- ASTOC ARCHITECTS AND PLANNERS
- Große Elbstraße 39, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
- B&L Group, Hamburg
- 1994, 1st prize
- 15.300 sqm
- In collaboration with
- Kees Christiaanse, Rotterdam; Local representative: Kunst + Herbert, Hamburg
- Ruth Bünker, Richard Büsching, Christian Dieckmann, Johannes Groote, Christian Herbert, Rüdiger Hundsdörfer, Cathérine Minnameyer, Uschi Stengel
For its “western” counterpart, the principles that had been applied to the office building “East“ have been adapted and modified to fit a lower lying and shorter site at Hamburg’s Holzhafen. Compared to the eastern building, the western one only has two instead of three courtyards. The idea was that the office building, with its homogenous facades and large openings, should look like a “stone with holes”. The big ships passing by on the Elbe River dwarf the buildings at the Holzhafen. The somewhat somber-looking perforated facade of the eastern building was modified for the western one, while also bringing it closer to the water. A saw-toothed and folded glass facade that runs around the corners of the building allows for direct views of the Elbe River even on the eastern and western sides of the building. The floor plans have been designed to accommodate up to six rented units per floor, each at least 200 square meters in size. Both oblong as well as L-shaped rented units have been provided.
The walkable roof surfaces were laid out as decks made of wood, recalling the main trading material of the former Holzhafen. The building’s eco-friendly energy concept includes geothermal heat collectors combined with concrete core activation. The double facade ensures optimal soundproofing, a pleasant indoor climate and unobstructed views of the docks, while it also makes possible natural ventilation of the offices. The meandering facades create references to the neighboring eastern office building. All office floors can be flexibly divided. The office building “West” at the Holzhafen elegantly rounds off the urban planning concept of the “string of pearls”, exemplifying the fact that large built volumes don’t necessarily have to be bulky, but can, on the contrary, offer a wide new range of spatial qualities.