The Überseequartier is the centrepiece of the larger waterfront redevelopment

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 location of the Überseequartier within the 155 hectare area of the Hafencity is crucial, as it connects the inner city with the river Elbe. In this position it plays a central role in revitalising the former harbour area in the city centre of Hamburg.

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.

Enclosing the Überseeplatz adjacent to the river are two Waterfront Towers, designed by EEA. The towers are positioned to define the urban space towards the water. They utilise the urban landscape and integrate it in the public functions of cafés, restaurants and commercial facilities located on the ground and first floor. This concept creates the basis for lively social interaction and benefits both, buildings and square.

The towers are composed of two main elements: plinth and tower. The plinths form a clear visual end point of the Überseeboulevard and offer magnificent views of the river and the cruise ships. The towers emerge from the plinths like two rocks from the water. They frame the views to and from the Überseequartier and become landmarks for the entire area.

The facades relate in their use of variations of glass and natural stone to the diversity of material prevailing in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt. The integration of buildings and square provides an exceptional inner-city quality within the Überseequartier and establishes interaction with the surrounding water.

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.

The mixed-use building (SPV 1-4) designed by (EEA) Erick van Egeraat associated architects is part of the Überseequartier and the larger plan of the ‘HafenCity’ waterfront redevelopment in Hamburg. The new building SPV 1-4 comprises spaces for retail, offices and housing on a gross floor area of 37.000 m2.

Within the Masterplan of the Überseequartier, this building acts as urban attraction point through offering retail areas on the ground floor as well as hosting offices and apartments alongside the main Überseeboulevard that connects the inner city with the river.

The building forms a clear urban block built around an inner courtyard, which is open towards the main boulevard. This arrangement creates a semi-public space that offers a retreat for the building’s residents but is accessible for outsiders at the same time.

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. 


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