Richard Meier & Partners Architects has been awarded the American Architecture Award 2011 for Coffee Plaza in Hamburg, Germany. The American Architectural Awards is one of the most prestigious building awards program in the United States that honors “new and cutting-edge design”. This annual program is organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies to promote the best of new architecture and urban design.
The Coffee Plaza in Hamburg’s HafenCity is planned as a unique center for international coffee commerce and related lines of business. The project encompasses the design of the headquarters for one of the largest coffee trading companies worldwide and two office buildings with rentable areas as well as a public plaza and underground parking. The site is part of the ambitious new Master plan to redevelop Hamburg’s post-industrial port into a viable business, commercial and cultural center and is currently the largest urban development project in Europe. More after the break.
A number of innovative features were developed specifically for the tower. New mechanical systems and facades were carefully designed to minimize energy consumption while providing a working environment with natural ventilation and daylight; and vertical glass louvers were used on the south and west elevations that rotate with the sun providing shade and minimizing heat gain.
The relationship of the buildings to the urban context is of vital importance. The complex and plaza form a sculptural border to the development’s expansive open spaces, and the three buildings rise from the elevated plaza and delineate the city block, giving a sense of place and community to the area.
In October 2011, The Chicago Atheneaum, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies will present a special exhibition of all awarded buildings at an annual symposium, “The City and the World” in Buenos Aires and in conjunction with the 13th International Architecture Biennial. After the symposium, the exhibition will travel through Europe.