Astra Turm, Hamburg

How to build on history?

The high-rise of the Bavaria-St. Pauli brewery has been a defining element in Hamburg’s cityscape since 1972 and has long since been a modern symbol of the Hanseatic city. Even from the Elbe, the striking building is visible as part of the silhouette running along the harbor line. Our goal, therefore, was to modernize the former administrative high-rise and inject new life into it.

Yet life often turns out differently to how you expect: Poor construction meant demolition was unavoidable. The new challenge lay in replacing an established symbol with a new build. As a nod to the familiar cityscape, we designed a new “old” office tower modeled on the volume of its predecessor, incorporating basic design elements like the square footprint and the horizontal lines of the façade.
Inspired by its predecessor, the tower is sub-divided into a podium section, the main body of the building, and its crown. The podium houses hospitality and retail businesses and is partly open to the public. Above it towers the main body of the building with office stories, while the crowning glory is an eye-catching open roof structure with roof terrace and a view over all of Hamburg.

By carefully and caringly re-interpreting the original building.

Project: Astra Turm, Hamburg

Client: DWI Grundbesitz GmbH

GFA: 19,000 m²

GV: 45,000 m³

Competition: 08/2004, 1st prize

Completion: 12/2007

Photos: Carsten Brügmann

“The definitive design of the Astra Turm was achieved with a delicate, rounded façade and the tower’s elegant proportions.”

We have the utmost respect for existing buildings. We therefore created a new build on the same site which would serve as a fresh symbol defining the former brewery site within the cityscape. The elegant façade with its rounded edges emphasizes the sculptural nature of the tower. Its fine detailing and high-quality, lasting materials give the Astra Turm its unmistakable character.

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