Text description provided by the architects. In the context of the revitalising of the St. Georg district of Hamburg, an urban plot of 120 dwelling units and an office building has been realised on a site next to Hamburg St. Georg hospital.
The design extends the historic urban structure of the hospital to the housing units, and conceives the office building as a solitary form. The spatial composition of these buildings generates a green courtyard for the residential blocks, an urban place facing a new high-rise to the east, and a raised plaza on the west, as well as a semi-enclosed interior court in the new administrative building. The goal was to achieve appropriately differentiated urban spaces and building appearances, a high quality of life, protection from noise, and an optimal penetration of daylight in both the residential and office buildings. The green space in the interior of the block thus benefits the offices and the dwellings in equal measure.
The office building’s configuration, composed of four boomerang-shaped elements laid over each other, creates a representative entrance situation, an interior courtyard, and a transitional space to the residential courtyard in the rear. As a result of this building form, every office has direct sunlight and an unobstructed view.
The fully room-high façade elements alternate in a relief, staggered motif: a tilting and swing-opening door with a glass weather and sound protection panel in front of it, a highly insulated sandwich panel, and a sheet of fixed glazing. The asymmetric façade assembly, running vertically over the three storeys of one wing form in one direction, and in the opposite direction on the wing form above it, emphasises the building’s concept and provides an ever-changing show of reflected sunlight over the course of the day.
For the office building, ecologically unobjectionable materials are used throughout. The new building is a condensed form, and its surface area is optimised. Two service and sanitary cores lie inside and allow flexible use and simple adjustments to future requirements of the users. The building’s materials possess the “Blue Angel” certification and are thus ecologically friendly. An innovatively staggered, highly insulating external glass skin, a naturally ventilated double façade, low energy heating and concrete core cooling, as well as an energy-optimised lighting concept reduce the primary energy requirements.
The building has received the gold certification for sustainable architecture from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
The seal of approval of the DGNB is a system of certification created by the German Sustainable Building Council together with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The rating system consists of 61 criteria which evaluate the whole life cycle of a building project with regard to sustainability.
The rating system goes far beyond the ecological standards of a simple ''green building''. With its specific qualities it responds to all aspects of sustainable building: to its ecological, economic, functional and technical objectives, as well as demonstrating sustainability in the final execution process.
Hamburg - about to become the „European Green Capital 2011“ - now got the first office building with the highest seal of approval for sustainable architecture.