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Chipperfield wins contest to design Hamburg’s tallest tower

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David Chipperfield Architects is to create a 230m-tall office tower in Hamburg

The practice’s competition-winning designs for the Elbtower, which will become the tallest building in the north German city, were unveiled by Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz this week.

Drawn up by the company’s Berlin office, the proposals feature a tower that rises in steps at its base and tapers at the top.

Developer Signa Prime Selection intends to begin construction in 2021 with completion expected four years later.

The competition jury said the design had ‘great iconographic power’ while ensuring the tower ‘embeds itself respectfully in Hamburg’s architectural culture and on the famous city skyline’.

David Chipperfield Architects said the design was defined by two roles for the building – ‘as a counterpoint to the Elbphilharmonie and an entrance marker on the eastern edge of the Hafencity’.

Occupying a triangular plot at the point where the River Elbe and Oberhafen canal meet, the tower’s ground-floor podium links to the train and underground station to the east and a bicycle bridge to the north.

view from the west with elbphilharmonie by dca picture alliance christian charisius and dpa

David Chipperfield Architects’ Elbtower in Hamburg as viewed from the west with Elbphilharmonie

Source: DCA, Picture Alliance, Christian Charisius and DPA

David Chipperfield Architects’ Elbtower in Hamburg as viewed from the west with Elbphilharmonie

Practice founder David Chipperfield said: ‘We are delighted to have won the competition for the Elbtower project together with Signa and are happy to be invited to work in Hamburg again, especially on such an important site.

‘As architects we are increasingly aware that the city depends on the quality of projects from the private sector to create a strong civic dimension that engages with the complexities of the city. We look forward to positively embracing this responsibility with the Elbtower project.’

Chipperfield’s Empire Riverside Hotel, the practice’s first Hamburg tower, is 10 years old this month.

The practice’s Berlin-based design director Christoph Felger said: ‘We feel honoured to build on this success and to have the opportunity to design a further landmark for the city of Hamburg and hope that, similar to the hotel, it will become a prominent public location for Hamburg.’

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