This project plays an important role in the successful definition of the central part of HafenCity area in Hamburg. The programme includes offices, housing, a design center and shops located on three different properties.
The starting point of the project was the desire to define with architectural means a clear hierarchical organization of public spaces and esplanades. “Connect” was the key word in the development of this idea. Divided into three buildings, the entities of the programme are clearly identifiable. A detailed and rich work of definition of each element, of each façade, and of each space is opposed to the simplicity of the plan.
In order to define public spaces we designed an urban loggia, which runs across and unifies several different spaces. The loggia is a contemporary interpretation. It defines two squares, runs across and covers two amphitheatres; it becomes light, getting rid of superfluity, and expresses itself via light, rhythm, proportions. The loggia’s roofing consists of two superposed layers, one is made of glass, and the other one is made of perforated corten. We changed the superposition of layers at the level of amphitheatres and squares, for them to stand out. Thanks to the reflexive capacity of glass, there appears movement in the design.
Synergies and identities: Building Plots a – b – c
The three entities are now easily identifiable, their synergy encompasses the squares and public spaces. The flood water area becomes an integral part of each plot’s volume, and uses its language as well. In order to form a whole and to assert an identity of each entity, the building fabric plays a key part in the structure: for all three volumes a range of materials is used, chosen in such a way as to produce, together with brick, a unified image, and at the same time to answer the special needs of each programme.
Plot A – Housing
The façade of housing buildings represents a superposition of wooden shutters on brick walls. The sliding panels made of red wood strips limit and protect balconies and loggias; they also contribute to noise protection. The façades have various patterns according to their function, the light and seasons. The design of the housing buildings allows to have a view of the harbour from each apartment.
Plot B – Designport
The generic character of the programme can be seen through façades that show maximum flexibility. They consist of brick panels and revolving shutters made of corten steel and perforated wood, that allow protection from sun, and, at the same time, comfortable and unobstructed view. There are exhibition rooms and conference halls on the ground floor of the building, flexible office spaces on different floors, and split-level workshops on the roof.
Plot C – Greenpeace: the idea of action and how it is communicated
The attempts to give the building a Greenpeace identity, to express the opposition force by means of architecture in the classical sense of the word turned out to be insufficient with regard to the image of the organization. To meet this challenge we designed the building as a tool, a symbol of opposition, a window to the world, and as a window that the world is looking through.
Greenpeace architectural projects are built around a central space. This “heart” of the project becomes a place to meet people, to have an exchange. At night, when daily activity stops, it becomes all color, image, material, a carrier of information. The building becomes a medium, a window or a screen to project images; the inside net changes colors, and there appear screens behind perforated corten.
Taking into consideration the strict requirements of the programme the project offers an environmental strategy that goes hand in hand with the architectural style: the atriums are used for a hybrid ventilation system, which uses solar chimneys for air circulation. Heat and air conditioning are provided by reversible air conditioning/heat pump system that connects thermo active slab to the phreatic surface.