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Why NL Architects + BeL's Winning Proposal for Hamburg's St. Pauli Won't Win You Over With Glossy Renders

After the Bolsheviks secured power in Russia in the late 1910s and eventually created the Soviet Union in 1922, one of the first orders of business was a new campaign, Novyi bit (new everyday life), which sought to advance many of the most hallowed causes of their newly minted socialism. The initiative’s great success came from the bold designs of Constructivist artists such as Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Lyubov Popova. Using a high-contrast visual language and a combination of words and symbols, the graphics were arresting and comprehensible in a post-tsarist country that was largely illiterate, and became some of the most recognizable examples of twentieth century graphics and political propaganda.

It's hard not to see the connection between the styles of the Constructivists and the unusual graphics created by NL Architects in association with BeL (Bernhardt und Leeser) Sozietät für Architektur BDA for their competition-winning proposal for Hamburg’s St. Pauli neighborhood, consisting of an urban plan of housing and other amenities at the former site of Esso Häuser on the Spielbudenplatz. And, while this stylistic connection may not have been intentionally drawn by the architects - the inspiration for the graphics is not mentioned in the four-page project description - it is oddly appropriate for this particular development.

Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects

Architecture Pavilion / gmp Architekten

© Hans-Georg Esch © Hans-Georg Esch © Hans-Georg Esch © Hans-Georg Esch

Monocle 24 Take a Trip to Rio de Janeiro's Near-Complete Olympic Village

For this week's edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the Monocle team take a trip to the near-complete Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, plus take a look at the history of the US Embassy in Havanna. The latest edition of The Urbanist explores etiquette and politeness in the metropolis, examining the unspoken rules of conduct that make our cities tick and delve into the psychology of 'urban etiquette'.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

Quarter of Nations / Gerber Architekten

© HG Esch © HG Esch © HG Esch © HG Esch

Office Mindmatters / PARAT

  • Architects: PARAT
  • Location: Hamburg, Germany
  • Area: 360.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Andreas Meichsner

© Andreas Meichsner © Andreas Meichsner © Andreas Meichsner © Andreas Meichsner

Video: Jan Wurm and Lukas Verlage Discuss Arup’s “Solarleaf”

In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.

Kleinerdrei / PARAT

  • Architects: PARAT
  • Location: Eifflerstraße 43, 22769 Hamburg, Germany
  • Corporate Identity: Carolin Rauen
  • Area: 200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: mfruscella & dmanduzio

© mfruscella & dmanduzio © mfruscella & dmanduzio © mfruscella & dmanduzio © mfruscella & dmanduzio

Arup's Latest Solar Panels Produce Energy From Algae

A view behind the BIQ House Solarleaf panels.  Image via GOOD. Image
A view behind the BIQ House Solarleaf panels. Image via GOOD. Image

Architects have been experimenting with the potential of building envelopes for years. Now, Arup has an interesting, Zumtobel Group Award-nominated proposal: the Solarleaf bioreactor. Developed in collaboration with SSC Strategic Science Consult GmbH and Colt International GmbH, this thin, 2.5 x .07 meter panel, when attached to the exterior of a building, is capable of generating biofuel - in the form of algae - for the production of hot water. More efficient than electricity and more sustainable than wood, algae is ideal kindling for producing heat, especially since it can be grown on-site. Moreover, the water in which the algae grows also collects solar energy, providing an additional supply of heat. More details on this sustainable innovation, after the break. 

Gerstäckerstreet / KBNK

© Carsten Brügmann
© Carsten Brügmann
  • Architects: KBNK
  • Location: Gerstäckerstraße 9, 20459 Hamburg, Germany
  • Area: 6450.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Carsten Brügmann

© Carsten Brügmann © Carsten Brügmann © Carsten Brügmann © Carsten Brügmann

Superbude 2 / Dreimeta

  • Architects: Dreimeta
  • Location: Hamburg, Germany
  • Collaborators: Judy Hänel, Andrea Kraft, Britta Kleweken
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Steve Herud

© Steve Herud © Steve Herud © Steve Herud © Steve Herud

Case Studies in Coastal Vulnerability: Boston, Seoul, Hamburg, Bangladesh & New York

This article originally appeared in the latest issue of ArchitectureBoston as “Troubled Waters.

The challenges of sea-level rise cross boundaries of all sorts: geographic, political, social, economic. Proposed mitigation strategies will also necessarily shift and overlap. Here, we present five case studies from across the globe that offer intriguing ways—some operational, some philosophical—to address the threats associated with climate change. Drawing on a research initiative focused on vulnerabilities in Boston, a team at Sasaki Associates developed these additional design-strategy icons to illustrate the layered approaches. They are adaptable, the better to meet the unique demands of each coastal community.

Hamburg. Photo by Fotofrizz – Seoul River. Photo by – Boston Harbor. Photo by New York after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by André-Pierre du Plessis –

Hamburg's Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years

About 40% of the area of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, is made up of green areas, cemeteries, sports facilities, gardens, parks and squares. For the first time ever, the city has decided to unite them together via pedestrian and cycle routes. It's all part of the "Green Network Plan," which aims to eliminate the need for vehicles in Hamburg over the next 20 years.

According to city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch, the project will help to turn the city into a one-of-a-kind, integrated system: "Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you'll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot."

More details, after the break.

Neue Hamburger Terrassen / LAN

  • Architects: LAN
  • Location: Hamburg, Germany
  • Team: LAN (mandatory architects): Umberto Napolitano and Benoit Jallon, Sebastian Niemann (lead architect), Vincent Vaulot, Peter Balzer, RemiCarteron (competition). Franck Boutté Consultants (HEQ - competition), BASE (landscaping – competition), RaissiBidard (competition), KonerdingArchitekten (architects associated for the building process), Ingenieurbüro Schreyer (BET structure, energy), RMP Stephan Lenzen (coordinating landscape architects)
  • Area: 11000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo

Woodcube / architekturagentur

  • Architects: architekturagentur
  • Location: Am Inselpark, 21109 Hamburg, Germany
  • Area: 4130.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Martin Kunze

© Martin Kunze © Martin Kunze © Martin Kunze © Martin Kunze

Bildungszentrum Tor zur Welt / Bof Architekten

© Hagen Stier
© Hagen Stier
  • Architects: Bof Architekten
  • Location: Krieterstraße 7, 21109 Hamburg, Germany
  • Area: 22000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Hagen Stier

© Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier © Hagen Stier

WakuWaku / Ippolito Fleitz Group

© Benjamin Nadjib
© Benjamin Nadjib
  • Architects: Ippolito Fleitz Group
  • Location: Schauenburgerstraße 55, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Ippolito Fleitz Group
  • Design Team: Peter Ippolito, Gunter Fleitz, Moritz Köhler, Michael Bertram, Markus Schmidt, Timo Flott
  • Area: 145.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Benjamin Nadjib

© Benjamin Nadjib © Benjamin Nadjib © Benjamin Nadjib © Benjamin Nadjib

Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters Extension Winning Proposal / gmp Architekten

Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp Architekten) have won the first prize in the competition for the extension of Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The new building designed for the Hamburg-based, tradition-rich trading company impressed the jury as “an independent urban-planning and architectural contribution characterized by timeless, harmoniously self-contained architecture.” Viewed from the northwest, the new extension is a companion piece to the Maritime Museum, with the two buildings flanking the “Heinemann-Speicher” in the middle. From the Ericus Bridge, the new construction highlights the corner of the ensemble on Shanghaiallee and makes a characteristically urban statement. More images and architects' description after the break.