Sumatrakontor Hamburg / Erick van Egeraat, Michiel Raaphorst

Courtesy of

Architect: Erick van Egeraat,
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Project Area: 9,681 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

The mixed-use building (SPV 1-4) designed by Erick van Egeraat is part of the Überseequartier and the larger plan of the HafenCity waterfront redevelopment in Hamburg, Germany. The new building SPV 1-4 comprises spaces for retail, offices and housing on a gross floor area of 37,000 m2. Within the Masterplan of the Überseequartier, these building acts as urban attraction, offering retail areas on the ground floor and hosting offices and apartments alongside the main Überseeboulevard that connects the inner city with the river.

east elevation

The building forms a clear urban block built around an inner courtyard, which is open towards the main boulevard. This arrangement creates a semi-public space that offers a retreat for the building’s residents but is accessible for outsiders at the same time. Aesthetically, the new building refers to the red-brick harbour aesthetics of the historic Speicherstadt on the one hand and the traditional white plaster façades of the inner city on the other.

Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

Mixed with glass and aluminium, the outer façades facing the streets are predominantly composed of natural stone. In contrast, all façades towards the courtyard are white. The folded elevation emphasises the vertical structure and defines a unique statement within the entire plan of the Überseequartier. An atrium in the southwestern corner of the ensemble accentuates the possibility of individual access for each of the office units. The office spaces maximise a variety of use with a flexible structure offering units from 400 m2 up to 4,000 m2.

Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

The housing types can be reached from the boulevard through a generous staircase leading to the inner court on the first floor and flanked by bars and cafés to its left and right. On an urban scale, the building’s shape allows for a semi-public space and facilitates social interaction within the Überseequartier, while its architectonic appearance strongly relates to the character of Hamburg. With this concept, the building as a single element supports the leading theme of the Überseequartier development: connecting the inner city with the revitalised waterfront and making the Überseequartier an integral part of 21st century Hamburg.

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Cite: "Sumatrakontor Hamburg / Erick van Egeraat, Michiel Raaphorst" 30 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Definitely Maybe

    Super nice!

  • Allan

    …this crazy architect…

  • John-David Carling

    loving it