The multifaceted interplay between the individual architectural designs now generates a unified urban panorama whose spectacular climax is a waterfront on the River Elbe. With its diverse, integrated uses and interaction between different buildings – red brick in the center and light-colored façades by the Elbe – Überseequartier forms the exciting core of a new downtown. Involved in the project are internationally renowned architects such as Pritzker prizewinner Christian de Portzamparc and UNStudio as well as eminent architects from Hamburg and elsewhere in Germany. A new land-use plan is being drafted that will form the basis for building applications and for granting approvals. Unibail-Rodamco will begin construction 2017; completion of the central areas of southern Überseequartier can be expected by 2021.

With a mix of retail, catering, residential and entertainment uses, plus the cruise terminal and hotel and office space, Überseequartier is the commercial heart of HafenCity. Northern Überseequartier is almost complete and boasts a multitude of shops and restaurants, a hotel and apartments. Development of the southern part was delayed, but the breakthrough came here a year ago. December 2014, Unibail-Rodamco – Europe’s leading listed commercial property company – took over responsibility for overall development and completion. Throughout Europe the company creates inspiring spaces where modern design is coupled with outstanding locations and a high level of comfort. The result is places where people feel at ease and want to linger. Around €860 million is being invested in Überseequartier, currently the company’s most important development project. A new place to live and work is emerging on 260,000 m², of which about 80,500 m² is for retail, about 55,000 m² for residential and about 65,000 m² for office uses. Culture and entertainment will cover about 12,000 m², catering about 8,000 m² and hotels about 40,000 m².

In the course of the change to Unibail-Rodamco as new project leader, the use concept and urban-planning structure of southern Überseequartier were comprehensively reworked. The opportunity was taken to make the retail component more attractive, to reduce the share of office space and increase residential areas, and to integrate the cruise terminal better into the urban landscape. Retail space in southern Überseequartier will be accommodated on three stories – basement, upper ground and first floor – with circular walkways on the two lower levels. This will make a mix of store sizes possible and give scope for generous storefronts. Buildings south of the subway will be protected against wind and rain by a glass roof and altered positioning. The shopping experience will be greatly improved as a result, even though – in comparison to a fully air-conditioned mall – the open thoroughfare between the buildings will be maintained.

As well as Christian de Portzamparc, who is also responsible for the design of the Cruise Center, the other architects involved in reworking the plans were Carsten Roth Architekt, léonwohlhage, kbnk, Hild und K Architekten, Böge Lindner K2 Architekten, Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei, UNStudio plus BB+GG arquitectes for the open spaces, Saguez & Partners for the interior design and Sobek Design for the roof construction.

HPP International was chosen as the master planner for coordinating the individual projects and making sure the high design standards are met. As is generally the case in HafenCity and for all of Unibail-Rodamco’s projects, high sustainability criteria are met in southern Überseequartier, too. All of the buildings have either HafenCity gold Ecolabel certification or meet the international BREEAM Excellent Standard.


© Unibail-Rodamco moka-studio


© Unibail-Rodamco moka-studio


© a-tour


© a-tour


Danish client REALDANIA and its 9 PAX local interest group Ejerboligforum participated in a 3-days program develped in co-operation from a-tour and our guiding-architects partner scaledenamrk.

The group was exploring the former stigmatized and now up and coming neigbourhood Wilhelsburg – transformtions within the city of Hamburg as well as the all an above Hafen City with its future crown jewel Elbphilharmonie.

Despite the diversity and individuallity of the group it semed that the majority was able to discover and bring take aways home from the trip!


© scaledenmark

Elbphilharmonie is under construction – again

Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall will be a unique landmark for Hamburg. Swiss star architects Herzog & de Meuron are erecting a spectacular concert venue within the walls of mighty Kaispeicher A, a cocoa warehouse built between 1963 and 1966 by architect Werner Kallmorgen.

However, construction of the concert hall was interrupted since 2008 by disputes between the developer and the building contractor. In April 2013 the City of Hamburg finally approved a new organization of the project, which guarantees completion of the whole building by the end of October 2016.

Although the core of the old Kaispeicher A was completely removed, its cubic shape and brick façades remain intact. Thus, a worldwide unique architectonic hybrid is emerging, which will also house a five-star hotel, a conference center and 45 apartments. The former warehouse will be crowned by an undulating, curved and inclining glass structure, blending historic port architecture and contemporary architectural creativity, port tradition and the district’s new identity. A public plaza offering fantastic views of the harbor, HafenCity, the River Elbe and the city will take shape at a height of 37 meters on the brick building below the new glass structure.

Two thirds of the gutted warehouse will be used for car parking, but backstage areas and places for musical education will be accommodated here as well. The new glass superstructure, almost 110 meters high, will contain two large auditoriums holding audiences of 2,150 and 550 respectively.

The Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall will become a unique location for performances of classical music, music of the 21st century and sophisticated musical entertainment. The opening is now scheduled for spring 2017.


Elbphilharmonie © Herzog de Meuron


World Heritage Site

Speicherstadt and the adjacent Kontorhaus district are two densely built urban areas in the centre of the port city of Hamburg. Speicherstadt was originally developed on a group of narrow islands in the Elbe River between 1885 and 1927. It is one of the largest coherent historic ensembles of port warehouses in the world (300.000 sqm). It includes 15 very large warehouse blocks as well as six ancillary buildings and a connecting network of short canals. Adjacent to the modernist Chilehaus office building, the Kontorhaus district is an area of over five hectares featuring six very large office complexes
built from the 1920s to the 1940s to house port-related businesses. The complex exemplifies the effects of the rapid growth in international trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

UNESCO has appointed Hamburg`s Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel to World Heritage Site.
The World Heritage Committee decided the admission at their meeting in Bonn last Sunday.
It is the first World Heritage Site for Hamburg, thereby there are 40 cultural and natural
monuments in Germany on the Unesco World Heritage List. Worldwide there are over a thousand.

The Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel are already one of the tourist highlights in Hamburg.
The appointment to World Heritage site will contribute to a considerable extent  to the international publicity of Hamburg.


Chilehaus © Daniel Sumesgutner

Olympic City Masterplan Hamburg 2024

Internationally renowned architects take on Olympic City Masterplan Hamburg 2024

Hamburg is the official German nominee for hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Part of the plan is to use the Kleiner Grasbrook area, which is technically an island but within easy walking distance from downtown, for the Olympic park.

On 23 June, the architects and planners involved will invite the general public to view and discussing the draft of the future masterplan for Kleiner Grasbrook and to hear about latest developments in regard to Hamburg’s Olympic bid.


© KCAP, gmp, Arup, VOGT, WES, Kunst+Herbert, ARGUS, Drees & Sommer

Guiding Architects

Ever since its beginnings in 2004, the Guiding Architects network has held an annual meeting in one of its member locations. From 20 to 22 February 2015, the 11th Guiding Architects meeting will take place in Turin and Milan.

At the meetings, the partners from all our destinations get together for a few days, making new plans for the network and exchanging experiences and ideas for their guiding businesses. New members present themselves and get to know the others. Most importantly, though, there’s a lot of socializing going on, and there’s also a chance to get to know the destination during guided architecture tours, provided by the local partners.

So far we’ve had meetings in Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, Porto, Rome, Ruhr area, Barcelona, Athens, Dubai, Istanbul and Copenhagen. 2015 the meeting will be organized by our partner To(ur)arch from Turin.

We’re looking forward to some productive sessions, meetings with old friends, visits to spectacular architecture and, of course, great Italian food and wine!


© guiding-architects