The Überseequartier is the centrepiece of the larger waterfront redevelopment area ‘Hafencity Hamburg’. It unites a mix of uses such as culture, leisure, retail, restaurants, hotels, services, housing, offices, a Cruise Ship Terminal, Science Center with Aquarium and Science Theatre on a total area of 275.000 m2.
The urban scheme combines buildings and landscape, with the Überseeboulevard as outstanding element. As connecting passage from and to the existing city centre, the boulevard meanders through the area and culminates in the main square of the quarter, the ‘Überseeplatz’. Situated alongside the waterfront, the square is point of arrival as well as central viewpoint.
The masterplan scheme was designed by internationally most renowned Dutch architects Erick van Egeraat and Rem Koolhaas, the German architects Netzwerkarchitekten and NPS Tchoban Voss, BDP architects from the UK and the German landscape architects Wes & Partner.
The overall urban concept for the Überseequartier has been awarded first prize in a competition in 2005. Based on this concept, 10 internationally operating architects will fill in the different plots. EEA’s projects within the development include the Waterfront Towers and the mixed-use SPV 1-4 building.
The northern part of Überseequartier will be completed by the end of 2009; the whole area is scheduled for completion in 2011.
Aesthetically, the new building refers to the red-brick harbour aesthetics of the historic Speicherstadt on the one hand and the traditional white plaster façades of the inner city on the other. Mixed with glass and aluminium, the outer façades facing the streets are predominantly composed of natural brick stone. In contrast, all façades towards the courtyard are white.
The folded elevation emphasises the vertical structure and defines a unique statement within the entire plan of the Überseequartier. An atrium in the southwestern corner of the ensemble accentuates the possibility of individual access for each of the office units. The office spaces maximise a variety of use with a flexible structure offering units from 400 m2 up to 4.000 m2. The housing types can be reached from the boulevard through a generous staircase leading to the inner court on the first floor and flanked by bars and cafés to its left and right.
On an urban scale, the building’s shape allows for a semi-public space and facilitates social interaction within the Überseequartier, while its architectonic appearance strongly relates to the character of Hamburg. With this concept, the building as a single element supports the leading theme of the Überseequartier development: connecting the inner city with the revitalised waterfront and making the Überseequartier an integral part of 21st century Hamburg.