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Europacity: decision in architecture competition for Hochhaus Am Nordhafen

Europacity will be getting a new landmark: a decision has been reached in the architectural competition for the Hochhaus Am Nordhafen (high-rise building at Berlin Nordhafen). The winning design comes from the architect’s office Kleihues + Kleihues, Berlin. The jury awarded third place to each of the designs by Schaltraum Architekten, Hamburg, and Meixner Schlüter Wendt, Frankfurt am Main. The Hochhaus Am Nordhafen will form the northern, widely visible entrance to Europacity in the future. CA Immo will invest a total of around 140 million Euro in the realisation of the Hochhaus Am Nordhafen.

Berlin, 11 December 2018. In cooperation with the State of Berlin and the Mitte district, CA Immo organised a two-stage anonymous competition for the realisation of a high-rise building at Berlin's Nordhafen. One special feature of the competition was that in addition to 10 already-selected architectural offices a further 10 were chosen via an application procedure. Of these 10, five offices were then selected by lot. A total of 20 international architectural firms were each invited to develop a basic urban planning idea. These were then taken into the second stage of the actual architectural competition. Chaired by Prof. Johann Eisele (Darmstadt), the jury was unanimously in favour of the design by Kleihues + Kleihues.

In addition to the necessary functional and design qualities of Kleihues + Kleihues’ concept, the jury was particularly impressed by the references that the planned solitary building creates with its surroundings. A statement from the jury said: "As a free form, the building sits on the plot in such a way that it creates different open space situations: the forecourts to Heidestraße and Perleberger Straße, which act as a direct link to the Nordhafen basin, and a piazza-style access courtyard as a driveway to the west side. It goes without saying that this results in an ideal entrance situation, which is located at the intersection of the building's two three-winged sections of the ground plan." Furthermore, the design particularly impresses with its flexible ground plan, which allows all common office concepts from single rooms to open spaces in the same efficient form. A very high façade proportion of the conceivable workspaces also contributes to this, so that all office forms use only a minimum of internal areas.

The planned building will have gross floor space (GFS) of around 34,000 m². The design by Kleihues + Kleihues is staggered in three dynamic steps to a 69-metre-high end point in the north. The curved clinker brick façade, whose materiality creates an abstract reference to historic Berlin commercial buildings without sacrificing modernity and independence, is characteristic of the design language. 
The construction site is located in the north of Europacity and directly borders the Nordhafen basin. In addition to a representative foyer with reception, Hochhaus Am Nordhafen will also have a conference centre with several meeting rooms. The concept also provides for co-working areas on the ground floor, bicycle parking and a large fitness area that will be accessible to all future tenants’ employees. The building is scheduled for completed in approx. 4.5 years, depending on market demand.

Facts and figures "Hochhaus Am Nordhafen":
Address: Europacity Berlin - Heidestraße/Perleberger Bridge 
Size of plot: Approx. 7,800 m²
GFS: approx. 34,000 m²
Height: ca. 69 meters
Floors: 16
Designated use: offices
Schedule: approx. 4.5 years to completion

Other entrants in the competition were:
AFF Architects / Harry Gugger Studio Ltd., Berlin/Basel 
ATP Frankfurt / ATP Berlin, Frankfurt/Berlin 
bof Architekten, Hamburg 
C.F. Møller, Århus 
Chaix & Morel, Paris/Berlin 
CODE UNIQUE Architects GmbH, Dresden 
GEORG SCHEEL WETZEL ARCHITEKTEN GMBH, Berlin 
Hascher Jehle Design GmbH, Berlin 
Henning Larsen Architects, Munich 
Kleihues+Kleihues (Berlin) 
KSP Jürgen Engel Architects, Berlin 
Lehmann Architekten GmbH BDA, Offenburg/Berlin 
Love architecture and urbanism zt GmbH / Architecture Consult ZT GmbH, Graz 
Max Dudler, Berlin 
Meixner Schlüter Wendt, Frankfurt am Main 
Nieto Sobejano, Berlin 
Schaltraum Architekten, Hamburg 
SRA Architects, Châtillon 
STRUCTURELAB – Architects, Düsseldorf 
Thomas Müller Ivan Reimann Architects, Berlin

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