Office/Commercial Building in Hamburg
Self-confident and coolly elegant in the Hanseatic style, this new nine-storey office and commercial building rises up in the heart of Hamburg city centre. Occupying what was for years an empty plot, this glass structure with its white fire walls makes a bold statement in the street, while still paying homage to local building traditions in terms of strong horizontal cornices and the vertical division of windows. The situation, on a narrow plot surrounded by dense urban development, presented a particular challenge as regards ensuring adequate daylight levels inside the building. The connection to the building on the east side, which is set back slightly, is neatly solved by curving the glass facade at this corner, a device which also opens up views of the city-centre lake and maximises the glazed area. To further exploit daylight, a narrow light well is incorporated at the back of the building. This brings natural light down as far as the first storey, making it possible to use the entire depth of the building as office space. Inside the open-plan offices, adjustable glass partitions underpin the transparent, spacious impression. The building has a single-skin glass facade with structural sealant on the ground and first floors, and a double-skin facade from the second to eighth floors. The inner layer is a thermally separated framed construction filled in with fixed glazing interspersed occasionally with opening sashes. The outer layer is designed as a glass facade with fixing and cover strips on both sides. The two layers are connected via load-transferring brackets with concealed bolts. The connection to the reinforced concrete floor is via welded brackets of galvanized steel on the inside and stainless steel on the outside. The facade cavity plays no role in ventilating the office space behind, but instead incorporates the vertical sun blinds. Users can adjust the angle of the aluminium blinds or draw them back entirely. The interplay of light and reflections on the horizontal glazing creates a lively, ever-changing impression.