EM2N . Spine

Hammerbrooklyn Digital Campus . Hamburg

EM2N . Spine Architects

On the Hammerbrooklyn Campus site the scale of the ‘Gross­markt’, the ‘Fruchthof’ the ‘Deichtorhallen’, the ‘Oberhafen’ and railway infrastructures encounters traditional urban design made up of block edge developments and the ‘Kontorhaus’ office blocks. In relating to this context, we work with two elements: the urban fabric as a spatial frame and the icon used to mark a place.

The urban design is simple and powerful: three large buildings stand around a central square. To ensure that the new place becomes a real piece of the city rather than remaining an isolated island we work with tools such as the grain of the building volumes, the public programming, permeable ground floors, and buildings that are accessible in three dimensions.

The ‘Stairway Building A’ stands like an icon on the central square. It continues the public outdoor space in two dimensions: horizontally and diagonally upwards. The public market hall and the auditorium on the ground floor offer a stage protected from the weather that can be used for events of all kinds. A series of external staircases continues the public space from terrace to terrace up to the panorama restaurant. In the interior cascading stairways offer the users communal functions like tea kitchens, meeting places, and lounges.

On the ground floor of the ‘Kontor Building B’ there is an arcade with a ‘FabLab’ that is open to the public, as well as a restaurant, a café, and a bike workshop. With its ‘deck’ at first floor level, which has roller doors that allow it to be opened completely in summer, the ‘Kontor Building’ develops the theme of three-dimensional openness, which plays a significant role in Hammerbrooklyn. Spaces that are used collectively such as the spacious staircases, the Greenhouse, a restaurant, and a small conference are located in this building.

The ‘Gallery Building C’ has four stacked halls that are high enough to allow galleries to be inserted in them at places, if required. On both sides these halls open into two-storey ‘climate gardens’. These gardens can be opened by sliding doors and are linked by two cores housing the vertical circulation (including the goods lifts) that extend across the width of the building. The climate gardens serve the community of users as meeting places, while also functioning as circulation space and offering areas that can be used informally, much like laneways in an industrial district.

Hammerbrooklyn follows an incremental development strategy. We see this step-by-step approach as a major strength that we intend to continue using in the future. The Box launched the project idea and created the place. The ‘Digital Pavilion’ was the realisation of the first phase of the planned development. Between this pavilion and the ‘Solution Building’ from the second phase a public pocket park is created as the nucleus of the planned quarter. The way in which our buildings relate to these existing developments allows them to be realised in one, two, or three stages.

Hamburg, Germany

Ideas championship, 1st prize (together with Spine Architects and Bruther)

Art-Invest Real Estate Management GmbH & Co. KG


Auditorium, Bar, Café, Changing rooms, Conference rooms, Co-working spaces, Event spaces, Exhibition spaces, Lobby, Market hall, Mobility hub, Multiple-purpose hall, Offices, Parking, Restaurant, Retail spaces, Roof top gardens, Rooftop kitchen, Showrooms, Sports facilities, Waste disposal rooms, Workshop spaces