The "Elbphilharmonie" designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron was completed in 2016. The 110 m high concert, hotel and residential building made headlines again and again because the construction costs rose from originally € 77 million to over € 866 million. The Elbphilharmonie was built in the former Kaiserspeicher, which is recognizable today as a reddish brick base. A glass structure above the historic warehouse rises in waves towards the top of the pier. There is a joint between the two parts of the building in which the visitor terrace is located. The entrances to the two concert halls are also located on this level.

Other buildings by Herzog & de Meuron:

Allianz Arena   Fünf Höfe   Tate Modern   Leonard St New York   Olympia Stadion Beijing   Museu Blau   De Young Museum   Vitra Haus   St. Jakob Park   Roche Türme   Zentralstellwerk   Museum der Kulturen  Messehalle 1





Cinnamon Tower

The red residential tower of Bolles + Wilson architects stands like a Campanile on the market square in the "Überseequartier" of the "HafenCity". On the square there is the "Old Harbour Administration Building" and an information pavilion also designed by Bolles + Wilson. The slender tower stands on a floor area of 13 x 16 m at a height of 56 m. The "Cinnamon Tower" developed by Groß + Partner was completed in 2015.

Other buildings by Bolles und Wilson:

New Luxor Theater Rotterdam


Osakaallee 10



Elbe 36

The office building of Hadi Teherani architects fits well into the existing building block. The rounded attic "monitor" gives the house an individual feature and offers a magnificent view on the Elbe river and the famous Fish Market. Due to its proximity to the river Elbe, the shop front was protected against floods. The three underground parking decks are accessed via car elevators. The 2012 opened office building "Elbe 36" offers an area of 7,200 m² gross floor area. 


Große Elbstraße 36



Tanzende Türme

The "dancing towers" of Hadi Teherani stand at the transition between the historic city of Hamburg and the quarter of "St. Pauli". The sinful "St. Pauli" stands for joy of life, the "dancing towers" therefore fit well to the entertainment district of the "Reeperbahn" and the Spielbudenplatz. The two towers are connected in the middle, 16 different gradientss create the "dancing" optics. On the highest of the two towers ther is a Sky Bar called "CLOUDS". The 85 m high office building was completed in 2012. 


Reeperbahn 1




The residential building "Oval" by Ingenhoven Architects was built in 2008 together with the neighboring office building. The oval shape of the building was created due to the wind conditions on the site. The curved shape of the balconies is designet after the light of the sun. Three residential units between 60 - 125 m² can be created per floor. The apartments can also be put together. 


Am Kaiserkai 10-12




Baufeld 10

The residential building on "Baufeld 10" was developed by "Love Architecture" from Graz. The hallmarks of the building are cup-shaped balconies. A cup-shaped roof terrace is also available for all residents. Each apartment has a frame on the white façade. The building was completed in 2008. 


Am Kaiserkai 56



Marco Polo Tower

The "Marco Polo Tower" was completed in 2010. The building was designed by Behnisch architects from Stuttgart. The special feature of the "Marco Polo Tower" are the offset, curving floors, which give the 55 m high tower a flowing movement. 

Am Strandkai 3




The "Unilever House" is also from Behnisch Architects and was opened in 2009. The transparent facade is made of plastic membranes. The house has won several awards through its environmentally friendly construction. The office building does not need conventional air conditioning.


Strandkai 1



An der Alster 1

The office building at the "Alster" by Jürgen Mayer H. was completed in 2007. The house with its round eyes makes a reference to the water of the Alster Lake. Large spans allow a free allocation of office space.


An der Alster 1 



Empire Riverside Hotel

The "Empire Riverside Hotel" by David Chipperfield was opened in 2007. The 70 m high hotel tower accommodates more than 300 guest rooms. On the upper floor is a bar with a spectacular view of Hamburg and the river Elbe. The facade of bronze elements with large windows allows the guests a clear view on the city. The vertical structure of the facade is elegantly divided by recesses. The building has won several architectural awards. 


Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 97




The diamond-shaped office building "Dockland" was designed by Hadi Teherani. The building stands 40 m above the river Elbe. On the land side of the office building, there is a public staircase leading to the roof terrace. The "Dockland" was opened in 2006. 


Van der Smissen Str. 9


Bühne Spielbudenplatz

Two mobile stages "Spielbuden" were built in 2006 on the Spielbudenplatz at the Reeperbahn. The Berlin landscape architects "Lützow7" designed two steel structures opposite to each other, that could project animated texts using lighting technology. 




Kaiserkai 2

The office building at the beginning of the "Kaiserkai" was designed by British architect David Chipperfield. The Englishman has also designed the "Folkwang Museum" in Essen and the "Neues Museum" in Berlin. The 5.400 m² office building with a light clinker façade was built in 2005. 


Am Kaiserkai 2



Flakturm IV

The "Flakturm IV" is a high bunker built by forced laborers in only 300 days in 1942. After bomb attacks on Berlin by Allied Air Forces, Adolf Hitler ordered to built "flak towers". The bunker with 3.5 m thick walls was designed by Albert Speer and Friedrich Tamms. Flak = Flugabwehrkanone (anti-aircraft gun).





The Chilehaus is one of the most famous buildings in Hamburg. It was built in 1924 and at that time it was one of the tallest buildings in the city. The Chilehaus was a huge building and the architect Fritz Höger tried to loosen up the building with curved shapes and stacked floors. The office building takes up an entire city block. The Chilehaus has three inner courtyards, the highest parts of the building are located there. At the corner of Pumpen and Burchard Strasse, the Chilehaus runs towards a sharp corner and looks like the bow of a ship. A photo of this corner can be found in the Hamburg Sights section. To the north of the Chilehaus there is another building by Fritz Höger, the Sprinkenhof. From the outside rather simple but the inner courtyard is worth seeing.

Fritz Höger was the best-known representative of brick expressionism, which spread across northern Germany around 1920. His trademark were curved shapes made of dark brown bricks in combination with green copper roofs. The Anzeiger Hochhaus in Hanover was also designed by Höger.




Map architecture in Hamburg


Hamburg Germany

Urban development of Hamburg

Hamburg was a leading port of the Hanseatic League as early as the Middle Ages. The inner city of half-timbered houses was protected by a thick city wall. The historic old town was destroyed by a fire in May 1842. Modern office buildings are now being built in the city. Between 1870 and 1890, Hamburg's population doubled to over 600,000. Today Hamburg is the second biggest city in Germany with 1.8 Million people.



Fritz Schumacher became head of the building construction office in 1909 and developed a vision for the future. Under his direction, modern clinker-brick housing estates were built. Fritz Höger became the best-known representative of North German clinker expressionism.

Large parts of the city were destroyed by Allied air raids in 1943. The post-war reconstruction favored a city with lots of green spaces and little building density. Red brick was predominantly chosen as the building material.

From 1990 onwards, other materials like glass, metal and concrete were used again on the facades. Renowned architectural offices from all over Europe have designed buildings in the new "HafenCity".

Between 2006 and 2013 there was an International Building Exhibition IBA in Hamburg with a focus on residential construction and commerce. Most of the IBA projects were located south of the Elbe, with a focus on Wilhelmsburg.