Caruso St John Architects

Location: Hamburg, DE
Client: HIH GmbH
Project Status: Ongoing Project

Caruso St John were appointed architects for Gruner + Jahr’s new headquarters in 2018, following an invited competition. The project will make a landmark building for the publishing house at a prominent location within the masterplan for the redevelopment of Hamburg’s docks.

Located in the eastern part of the Hafencity, close to the brick expressionist buildings of the Kontorhaus district and the industrial buildings of the Speicherstadt, the building responds to the city’s tradition for monumental civic architecture and adds a distinctive figure to the cityscape seen from the train into Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.

The new headquarters stands at the north-east corner of the Lohsepark, at the heart the new city quarter. Facing onto the park, the main entrance has been designed as a portico. Beyond this public threshold, the main entrance hall is a large and luminous atrium with views through to communal workspaces, conference rooms, and the large multi-function gallery space that comprise the unusually open and generous ground floor. On the upper floors, office spaces are arranged in interconnecting rings around the building’s three courtyards in a flexible layout that accommodates differently sized departments and anticipates future modes of working.

The bold shape of the building is given a simple order by the detail of the façade: Vertical piers of extruded terracotta rise up the building, reducing in width at each level so that the surface relief appears to lighten towards the sky. Seen from a distance it has an almost monolithic quality, as if the building has been carved with a fine chisel from a huge block of stone.­