Lübecker Str. 2, 22087 Hamburg
Alster-Gate Hamburg: A new gateway to St. Georg
St. Georg, a central quarter in Hamburg-Mitte, is to receive a new entrance. The project, which will be known as Alster-Gate, is being proposed for a site near Hamburg’s inner city and the Alster, in a principal location between Lübecker Strasse, Steinhauerdamm, and Wallstrasse in the Hohenfelde district. Specifically, the plan will contain two separate complexes: an office building and a new Porsche showroom in Hamburg. In 2012, an urban design competition was held in consultation with the city of Hamburg, calling for proposals to develop the former site of a vocational college opposite the old Philips Germany headquarters. A successful design proposal was found for the Porsche showroom, which is to replace the one currently at Eiffelstrasse. The jury, chaired by Hamburg’s Chief Planning and Building Director Prof. Jörn Walter, awarded first prize to SCHILD Architekten Ingenieure from Hamburg. The second prize went to gmp Architekten (Gerkan, Marg & Partners), also from Hamburg.
However, the competition did not produce a satisfactory solution for the planned office building. Another attempt was made in an architectural workshop to come up with a design for an office building adjacent to the proposed Porsche Centre. The brief was to design an office building that would present itself confidently, as well as create a landmark with a distinct identity on this prominent site at the entrance to the Hamburg Nord district. In addition, an overall design concept was to be developed, which gave consideration to the current plans for the Porsche Centre. The brief focused on building heights – with regard to existing structures in the site’s vicinity – and the plinth’s design in the context of the Porsche Centre’s façade. Invited to participate in the workshop were five renowned architects, who then went on to develop their designs between October and December 2014.
On January 8, 2015, the architects presented their exciting designs to a panel in Hamburg. During the panel, they each addressed the complex brief and the site’s specific characteristics. The panel, chaired by Martin Murphy of Störmer Murphy and Partners, decided to award not only one first prize, but two: one to gmp Architekten from Hamburg, and the other to KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten GmbH from Braunschweig. Of the two winning designs for the new office building – to be built in a unique and prestigious development, in conjunction with the Porsche Centre – the client favoured the proposal by gmp Architekten.
The character of the site’s immediate surroundings, between Wallstrasse and Steinhauerdamm, is extremely heterogeneous. The legibility of the roadway ends at Berliner Tor and Steindamm. The southern approach in particular lacks spatial orientation in the townscape.
The proposal responds to this challenge in several ways: the curved z-shaped building stands like a taut spring between the two adjacent streets; also, its straight ends form two “flanks” that run parallel to the principal direction. At the same time, its “folded” shape creates a distinct and sculptural form. A forecourt and entrance opens out onto Steinhauerdamm. The building’s southern tip is accentuated by its orientation, while rounded corners soften its overall appearance. The east-facing fold of the building shapes another forecourt and a third façade determines the urban space fronting the Alster. In the building’s western wing, the raised ground floor and first floor are fully glazed, forming a plinth. Above that are 10 more levels, plus a setback floor. The façade is structured into single stories with narrow horizontal metal bands, which define the basic building volume.
The office façade is made up of angular components 1.35-metres in width, which extend over the full height of each floor and are arrayed into a folded band around the structure.
This creates a changing effect in the elevation. It lets the façade appear more or less translucent depending on the viewpoint, with gradient-like fan-shaped transitions in between these two different impressions.
An elegant lobby on the ground floor links the two forecourts on either side of the building, and offers space for three smaller rental units (retail/office). The office floors are laid out around two access cores. The floor plan is highly flexible, with four independent units of different sizes ranging from approximately 230 to 400 sq m. The depth of the building is between 13.5 and 21 metres, allowing both standard and innovative office layouts (e.g. office cubicles, hybrid, group, and open plan offices).
In order for the applications for both the new Porsche Centre and the office building to be processed, local development plan hearings are to be resumed promptly. The development proposal will be issued to all relevant public agencies for agreement.
The building permit for the Porsche Centre was granted in May 2016, taking into account the current development planning procedure. The official groundbreaking was on 5 December 2016.
The building planning procedure will be continued simultaneously, so that the building application for the office building can also be approved. The goal is that the members of the city development committee and the district assembly will agree to the public disclosure of the revised plan in Q1 2017. The one-month public inspection should then occur no later than March 2017. After evaluating the received comments, the district assembly can be expected to approve the development plan in June 2017.
Hamburg, October 2017
At the Gate to the Alster
Porsche Times, 4/2016
“Tradition and modernity in Hamburg. Porsche Centre Hamburg moves to a new home.“
Ground-breaking ceremony for Porsche-Centre Alster-Gate
Immobilien Zeitung, 15 Dezember 2016
“Maas & Raffay will develop the Porsche Centre Hamburg in Hohenfelde near the Outer Alster Lake, until spring 2018. A high-rise will be built later.“
Porsche Builds its Largest Showroom in Hamburg
Hamburger Abendblatt, 6 Dezember 2016
“In Hohenfelde, construction is beginning on a top-notch automobile showroom.”
Porsche in the fast lane
Welt am Sonntag, 22 February 2015
“The Swabian car manufacturers will spend 30 million euros for modern showrooms and new workshops in Hamburg. The significant sum will be spent in a city that counts as one of the strongholds of this make of sports car.”
Porsche invests 30 million in Hamburg
Hamburger Abendblatt, 19 February 2015
“The jury has recently awarded two first prizes for the mega development; one to the Hamburg firm gmp Archichtekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner and another to KSP Jürgen Engel from Braunschweig.”
Speech on the launch of the Porsche Centre Hamburg North West
Olaf Scholz, 26 February 2015
“The project is in an excellent and particularly urban location; the Alster Gate development will enhance the existing site beautifully.”