Spiegel Headquarters \ Henning Larsen Architects

• December 22, 2011

The vision was to create a modern medea house for Spiegel’s employees and the surrounding city. An icon of high international standards with focus on openness, communication and transparency.

Louis Becker
Director and partner, Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has chosen a two-part composition to create hierarchy and openness on the site and has integrated the complex urban spaces that meet at Ericusspitze in their design.

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Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

With its clearly readable figure each building has a reserved yet characteristic expression that provides a special significance in relation to creating identity for all the surrounding public spaces.

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Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

The Ericus building will be essential for the completion of the large park space. Spiegel will become the gateway to Hafencity seen from the main station and Brooktorkai.

HLA Ericusspitze Section AA Color ES 600x423 Spiegel Headquarters \ Henning Larsen Architects

Spiegel Headquarters - Section, drawing courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

The two buildings are designed as large U-forms that embrace the urban space they are directed towards. The Spiegel building embraces an internal space with a more urban character because of its direction towards the city. The Ericus building embraces an open, green outdoor space as it directed towards the large open Lohsepark.

The two buildings form two plazas: an arrival plaza for pedestrians, cy-clists and drivers towards Brooktorkai and an open public plaza, which has a direct connection to the waterfront promenade.

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Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

Focus on sustainability

As soon as in the competition programme for the new Spiegel Headquarters, focus was on sustainability. During the design phase, it was decided to increase requirements in order to meet the special certification developed for Hafencity. This certification is tighter than other certifications in Germany and is considered as a forerunner of the requirements that will be incorporated into German building regulations in the years to come.

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Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

“Hafencity Umweltzeichen” applies a broad definition of the concept of sustainability and has divided the different themes into five categories in which specific objectives must be achieved in order to obtain silver or gold. In order to win a gold medal, three out of five categories must achieve gold. In the Spiegel project, the objective is to achieve gold in four categories. The project has been pre-approved for gold but the final granting will not take place until the completed building has been tested and meets requirements.

HLA Spiegel HQ EXT Spiegel 056 600x400 Spiegel Headquarters \ Henning Larsen Architects

Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

CATEGORY 1: ENERGY CONSUMPTION

The calculated energy consumption of the Spiegel building amounts to 80 Kwh/m2/year.

CATEGORY 2: HANDLING OF PUBLIC RESOURCES

A precondition for meeting the requirements of this category is that an architectural competition for the assignment has been held. Henning Larsen Architects won the assignment in a competition with 12 other invited architectural companies.

In addition, public access to the site is required just as the public functions on the ground floor must meet certain requirements.

CATEGORY 3: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUILDING MATERIALS

In this category, the requirements for gold are so high that it would not be possible to meet these with a high-rise building as the requirements are based on the use of wood as a building material.

However, the Spiegel project meets the requirements for silver due to a comprehensive test of all building materials.

HLA Spiegel HQ INT 092 9946 600x900 Spiegel Headquarters \ Henning Larsen Architects

Spiegel Headquarters, image courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

CATEGORY 4: HEALTH AND COMFORT

The requirements of this category are met by means of solutions creating a good and healthy indoor climate, including specific requirements for the degasification of substances (TVOC less than 1.5 mg/m3, tested on site after completion), suspension of biocides, halogen free fire proofing as well emission free materials or materials with a low emission on all surfaces.

A minimum of 20 % of the activity areas must be accommodated to allergic people. This means that all materials and solutions should be tested to ensure that they are cleaning-friendly.

CATEGORY 5: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY OPERATION

This category is about incorporating sustainability in the construction as well as the operational phase.

+ Project facts

Project: Spiegel Headquarters
Architect: Henning Larsen architects
Location: Brooktorkai, HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany
Client: Robert Vogel GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft og ABG Baubetreuungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Gross floor area: 50,000 m2
Year of construction: 2008 – 2011
Type of assignment: First prize in competition
Photos: Cordelia Ewerth and Andreas Gehrke, Noshe

+ All images and drawings courtesy Henning Larsen architects

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Category: Architecture, Office