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Office Building in Hamburg

Occupying a triangular site in an industrial estate, this housing and office complex was laid out in such a way that the façades parallel to the street complement the existing

fabric. The office spaces are accommodated in four triangular volumes. The housing is in a separate block to the north. The façades of the office tract overlooking the quiet semi-public courtyard are clearly articulated. Between the bold outer grid of green-black precast concrete elements and the glass and reddish-brown timber façade are continuous balconies that serve both as outdoor spaces and as escape routes. On the south-facing street front, dark concrete is contrasted with large areas of glazing. Forming the outer layer of a façade that allows the control of the indoor climate (based on the conservatory principle), the glazed areas project 80 cm beyond the face of the building and are divided on each storey by glass floors. The double façade construction protects the building from emissions from the road and also allows all offices to be naturally ventilated. Air is admitted to the façade corridor via slits, whilst external noise is considerably reduced by sound-absorbing “buffers” between the two skins. Room-height glass sliding doors on the outer faces of the offices allow air to enter as required and afford a generous view out to the nearby River Elbe. The double-skin construction also enables internal partitions to be installed and moved on the basis of a 1.375 m grid without affecting the façade.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 7/1997

Balconies, Oriels

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