The Old Port Office - Überseequartier Hafencity, Hamburg
The new urban planning order of the overseas quarter relocates the historical Old Port Office. Surrounded by modern seven-storey buildings, the old building is threatened with being dwarfed out of all proportion and reduced to a run-down relic by its neighbours. The project has taken on this problem and attempts to combine both buildings -Port Office and Market Hall-- regarding integration, size and dominance. The new Market Hall is to be developed as a free-standing construction from the geometric alignment afforded by the roof landscape of the Old Port Office. The new construction reaches protectively over the northern roof area, albeit as a separate construction, to create a comprehensive unit. A new proportional context is the result. With the aid of the greater construction mass and its extent in area, the ensemble succeeds in maintaining itself proportionately in the new urbanistic order.
With the freeing-up of the remaining facades of the old Port Office and the concomitant urbanistic presence of the building, something of the history of this locality is preserved and anchored in the memory of both the quarter and the people. The material composition and combination of raw materials -clinker and surface-rusted steel-- are intended to remind one of the port-related activities once carried out here. The spaciousness of Market Hall conjures up associations of the mighty steel walls of the freighters that were loaded and unloaded in the overseas quarter zone in earlier times.