AREAL WEST: A METALLIC CLASP ON THE STRING OF PEARLS - 2009
Mixed use ensemble (50,000m2) Grosse Elbstrasse Hamburg, Germany
Invited Competition 2009
The existing urban setting with the long low matt grey storehouses without distinctive markings or changes in height are remarkable because of their simplicity in a waterfront chock full of buildings clamouring for attention. Together with the „Elbkaihaus“ and the „Altonaer Kaispeicher“, they bestow a certain stability and quietness to their environs.
This project recognises those qualities and develops them further. It is the metallic clasp on the String of Pearls, (the development of spectacular buildings on the banks of the Elbe).
The competition site is first occupied by one large building volume which through cuts and subtractions creates large facade surfaces, courtyards and streets, urban and green spaces.
The volume could be likened to a burg or fort, closed and large in scale from a distance but as on approaches one discovers a richly detailed shelter under which many functions, business and life-models can coexist.