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Intelligent Quarters in Hamburg’s HafenCity

Hamburg-based ECE plans a new project in Elbtorquartier at the heart of HafenCity called the Intelligent Quarters. The site is adjacent to the Elbe River, between Magdeburger Hafen basin and the future Hafen City University (HCU). Visible from afar, a 70m office building is to be built on the waterfront in Elbtorquartier, together with two more buildings, to will include homes and ground-floor publicly accessible uses.

Visualization of the winners draft "Intelligent Quarters" (© Störmer Murphy and Partners )

In central HafenCity a special place is beginning to take shape: the Intelligent Quarters located right on the Elbe waterfront and along south-eastern Magdeburger Hafen. The complex of buildings is the direct neighbor of HCU, the German headquarters of Greenpeace, the Hamburg designport and other creative uses. ECE plans to build an office tower around 70 meters high on a waterside site of some 9,100 sq. m in southern Elbtorquartier. This landmark will be a visible from a distance and accompanied by an additional pair of buildings – including 60 apartments and ground-floor public amenities. A square opening towards the water shared with HCU will be a pleasant place for a pause and underlines the architectonic qualities of this special place. Kühne Logistics University (KLU), originally part of this project, plans to remain long term in HafenCity and seek premises, although for reasons of speed it will opt for an existing building.

Access to the Intelligent Quarters will be easy via two new subway stations. The complex is also adjacent to Lohsepark, central Überseequartier and Magdeburger Hafen. The subterranean rapid transit line poses a particular challenge for construction on the site.

The Intelligent Quarters will provide a total of around 30,000 sq. m gross floor area. Together with Überseequartier across the way and the wharf tip still to be built upon on southern Baakenhafen, the Intelligent Quarters and HCU will form the "Maritime Triangle".

The buildings are planned to match up to the stringent standards of the HafenCity gold Ecolabel as well as the requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Construction of the Intelligent Quarters should begin in the fourth quarter of 2012, with the individual buildings completed sequentially from the end of 2014.

Seven architectural firms from Germany and abroad competed in the architectural contest. The jury was chaired by Professor Carlo Baumschläger, professor of architecture and town planning at the Academy of Decorative Art, Munich, and the panel included Hamburg’s chief planning director Professor Jörn Walter, the chief executive of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg and ECE chief executive Alexander Otto.

The jury evaluated the urban and architectural qualities of the designs, as well as the way the ensemble would fit into the surroundings, the quality of the squares and public space to be created. It was the overall urban planning composition of the winning concept, with its orientation towards the water and outstanding design qualities, that convinced the jury. The chosen positioning of the buildings creates interesting and well-proportioned squares and exterior spaces. The office tower is made up of two slightly askew trapezoid structures and its spacious areas for public amenities will enliven the surrounding area.

Hamburg’s chief planning director, Professor Jörn Walter:

"Störmer and Murphy have cleverly picked up on the dynamics of HCU and rounded the quarter off into a meaningful ensemble. HCU’s façade is also referenced in the light-colored ceramics. Thus Magdeburger Hafen is provided with an elegant finish, simultaneously making an inviting gesture in opening out in the direction of the Elbe."

Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, chief executive of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH:

"The Intelligent Quarters, together with HafenCity University, will link together the center and east of HafenCity between Magdeburger Hafen and Baakenhafen, putting a felicitous architectonic stamp of their own on the area."

ECE CEO Alexander Otto:

"With its superb waterside architecture and a mix of homes, workplaces and leisure, the Intelligent Quarters represent a central element in the future center of HafenCity. The office tower also offers a tremendous panoramic view of the whole of Hamburg."

About ECE

ECE of Hamburg has been developing, planning, realizing, leasing and managing major commercial properties since 1985, including corporate headquarters, offices blocks, transportation premises, industrial buildings, logistics centers and shopping centers. ECE has more than 400,000 sq. m of office space under management, including around 130,000 sq. m in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. In addition to the ThyssenKrupp quarter in Essen, ECE’s successful track record includes the German headquarters in Hamburg of multinational Philips, Europe’s largest goods distribution center in Haldensleben near Magdeburg, as well as the main stations in Leipzig, Cologne and Hanover and Bahnhof City West in Vienna. The construction and planning volume runs at a constant EUR 4bn. ECE also manages 140 shopping malls which makes it European market leader in the development, construction and operation of shopping centers.

For enquiries please contact:

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Susanne Bühler, Head of Press and Public Relations
tel: 040-374726-14, email: