Haus im Haus / Behnisch Architekten

@ Hans Jürgen Landes
@ Hans Jürgen Landes

Architects: Behnisch Architekten
Location: Hamburg,
Client: Handelskammer Hamburg
Lighting: Nimbus Design
Project Area: 1,000 sqm
Competition year: 2003
Project year: 2004–2007
Photographs: Hans Jürgen Landes

@ Hans Jürgen Landes
@ Hans Jürgen Landes

Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce required a more intensive use of their existing neo-classical building on Adolphsplatz. The brief for the 2003 design competition anticipated the introduction of several additional floor levels within the existing Börsenhalle and a structure which respects the fabric of the historic building.


The design proposal adds a total of five new levels which occupy a relatively small proportion of the hall in order to preserve its generous spatial character. A business start-up center, consultation, exhibition, club and meeting room facilities for members, guests and visitors are arranged in a sculptural manner. The uppermost level affords access to generous roof terraces and beautiful views out over the roofs of Hamburg through a band of arched clere- story windows.

@ Hans Jürgen Landes
@ Hans Jürgen Landes

The new structure is composed of layers and planes, where lightness, immateriality and reflection contrast the solid, elaborate walls of the existing building. A variety of fascinating spatial solutions emerge within both the new structure and in relation to the existing building. The light, free-floating character of the new extension is complemented and accentuated by an LED lighting system that was jointly developed by the architects and Nimbus Design. Although not part of the original architectural competition entry, the lighting system was later seen to offer extraordinary potential for special lighting effects.

The “House in a House” is the first struc- ture in the world that is completely lit by LED lamps.

Cite: "Haus im Haus / Behnisch Architekten" 27 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • ballistamagazine

    Fantastic project from a firm that continues produce great work. I am personally a fan of the “respect through contrast” approach, especially with classical/neo-classical works. In a similar vein to the addition to Chicago’s Soldier Field (which has garnered seemingly limitless and unnecessary negative attention), the existing fabric requires a drastic stylistic departure to prevent style-mashing or replication. “Lightness, immateriality and reflection contrast the solid, elaborate walls of the existing building”…poetic, to say the least.

  • Pingback: toward an aesthetic

  • WSBY

    very clean! to much I think :)

  • HB


  • Michael G