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.