In Hamburg, all eyes are on the city's massive HafenCity redevelopment project, and one of the newest and greenest buildings to be added to the skyline is the gleaming 27,000-square-foot headquarters of Der Spiegel, Germany's leading news organization. The new building, designed by Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, is sleek and spacious, and it scores high marks in several sustainable building categories.
By Spiegel’s own account, its old headquarters had become so cramped that the television unit was forced to relocate to a nearby building. By contrast, the new 13-story building feels roomy and light, with a vast atrium stretching from the ground-floor lobby to the roof. The building sources some of its energy from photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal probes that tap into the temperature of the earth 100 meters below the surface. It also features triple-glazed windows and a thermal building component activation system. And with its sky-lit roof and walls of glass on the facade, the building takes advantage of natural light, minimizing the need for artificial light during the day.
In 2007, the HafenCity Eco Award, a gold or silver certification designed to reward developers for green building practices, was introduced. The Spiegel building was granted the HafenCity Gold Environmental Label, earning top honors in four of the five categories, including sustainable management of energy resources, management of public assets, and sustainable building operations.
The building is sculptural and serious, as you might expect for a journalistic headquarters, but with a hint of playfulness. That playfulness is mainly found in the building’s cafes. The flamboyant PantonCafeteria from the old Spiegel building, for example, was so iconic that they chose to replicate it in the new building. The new ground-floor cafeteria, designed by Peter Ippolito and Gunter Fleitz, is similarly bright and flashy. A series of bridges and stairways zigzag across the atrium, breaking up the symmetry and connecting different floors and offices. “The creation of meeting points, locations at which people encounter people, is our guiding principle in architecture,” the architects said in a press release.
Top photo © Der Spiegel