Roloff • Ruffing


result of workshop 2002

As if crowded out of sight over the decades, the tiny, narrow ’Gängeviertel’, situated close to the modern city-center, is encircled by giant buildings like the Unilever high-rise and the Axel Springer complex. Standing in the courtyards, you can easily imagine yourself in another era. Although this illusion is destroyed when you look up and are confronted by the enormous leap in scale from a closed–off interior to ‘out there’, this time-capsule effect renders the quarter unique in Hamburg and deserving of revitalization.

Building is to be completed according to the pattern already established.

In Speckstraße, the urban block concept will be completed with a 6-storey residential building. In the block interior, listed buildings are to be redeveloped and transformed into tenements. In addition to other projects, a 9-storey residential building with loft dwellings is to be built. The open courtyards oriented north to south are connected to each other by transverse aisles, thus generating the effect of an open quarter. Gate- and passageways leading from the surrounding streets will allow pedestrian access through the block. Extensions and additions to the exterior are specifically aimed at accentuating the developments in the interior block.

An essential feature of the "old new" quarter is the terraced roof effect. Roof- terraces and gardens on different levels beside deep, narrow gorges of houses will determine the prospects. Following the labyrinthine aisles of the quarter, many different spatial effects can be experienced. Fluctuating spatial proportions constantly surprise the eye as they come into view around each corner. Urban-planning principles will be maintained to include the outline of floor-plans and construction details: density, nesting and diversification are the architectonic themes of the design. Following these principles, a structurally rich complex of vistas and contrasts will be created, serving to emphasize the Gängeviertel’s unique identity.