Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany by gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
May 21st, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
The architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) have won first prize in the competition for the extension of Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The new building designed for the Hamburg-based, tradition-rich trading company impressed the jury as “an independent urban-planning and architectural contribution characterized by timeless, harmoniously self-contained architecture.” Gebr. Heinemann, originally founded as a ship supplier in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt district in 1879 and now a well-known, modern Hanseatic trading house on the international travel market, invited eight architectural firms to participate in the competition.
The task was to extend the two existing warehouse buildings between the Magdeburg Harbor and Shanghaiallee to create an “ensemble of three striking blocks that form a harmonious triad representing the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.” The new structure directly adjacent to the headquarters and including underground parking, six floors of offices, and two recessed floors, will be built in line with the “Sustainable Construction in HafenCity” gold standard.
Viewed from the northwest, the new extension is a companion piece to the Maritime Museum, with the two buildings flanking the “Heinemann-Speicher” in the middle. From the Ericus Bridge, the new construction highlights the corner of the ensemble on Shanghaiallee and makes a characteristically urban statement.
Like the Gebr. Heinemann company, the design reflects both the traditional solidity of the warehouse district and a flexible adaptation to modern requirements of HafenCity. Although a glazed structure connects it to the “Heinemann-Speicher,” the extension is independently useable with an inviting transparent space on the ground floor. Besides serving as an employee entrance, it can accommodate commercial spaces, an arcade, or a café. On the upper floors, users have maximum flexibility in floor plan design.
All the requisite functional areas are compactly organized around the central access area and the available floor space can be used for an open-plan office, individual offices, or anything in between. Like the main building and Maritime Museum, the design is characterized by multistory windows, a vertical façade relief, and brickwork typical of the region. The area freed by the two recessed floors forms two spacious roof terraces/roof gardens, mediates between the different eaves heights of neighboring structures, and adds an urban tone through dramatic cubature.