Category: Work

Hamburg’s Coffee Plaza is a 291,500-square-foot center for international coffee trade that includes the ovoid headquarters for Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, along with two additional office buildings and a large public plaza. The site is key to ambitious redevelopment efforts seeking to reinvent Hamburg’s once-industrial port as a business and cultural center.

Raised on a podium overlooking nearby Sandtorpark, the oval-shaped tower mediates the separation between the park and plaza. Inside, behind a ventilated façade, the oval configuration improves visual and physical connections between the office workers, resulting in greater collaboration. “This project is potentially a new take on a minimal floor plate with an emphasis on minimizing circulation,” juror Hilary Sample said, noting that the project speaks “to a new idea about scale in the workplace. It’s more intimate.”

Some jurors questioned the efficiency of building three buildings, with three costly elevator cores, instead of one. But overall, the jury lauded the project’s accomplishment as an urban design gesture, creating relationships between three discrete elements—and the surrounding neighborhood—rather than introducing one massive tower to the area. “The oval building … is scaled to fit very nicely in that part of Hamburg,” juror Raymund Ryan said. “It makes for a civilized city.”

Project Credits

Coffee Plaza, Hamburg
Clients  Neumann Gruppe; DS-Bauconcept
Architect  Richard Meier & Partners Architects, New York—Richard Meier, FAIA, Bernhard Karpf, AIA (design team); Ringo Offermann, AIA (project architect); Christian Tschoeke, Eva Held, Gabriel McKinney, Gil Even-Tsur, Hyungsok Moon, Anne Strüwing, Jonathan Bell, Matt Krajewski, Quang Truong, Kevin Lee, Reja Bakh, Warren Kim (collaborators)
Project Management  Drees & Sommer; Salzhuber und Frühling
Associate Architect  Architekten Ingenieure PSP
Structural Engineer  Weber Poll Ingenieurbüro für Bauwesen
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer, Building Physics, and Façade Consultant  DS-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft für Ganzheitliche Bauberatung und Generalfachplanung
Acoustical Consultant  Taubert und Ruhe Beratungsbüro für Akustik und Thermische Bauphysik
Fire and Code Consultant  Kersken + Kirchner Beratende Ingenieure VBI Sachverständige für baulichen Brandschutz
Lighting Consultant  Peter Andres Beratende Ingenieure für Lichtplanung
Signage  Piscatello Design Centre
Civil Engineer  IGB Ingenieurgesellschaft
Parking Consultant  Masuch+Olbrisch
Wind Consultant  I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik
Façade Cleaning Consultant  TAW Weisse International
Size  27,100 square meters (291,702 square feet)
Cost Withheld
Photograph  Klaus Frahm, courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects