HAMBURG is the
second largest city of Germany. Situated in the very north Hamburgs'
prosperity is based on its harbour (after Rotterdam the most important
harbour of Europe) and trade. Furthermore the city has a reputation in
the world of media and advertising. These economical activities mark
strongly the cities architecture and appearance. The
'Speicherstadt' with its old brick warehouses and its system of canals
represent the early importance of Hamburg within an international trade
network. The Chilehaus by architect Fritz Höger from 1924 is considered
a masterpiece of architecture for its refined brick works and at the
same time an early example of a large scale office building. In the
'50ies and '60ties Architect Werner Kallmorgen helped shaping the
silhouette of the city with his office buildings for newspapers and
The important recent urban developments and architectural highlights
are to be found along the river Elbe, the economic heart of the city.
Among them the 'Hafencity' is the most ambitious project. Near the
existing city centre, in continuation to the historic 'Speicherstadt'
large areas of the former harbours are re-developed in order to create
space for living and working on the waterfront. The Hafencity forms the
Eastern and completition and climax of the so called 'Perlenkette'
('strip of pearls'), a long row of architecture projects along the
northern Elbe river banks.
of the city centre has been ventured the so called " Jump over the
Elbe" with the International Building Exhibition IBA 2013. In
Wilhelmsburg on the Elbe island, social projects and constructed
approaches for a sustainable and multicultural city have been intiated.
The years to come will show their effect and success these projects
have as well as follow-up projects they encourage.
But also the many inner-city projects by international and local
architects deserve attention. A highly dense residential development
(Atelier 5) close to the Alster, the big inner lake in the heart of the
city, the conversion of a former tramway depot Falkenried (
Bolles+Wilson) or the conversion of a former hospital site in Barmbek
are some of the examples for sophisticated densification and
reprogramming of areas and existing buildings in a grown city.