Building on a historic site. Formed as part of the bulwark around Hamburg shortly before the Thirty Years’ War, the Ericusspitze – surrounded by water on three sides – was for centuries an element of the Port of Hamburg, only to lie derelict for years in more recent times. The task now was to prepare the site for the construction of two new buildings on a shared, two-storey plinth. The Ericusspitze today: the old bulwark on the water has become the plinth and foundation for an ambitious modern building construction. A derelict area with a historic past has become the north-eastern gateway to the new, lively HafenCity district.
Two separate buildings on a single base:
The central promise that the design by the Danish architect Henning Larsen makes to Spiegel Company Head Offices is openness and communication. The structural planning upholds the architectural design with the clever positioning of supports and arrangement of the bracing cores. Like a “window of the city”, the 3rd to 12th storeys on the northern side are recessed by some 10 metres so that the 13th storey projects far outwards. This same principle is also adopted on the southern side. The communicative heart of the building is the spacious atrium, in which numerous bridges make for short internal pathways.
Looking like a smaller brother of the Spiegel Building, the Ericus Contor with its total of 10 storeys is used as offices. In the southern wing of the building, storeys 2 to 7 are completely absent. Thus the 12 metre wide construction in the 8th and 9th storeys freely spans the space between two building cores like a bridge for a length of c. 40 metres. The ingenious steel construction method dispenses with special structural elements on the south-facing facade and thus permits an unobstructed view to the south across the new Lohsepark. The six-storey opening in the building’s southern wing gives the building its impressive uniqueness.