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Oval Am Kaiserkai, Hamburg, Germany

Wednesday 01 Apr 2009

Oval adds to harbourside haven

Götz Wrage / Ingenhoven Architects / imetas 
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Recently completed tower offers enviable location to residents 

In the HafenCity, on a direct view corridor towards Hamburg’s inner city, lies the Oval am Kaiserkai with one of the most beautiful views of the Speicherstadt and the harbour. The area is characterized by its mix of contrasting urban elements such as industrial structures, historic warehouses and modern buildings, as well as by its extensive references to water. Today, the Oval with its distinct shape and exposed location in close proximity to the soon-to-be-built Elbphilarmonie, is a widely visible sign for the HafenCity. Construction began in 2007, with completion in early 2009.

Both elliptical shape and orientation of the eleven-storey building have been chosen after thorough analyses of local wind, sun and noise conditions and according to the best views. The particular shape helps to ease wind effects as, in contrast to rectangular buildings, suction is prevented by the rounded edges. In addition, the resessed ground floor creates less draught on the street and on the waterside promenade. The balconies are oriented so that they combine the most attractive views of the Elbe River and the historical city centre with an efficient usage. The residential tower has been rotated on its north-south axis by 10 degrees towards the East. This way the balconies are subjected to less draught and more sunlight from the afternoon until the evening, which in turn optimizes the use of daylight.

The façade of the 38-meter-high residential building consists of clear, transparent as well as closed, mirrored elements. They convey a sense of great homogeneity as they have been developed with the same construction principles in mind. Continuous balconies and a curved, wave-like glass façade characterize the western front. The eastern façade is a fully glazed wall to protect against noise emissions.

The building, with a gross floor area of 5455 sq m, houses 28 units from 57 to 123 sq m.

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Ingenhoven Architects

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