david chipperfield architects (DCA) has won a competition to construct the tallest building in hamburg, germany. the 230 meter-tall tower (755 ft) will act as a counterpoint to the nearby elbphilharmonie — the concert hall by herzog & de meuron, which opened in 2017. DCA’s building has been designed to both complement and contrast the form of the elbphilharmonie, rising as a tapered tower above a public atrium. the mixed-use scheme will also serve as an entrance marker on the eastern edge of the emerging district, known as hafencity.

david chipperfield elbtower tower
the building’s façade is clad in a delicate screen of cambered, light-colored aluminum profiles
image © david chipperfield architects (also main image)



designed by david chipperfield architects berlin under the leadership of design director christoph felger, the project is being backed by SIGNA prime selection AG who will realize the tower directly adjacent to the elbbrücke bridges. ‘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,’ says david chipperfield. ‘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.’

david chipperfield elbtower tower
the building’s ground floor forms a solid podium that opens to the city
image © david chipperfield architects



embedded in the topography of the site, the building’s ground floor forms a solid podium that opens to the city. entrances converge to create an inner courtyard which provides access to the tower and extends the surrounding public realm. the podium, and the lower level floor, contain a range of public functions including a bar, a hotel, a restaurant, and retail and exhibition areas. meanwhile, the tower above largely comprises office space.

david chipperfield elbtower tower
the 230 meter-tall tower will act as a counterpoint to the nearby elbphilharmonie
image © DCA/picture alliance/christian charisius/dpa



the façade is clad in a delicate screen of cambered, light-colored aluminum profiles, which provide solar protection and give a moire effect. the curtain wall plays with the reflections of the sun during the day, resulting in a light appearance when viewed from a distance, while a lighting concept by studio other spaces transforms the tower into a kinetic sculpture after dark. construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 with completion set for 2025.

david chipperfield elbtower tower
construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 with completion set for 2025
image © david chipperfield architects



project info:


competition: 2017-2018
gross floor area: 104,000 sqm (aboveground) / 1,119,447 sqf
client: SIGNA prime selection AG, innsbruck
architect: david chipperfield architects berlin
partners: david chipperfield, christoph felger (design lead), harald muller
project architects: barbara koller (competition phase 1), thomas pyschny (competition phase 2)
competition team: konrad basan, kerstin bigalke, andrew davis, ivan dimitrov, emmi frank, fadi kilani, dalia liksaite, pascal maas, carthage murphy, andre silva oliveira, ken polster, franziska rusch, diana schaffrannek, matthijs sioen, simon wiesmaier, julienne zuern


in collaboration with —
engineering: arup ltd., london
fire consultant: brand + brandschutz planbar, berlin
landscape architect: wirtz international nv, schoten
light art installation: studio other spaces, berlin with olafur eliasson and sebastian behmann

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