness or lounge area as well as a gastronomy with terrace on the ground floor. Besides almost 70 parking spaces for cars (30 percent of which is reserved for car sharing), the underground car park will offer at least three times the amount for bicycles. Moringa also includes a mobility-sharing concept with offers ranging from cargo bikes to e-cars.

Cradle 2 Cradle principle

Moringa © kadawittfeldarchitektur

The architecture of the ensemble, consisting of three building sections grouped around a green inner courtyard, was designed by kadawittfeldarchitektur, who, together with the investor, have developed the concept that is to be groundbreaking for the future of the real estate and construction industry.

Landmarken AG expects to be able to submit the building application in around twelve months. After receiving the building permit, around two years of construction time are planned, so that completion could take place at the end of 2023.

Innovation Port by MVRDV

On 28th November 2019 the opening of the first building of the Hamburg Innovation Port took place.
It’s the first step of a new, development in Channel Hamburg, the Hanse City’s southern high-tech hub,
designed by MVRDV and Berlin-based morePlatz architects, who won the competition for the development  of a dense and programmatic mixed-use urban plan in 2016.

Innovation Port by MVRDV

Hamburg Innovation Port MVRDV © Allard van der Hoek

The 20,000m2 site for Hamburg Innovation Port, developed by HC Hagemann, is located on Blohmstrasse, on the banks of old Harburger Schloss in the Channel Hamburg development. Around 60,000m2 of gross floor space will be built over several construction phases for more than 2,500 jobs and the planned expansion of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). It is also intended to facilitate the networking of business and science and offer an ideal environment to establish a vibrant start-up scene. Through its 1.35m grid, the masterplan of HIP offers enough flexibility to change the programme at any point throughout its realisation and allows enterprises of all sizes to occupy the various buildings. This flexibility is an essential characteristic, enabling each of the five buildings to be realised individually.

Innovation Port by MVRDV

The first completed building at Blohmstrasse 15 is conceived as two stacked volumes which combined have a gross floor area of 6,000m2. It provides offices of different sizes, and on the 2nd floor includes laboratories for TU Hamburg and a start-up for Robotics. The ground floor area, with a transparent glass façade, hosts the Institute for Waste Management of the TUHH, forming an interesting dialogue with the city while the upper part of the building is clad with a ventilated tile façade.

The completion of the first building marks the first step in the completion of what founding partner of MVRDV Jacob van Rijs envisions as a high density area “to create a vibrant neighbourhood and to make the best use of this fantastic location at the waterside, a former cattle food factory site.”

Innovation Port by MVRDV

Hamburg Innovation Port MVRDV © Allard van der Hoek

 

 

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.

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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

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