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Gruner + Jahr: Caruso St John designs winning architectural scheme

London architects Caruso St John have won the competition to construct the new Gruner + Jahr publishing house headquarters on Am Lohsepark, HafenCity. The panel, made up of representatives from the city, architects, investor Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate, project developer HIH Real Estate and Gruner + Jahr, voted unanimously for the design, which features striking green-enameled ceramic struts and three partially covered interior courtyards

The judges praised the “high aesthetic standard” of the submission, characterized by “clean composure and high quality”.

The judges praised the “high aesthetic standard” of the submission, characterized by “clean composure and high quality”.

The judges praised the “high aesthetic standard” of the submission, characterized by “clean composure and high quality”. They added that the building design suggests a “restrained Hamburg Kontorhaus”, referring to a distinctive type of office building from the late 19th-century, of which several survive in Hamburg. The Caruso St John design also successfully meets Gruner + Jahr’s requirements for a building which is creative and innovative on the inside.

Julia Jäkel, Gruner + Jahr CEO: “The new G+J publishing house will be a building focused on on lasting elegance; a perfect example of business architecture that works without gestures of vanity. The building will be truly eye-catching from the outside, and an industrious workplace inside.”

The London-based practice won out over twelve internationally renowned offices in the engineering architecture competition run by investor Warburg-HIH. The competition awards four prizes, and the top-ranked winner is taken forward for construction.

Located in the Lohsepark area, the new building complex will play an important role in the development of the HafenCity location. An ensemble of buildings, encompassing a gross floor area of more than 75,000 m² is set to be created. It will comprise, in addition to the Gruner + Jahr headquarters, both office space and residential buildings. Public facilities such as restaurants and cultural exhibition areas on the ground floor, supplement the usage program. The plot is 15,200 m² in size and construction is scheduled to commence in 2019.

Caruso St John impressed the panel with a sustainably beautiful building design. A row of green-glazed ceramic struts soars over an open ground floor, gradually tapering towards the top. These elements are created by hand, and give the building an iridescent green appearance when viewed from the side. Approached from the front, it is open, bright and inviting. The interior space groups office and meeting areas around three courtyards, and can be flexibly divided or left open, enabling a huge range of use options. Employees can access gardens and outdoor spaces on the tiered roof areas, as well as enjoying views over Hamburg.

Berlin architects Baumschlager Eberle triumphed over six competitors in the residential category of the competition, run by investors Adlershorst Baugenossenschaft eG and HIH Real Estate. Their winning design has a meandering shape which impressed the panel with its balanced distribution of publicly funded and privately financed apartments. The northern part of the building, facing Gruner + Jahr, will house the publicly funded apartments and commercial areas, while the southern part of the building contains the owner-occupied apartments.

The competition entries from all 20 participating architectural offices, for both the commercial and residential categories, will be exhibited from October 6 to October 21 2018, at HafenCity InfoCenter im Kesselhaus, Am Sandtorkai 30, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm

Julia Jäkel, Gruner + Jahr CEO:
“We consider ourselves to be the most creative and most innovative publishing house. The way we work has changed – many new products and enterprises are taking shape across editorial departments, in constantly changing team structures. We need a building that can keep pace with our change, and which is a good fit for us – a building that is not modernistic and pretentious, but instead is of enduring elegance. The design submitted by Caruso St John is hugely successful in achieving this. We are very much looking forward to working with them.”

Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg,
Chairman of the Executive Board, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH:

“The design for Gruner + Jahr very effectively combines an almost timeless exterior aesthetic with innovative work solutions in the building’s interior. It will also serve to promote increased public use of the park. Together with the residential building, it constitutes a very special ensemble in the HafenCity.”

Franz-Josef Höing, Chief Construction Director, Ministry of Urban Development and Environment:
“The new building is yet another example of Gruner + Jahr’s desire to contribute to Hamburg’s architectural culture: it is flexible, yet to the point, elegant, yet open and accommodating. The building is extremely well-suited to Gruner + Jahr, and also fits very naturally into the fabric of the HafenCity. Moreover, its design, which was created by Baumschlager Eberle, will doubtless significantly enhance the Lohsepark area.”

Jens Nietner, HIH Real Estate Managing Director:
“Enabling people to live and work in attractive buildings is the most exciting task a project developer can be faced with. We are lucky enough to be able to make the Gruner + Jahr company headquarters and neighboring residential buildings a reality – two premium designs which will also integrate beautifully into the architectural landscape of HafenCity. We are making a home for one of the most important publishing houses in Europe. And it’s no less important for Hamburg that we, together with Adlershorst Baugenossenschaft, are creating almost 200 apartments – of which more than half will be publicly funded. For many people, this means affordable living right in the heart of the city.”

Uwe Wirries, Chairman of the Management Board
of ADLERSHORST Baugenossenschaft eG:

“The intended development concept makes living space in HafenCity – one of Germany’s most sought-after locations – affordable for everyone. We are delighted to be able to make our contribution as a corporate residential company, and in future to offer our members the opportunity to live in this attractive location.”

Exhibition

The competition entries from all 20 participating architectural offices will be exhibited from October 6 to October 21 2018, at HafenCity InfoCenter im Kesselhaus, Am Sandtorkai 30, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm

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