Living in the Harburg Silo

Redevelopment of a residential tower on Harburg's Schlossinsel

Presentation Report 2010

The project is based on a process of transformation in which the appearance of the existing silo is reduced to its essential features: its monolithic character is maintained through the almost uninterrupted transitions from the windowless facade to the roof, the arrangement of the plinth and main body of the building, the shape of the roof with its ridged turrets and tower as well as the relationship of its proportions. The basic form so gained became the model for the new building on which all subsequent construction and design measures taken to implant living space within it were to obtain their bearings. The result is that the old form has re-emerged anew. The shell of the building allows convenient lighting and a varied relationship between interior and exterior space. With its structure, material nature and colour, it contributes to perpetuating itself as the landmark for Harburg's inner port and the Schlossinsel marina at present being developed. Access is gained to the 30 apartments distributed on nine levels and two attic floors by a safety stairwell and lifts.
The slightly eccentric location of the core of the development enables the apartments on one floor to be of different sizes. This results in nearly all apartments having at least one side facing the water. Three maisonettes are planned on the upper storeys to enrich the variety of apartments in the building.

To preserve the monolithic character of the building, the redeveloped construction forgoes projecting roofs, piping and dormer windows. The cubic shape of the building is covered in a homogenous cladding. Facades and roof are covered with the same material. An irregular distribution of facade portals, which vary from pure casement doors to those with perforated facade-plates secured in front of them and the fitting out of the loggias with sliding and folding elements, generates a flat, unaligned and fine-meshed enveloping surface. The perforated facades play a decisive role. They make the facade seem more compact and offer at the same time a play of light and shadow in the apartments.