Renovation of the typical harbour feel: An ensemble of three sculptural landmarks.

Office Building Ost<br>Holzhafen Hamburg

B&L Gruppe, Hamburg


16.000 sqm GFA

Kees Christiaanse, Rotterdam
local partner: Kunst + Herbert, Hamburg

Jahrbuch Architektur in Hamburg: Beste Projekte 1989-2008, award
DIE WELT / BDA Hamburg Architektur Preis 2005, 2nd prize
Bauwerk des Jahres 2002 – Architekten- und Ingenieurverein Hamburg e.V., award


A few steps from the terminal for cruise ships in Hamburg-Altona, the voluminous, brick office buildings East and West stand as a guard of honour to a crystalline residential tower. Together they form an ensemble in the revitalised Holzhafen, lending emblematic character to the urban landscape and, visible from afar, embodying the dynamic structural change along the banks of the Elbe. The transformation of this very varied district originally consisting of port buildings, fish halls and many characteristic breaks in style, was set in motion in the mid-1980s. ASTOC, Kees Christiaanse and Christian Herbert realised the three building blocks with their surrounding public spaces in around 10 years as an interface between town and port.

The East office building was the first building in the ensemble to be completed, and it forms an architectural sculpture with square cut-outs in the façade which reference the central entrance hall and two adjacent interior courtyards. Seven office levels are set off against each other in a meandering three-storey design with the result that all the offices enjoy a direct view of the Elbe. The public usages on the ground floor link the complex to its organically grown urban surroundings. In spite of its mass and size, the building permits views of the port from the hillside districts behind it - and vice versa. The traditional counting houses with their elegant reception halls provided the inspiration for the brick façade. As the property is 30 metres in depth, the naturally ventilated entrance hall offers a framed panoramic view of the port and boardwalk bringing the bank of the Elbe to life as a public space.