The new “HafenCity” (harbour city) is one of the most attractive new urban areas in Germany’s second biggest city, Hamburg. The Western “Strandkai” peninsula is a prominent location in the harbour city and a great urban waterfront location. As an urban front row, the spot enjoys unique panoramas along the Elbe River, the harbour and downtown Hamburg. ingenhoven architects was chosen to design one of two 55-metre-high residential towers, containing up to 180 apartment blocks each.
The tower design celebrates the scenic views while combining interior and exterior spaces. Each apartment has large terraces. Thus the view of passing ships and the wide horizon forms the backdrop for living in the tower. The building stands on the dwelling mound like a solitary structure. Towards the north, across the “Grasbrook” Harbour it is on an axis with the Vasco-da-Gama-Plaza and the “Oval” – a residential tower that ingenhoven architects had completed in 2008.
Towards the Norderelbe the dwelling mound will have a grand staircase and ramps connecting it with the lower level of the quay. The stairs continue underneath the tower and are integrated into the first floor uses, creating a space that improves the quality along the promenade. The structure allows for flexible floorplans and a mix of apartment sizes. All living rooms have balconies. The shifted core and the orthogonal inner walls create alternating triangular terraces all around – a maritime motive. The path of the sun and wind is reflected in the partially moveable translucent sun- and windscreens. The upper floors are set back, creating larger terraces and duplex apartments. The tower will obtain green building certification according to the local “Umweltzeichen HafenCity” in “gold”. Three elements shape the design: the open and transparent first floor, the rhythm of the triangular balconies and terraces and the outer vertical structural members. Their long, thin columns are folded into a “roof feature” at the top marking the tower in the silhouette of the HafenCity and integrating all technical elements for the elevator and HVAC. All façades are light and white in colour.