Hamburg’s new “Hafen-Krone“? – Astraturm Hamburg
Champagne reception instead of beer smell: On the premises of the former Bavaria brewery in St. Pauli the 19-storey Astraturm with about 13,000 sqm office area was completed at the beginning of 2008. The new building designed by KSP Jürgen Engel Architects is, along with the Atlantic house by architect Thomas Herzog and the Empire Riverside luxury hotel by David Chipperfield, the new „Hafen-Krone“ skyline, now towering above the gangway and the fish market.
A characteristic feature of the new building is the elegantly structured glass façade with its round edges and the ribbon façade made of bronze-shimmering ceramic elements running all round the building. Along with the centrally located opening core the French windows guarantee for bright and light-flooded office areas with a wide panoramic view across the city.
When the Bavaria brewery was closed down in 2003 after more than 100 years in operation, at least the administration building erected in 1971 was to be kept as an identity forming element. However, due to static issues of the subsurface it was decided to knock down the “old Astraturm“ along with all other remaining buildings and to have it replaced. As an architectural homage KSP Jürgen Engel took over a few former details: Thus, the new building was not only developed consequently out of the volume of its forerunner, it also shows the striking structure of the old building consisting of the three parts base, shaft and crown. The five basement floors integrate functions to be used by the public such as food services and retailers and use this to connect the building with the city. The glazed neck on the third floor can be seen as a quote of the tulip-shaped forerunner building moving back to the central ferro-concrete core on the fifth floor. The upper floors are intended to be used as offices only. To round off the new building, an expressively designed roof construction was erected resembling the dimensions of the layout cubic content of the tower.
Just as high-quality as the architecture itself is the interior designed by Hamburg-based designer Tobias Grau. Highlights are the representative lobby with its long black glass counter and the freely accessible roof terrace on the 19th floor. However, despite the well-done architecture and the exclusive accessories inside the rooms a large part of the office area is still empty. Since at the same time private living quarters are getting rare and more and more expensive in many quarters of Hamburg, there was a demonstration right in front of the building a few months ago entitled ”Leerstand zu Wohnraum“ (Vacancies to Housing Space). ”Be creative, bring along furniture, pot plants and pillows”, it said back then in the proclamation. However, nobody of the people demonstrating outside has moved in yet.
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- The Hospic Building by dans arhitekti (karmatrendz.wordpress.com)
- HCP says CFO Thomas Herzog to resign (marketwatch.com)
- The death of architecture (thetruthiswhere.wordpress.com)
- Turner Contemporary (guardian.co.uk)
- Revealed – review (guardian.co.uk)
- The Borneo Sporenburg development in Amsterdam (ecomagnificent.com)