Hafencity Headquarters Building
Hamburg, Germany 2018–2022
Client: HIH GmbH Competition, first prize
The commission for this new company headquarters in HafenCity was won in a competition organised by the city of Hamburg and property developers HIH. The building stands on a prominent site along the Lohsepark, a new park designed by Vogt Landscape Architects in the eastern part of HafenCity.
The dense and horizontal form of the building follows the tradition of city-making in this area of Hamburg, where buildings of monumental scale give a clear definition to the wide spaces of the streets. Here, the new building makes a distinctive and wide face to the park, and appears as a monumental figure beside the river, the large structures of the Oberhafenbrücke, and the railway. Great attention has been given to the texture of the façade. Seen from a distance, the building has an almost monolithic quality, as if carved with a fine chisel from a huge block of stone.
The building provides a light, flexible and open office working environment, with an overall configuration that is compact and well connected. Within the deep form of the block, the plan is designed as a network of interconnected rings around three courtyards. The first courtyard on the park-side forms the entrance hall – a large and luminous atrium designed as a meeting and event space. Around the entrance hall on the ground floor, facing the river and the park, are tall social spaces: a staff canteen, a café, and restaurants. At the top of the building is a large, landscaped roof terrace for the use of staff, with distant views over the city.
The building is close to the Kontorhaus district of Hamburg, an area famous for its 1930s brick expressionist buildings. The distinctive surface relief in the façades of these beautiful buildings gives them a fine scale of detail and an unusual textural consistency at the urban scale. The headquarters building has some of these qualities. The façades are vertically proportioned and made with green-glazed terracotta, with rounded and bunched profiles forming a rich surface relief. The depth of the masonry relief, with its almost mineral quality, gives the buildings its unique identity and underlines its relationship with the natural qualities of the Lohsepark.
In a talk for the Architecture Foundation, Associate Ben Speltz presents Caruso St John's work in Hamburg over the past decade, focusing on the practice's approach to working within the urban fabric of the city centre and introducing two recently completed projects, the Gortz Palais and Grosser Burstah Office Building.
WHIH Am Lohsepark GmbH & Co. Geschl. InvKG
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Thomas Back, Ben Speltz, Eva Janusch, Simon Hoebel, Lorenzo Iandelli, Christoph Kuhr, Julia Cramer, Denise Roth, Bob Braun, Anke Boehme, Paula Schilliger, Pauline Sauter, Christopher Smith, Frederik Kaufmann, Niclas Gebhardt
Werner Sobek Frankfurt GmbH & Co. KG
Structural engineer (groundworks)
BBI Geo- und Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Ingenieurbüro Liebert Versorgungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG
K. Dörflinger Gesellschaft für Elektroplanung mbH & Co. KG
BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH
WITTE Projektmanagement GmbH
Ingenieurbüro T. Wackermann GbR
Krebs + Kiefer Ingenieure GmbH
Krebs + Kiefer Ingenieure GmbH
Drees & Sommer Advanced Building Technologies
Arup Deutschland GmbH
Profi-tabel Resultants GmbH & Co. KG
Ingenieurbüro Anke Koch GmbH
Kaulquappe AG - build digital.