Prime location: places to live and work by the water

Directly by the Elbe, a location punctuated by seven towers offering spectacular views from attractive apartments and outstanding office buildings

Photo shows Unilever Headquarter and Marco Polo Tower at Strankai

The first group of buildings in Strandkai - the Unilever hedquarters for German-speaking countries and the Marco Polo Tower residential block - is complete. They occupy an open area between the Elbe, the Marco Polo Terraces and the future Grasbrookpark (© ELBE&FLUT) Start slideshow

Strandkai forms the southern silhouette of Hamburg. Visible as far as the Elbe bridges, together with the Elbphilharmonie it is the unmistakable symbol of the HafenCity on the Elbe. The basic structure of the quarter’s urban plan by Böge Lindner Architekten, an architectural firm based in Hamburg, consists of a perimeter block development and seven additional residential buildings, each varying between 55 and 60 m in height, as well as an equally tall office tower on the water. While office spaces for modern service providers dominate the southeastern part of the quarter across from the cruise terminal on the Elbe, it is mostly apartments that are popping up around Grasbrookpark, as well as on the exposed quay tip, which has been reserved exclusively for residential purposes, except for the dock levels (55–57).

As the first building to be constructed south of the Marco Polo Terraces, a combination office building and residential tower designed by Behnisch Architekten (Stuttgart) was built in summer 2009. The ensemble consisting of the approx. 60-m high Marco Polo Tower (58), with its interlocking floors, and the neighboring Unilever building (59), with its striking polygonal curtain wall, was one of the first landmarks in HafenCity to attract widespread attention and was awarded numerous international prizes. Unilever’s office complex is characterized by its unique commitment to sustainability: In 2011, it became the first office building to be certified gold with the HafenCity Ecolabel. The ground floor, which is also open to the public outside office hours, is part of the public urban space connecting the Marco Polo Terraces with the quay promenade on the banks of the Elbe and the Elbe Terraces.

Towards the east, Quantum Projektentwicklung GmbH and Engel & Völkers Development GmbH completed the new Engel & Völkers headquarters (60) in mid-2018. In addition, the ensemble, designed by New York Pritzker Prize winner Richard Meier, also includes an exclusive tower with condominiums, rented apartments, as well as public facilities.

Further east, the last undeveloped Strandkai plots (61, 62 & 63) will be needed through 2022 to operate the temporary cruise terminal. After 2022, the temporary terminal will be replaced by the new terminal in the neighboring Überseequartier.

Nearly 500 residential units will be built on the tip of Strandkai (55–57), including many cooperative apartments and subsidized housing. The ground floors house exceptional cultural offerings, including the public KinderKulturHaus and the interactive ‘Märchenwelten’ exhibition, and a number of restaurants. While the upper 93 m of the quay tip will remain free of construction and continue to serve as public city space, western HafenCity will be graced with a new, approximately 700-m long, almost entirely white cityscape facing the Elbe, which will extend seamlessly across the whole of central and eastern HafenCity and all the way out to the Elbe bridges.

Neighborhood profile:

  • Size: 6.9 ha
  • Total GFA: 266,000 m²
  • Development period: 2005 to 2025 (currently blocked construction fields: 61–63)
  • Jobs: approx. 4,770
  • Commercial uses: Offices, hotel, retail, foodservices
  • Apartments: 733