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.
Marco Polo did not start his sales trips to China in the 13th century from Hamburg, but from Venice – in terms of boldness and daredevilry, however, this new building is absolutely able to compete with its famous eponym. The first look already realizes the dynamically playful, but also organically twisted basic structure that allows every single apartment to have an individual ground plan and view. Additional appeal the asymmetric residential sculpture gets through its elegantly curved yet still projecting terraces with their all-round banisters made of glass and concrete. The interplay of various materials and shapes turned out to be a perfectly balanced whole which stands out from the rather orthogonal architecture of the HafenCity in a refreshing manner.