Combining + connecting

How to live together? New housing in Hamburg


“How to live together?” is the question we ask every time we design housing facilities. And how to develop and implement positive visions of living together, and what contribution is made by architecture and urban planning. Housing development has once again become a politically vital subject – and we see it as a chance to work intensively on the programme, the typology and the context.

The collaboration of the relevant parties in the sense of the “social design” and a mixture regarding age, origin and economic status combined with a mix of utilisations seems to us to be the key in the sponsoring of the competition and the two cooperatives. This results in a building that on the basis of the sponsorship cannot evade the growing economisation of housing development – but can at least modify it. The crucial element here is the self-efficacy of the participants and thus the chance to create housing that is more diverse, more appropriate to needs, and less conventional, and therefore to create housing that is atmospherically and economically reasonable.

Site plan

The example: Hamburg’s HafenCity

As a prime example of integrated urban development, HafenCity offers the chance for discussion and propagation to find transformations to the everyday life of other housing development areas.


Urban development

Thanks to our decision to directly accept the stringent building shape of the urban development concept, the building should support the idea of Hamburg’s castles as a contiguous urban-development band and integrate itself into the situation cautiously and modestly. The resulting structure will include many corner apartments with very good views and exposure to light, whose qualities will be highlighted in the apartments. The interweaving of residential and usage forms will also be made visible in the façade design. The two sides – an avenue to the south and a waterfront to the north – each have their own qualities: above all a “flirt” with the water houses makes the situation exceptional.

Ground floor

Logistics and structure

Two addresses – one household – one house: fluwog and altoba each get their own addresses and staircases. A foyer and a roof terrace were created as common connecting elements.

The commercial units are arranged consistently along the Baakenallee: in this way, the building also serves its surroundings and the neighbourhood. To make the underground garage attractive and efficient, it is concentrated in the 2nd underground level. The car ramp that leads directly to it creates space for bikes and storerooms in the 1st underground level when approached from Petersenkai. The simple technical arrangement of Triplex parking units optimises the number of parking spaces and the economic efficiency.

North view

Façade and materiality

From our point of view, a modesty in the façade corresponds to the building task: a dual materiality (light-coloured bricks and rendered bricks in combination with glass) in two façade levels and the associated relief effect. This effect is reinforced by the horizontal layering of the building with a public ground-floor zone and a two-part residential use. A massive appearance and low-lying, upright window formats lead to self-shading and liveliness in the façade and thus to a “powerful modesty”.

Energy concept, heat insulation, sound insulation

The starting-point for us is the district heating connection in order to achieve the Gold Standard, plus an appropriate technology – not as an end in itself – with a ventilation system with thermal recovery and grey water usage. Summer heat insulation will be provided and accounted for by self-shading, storage mass, window area proportion and glass railing made of solar control glass by means of thermal simulation.

We see the innovation in this building in the blending of functions and the opportunities for social contact. Thus the holistic approach is the quality of the house, which needs no huge gesture but merely a cautious elaboration. Ultimately, for us it is “love at second sight” that gives the building a friendly and likeable effect and ensures a durable sustainability.

Project Data



with Hunk+Lorenz Landschaftsarchitekten, Hamburg


Altonaer Spar- und Bauverein eG und Baugenossenschaft FLUWOG-NORDMARK eG, Hamburg


BGF Wohnen 4.900 m², BGF Gewerbe + Gemeinschaft 310 m², 54 Wohnungen, TG mit 79 PKW und 141 Fahrrädern

Date of completion

Realisation competition 2015, Baakenhafen, Hafencity Hamburg

Architectural service

Realisation competition

Competition team

Johanna Lölhöffel, Maria-Magdalena Renker

Site plan

Ground floor

North view