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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

“Hafenspitze” in Mainz, Germany by MVRDV

November 13th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: MVRDV

MVRDV and more Platz were chosen winner of the international competition for two office buildings of in total 12.000 m² pioneering the transformation of Mainz’ former harbour Zollhafen. The ensemble consists of an elongated block of five storeys and an eleven-storey high-rise tower creating a landmark at the waterfront. “Hafenspitze” is being developed by CA Immo Deutschland. Construction start is envisioned for autumn 2015.

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

  • Architects: MVRDV
  • Project: “Hafenspitze”
  • Location: Mainz, Germany
  • Design team: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries with Fokke Moerel, Roy Sieljes,  Matteo Artico, Arian Lehner, Johannes Langer, David Jimenes, Mate Meszaros
  • Status: Won competition
  • Client: CA Immo Deutschland GmbH
  • Co-architet: MorePlatz, Rotterdam/ Munich, Johannes Schele, Caro Baumann, Konstantina Karampini
  • Structure: BuroHappold, Matthias Beck, Ron Manson, Thomas Kraubitz
  • Size: 12.400m2

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Just like many European harbour areas, Mainz’ Zollhafen is undergoing a transformation from industrial to city quarter. Located northeast of Mainz’ Neustadt on the west bank of the river Rhine, the former shipping container harbour will make way for an urban mix of living, working and leisure facilities in the coming years; one of the city’s most important regenerations projects of the last decades.

Situated at the far northern end of the harbour basin, “Hafenspitze” will be realised as the pioneer project of this large scale transformation overlooking the new development around the water. The winning design proposed to adjust the masterplan resulting in two distinct volumes which form an ensemble of 12.000 m2 with a public plaza at its centre. An eleven-storey high-rise office tower creates a landmark at the waterfront, while an elongated block over five storeys with a roof garden closes the plaza at the street side.

Both buildings feature a similar façade concept and a tapered plinth for access and views to the street and the harbour, yet distinguish themselves through their specific materialisation and appearance. The high-rise tower is designed with an open and transparent character with fully glazed facades on its four sides and angled windows for maximum views. The floors are visually separated by dark horizontal bands clad in slate shingles which refer to the local architectural roof style. The lower block is wrapped in a ‘rough skin’ of folded, prefab concrete panels creating a 3D visual effect which refer to the local Rustika stones.

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Axel Bienhaus, deputy chairman of the jury: “The design handles the tight urban restrictions in an extremely convincing manner. MVRDV succeeds in setting a strong urban development accent and simultaneously in fulfilling the important noise prevention conditions.”

Michael Ebling, Mayor of Mainz, adds: “MVRDV will create an architectural highlight in the Zollhafen quarter. The profile of the city will be given a contemporary twist along Neustadt’s future promenade by the Rhine, forming an antithesis to the medieval heart of the old town.”

MVRDV and morePlatz won the competition from a total of seven design teams including Munich based offices Auer + Weber and yes architecture, and Gewers Pudewill from Berlin. MVRDV collaborated with morePlatz as local architect, a small Rotterdam and Munich based office founded by Caro Baumann and Johannes Schele who worked with MVRDV before setting up his own office. For “Hafenspitze”, MVRDV and morePlatz collaborated with technical advisor Buro Happold. The “Hafenspitze” competition designs will be exhibited at Zollhafen Mainz Weinlager, Taunusstraße 59-61, from 15th – 26th October 2014

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

MVRDV was set up in 1993 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV engages globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues. A research based and highly collaborative design method engages experts from all fields, clients and stakeholders in the creative process. The results are exemplary and outspoken buildings, urban plans, studies and objects, which enable our cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future. Early projects by the office, such as the headquarters for the Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO and WoZoCo housing for the elderly in Amsterdam lead to international acclaim. MVRDV develops its work in a conceptual way in which the changing conditions are visualised and discussed through designs, sometimes literally through the design and construction of a diagram. The office continues to pursue its fascination for and methodical research on density using a method of shaping space using the complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary building and design processes.The work of MVRDV is exhibited and published worldwide and has received numerous international awards. Seventy architects, designers and other staff develop projects in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative design process which involves rigorous technical and creative investigation.

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

Image Courtesy © MVRDV

MVRDV works with BIM and has official in-house BREEAM and LEED assessors. Together with Delft University of Technology, MVRDV runs The Why Factory, an independent think tank and research institute providing an agenda for architecture and urbanism by envisioning the city of the future.

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Category: Office Building

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