Sweeping steel structure defines winning underground station design in Hamburg
The architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) have won first prize in the competition for the design of the Elbbrucken Underground station. The station will be located in the future district of the same name, at the eastern end of Hamburg‘s Hafencity, and will, at least for the time being, be the end station of the recently opened U4 Underground line.
The genius loci of this over-ground station is determined by its position directly at the river Elbe, the future dense urban development and by the historic Elbbrucken bridges with their conspicuous shallow steel arches.
In resonance to the bridges, an impressive steel structure consisting of curved steel girders supports the new station, creating a structure which newly interprets the dynamic design principles of the historic bridges. The external roof construction underscores the visual presence of the structure; the crosswise layout of the frames results in a grid-type system and stabilises the steel arches.
A glass façade suspended on the inside protects the building against the weather. The light-flooded station opens interesting vistas towards the local urban ‘Am Baakenhafen’ centre, to the prominent tower blocks and the Elbe bridges.
The design is characterised by simple and clearly structured access principles. The complex difference in levels between the terrain and the platforms is cleverly dealt with inside the building. A ribbon section for lights and media will stretch the entire length of the station between the platform level and the booking hall. The lighting will generally be subdued and unostentatious, underscoring the character of the structure.