With a focus on connecting workers and visitors to nature and providing a green ambiance, this proposal for an office building in Hamburg talks the talk and walks the walk. Designed by Düsseldorf-based firm Greeen! Architects for the Building and Environment Authority (BSU) of Hamburg, the Eco Towers provide a very low use energy structure with gardens and green roofs scattered all over for use by workers and the public. Considerate of the surrounding environs, the design for the Eco Towers aims to provide a quiet, tranquil and environmentally friendly working place.
Located approximately 5 km south of Hamburg’s city center, the Eco Towers will accommodate 1,400 people with offices, public space, restaurants, exhibition space and a library. Gardens and green roofs will punctuate the building, providing quick access to the outdoors and nature for all workers and visiting public. Meanwhile the bottom floors will be open to the masses, allowing greater connectivity between the flow of the city and the inner workings of the offices.
Built alongside a very busy road, the south and east facing facades of the towers were designed to shield the structure from noise and heat. The northern facing facades are more transparent and open providing “a nice, quiet and light urban space for the public.” Layout and design of the towers also encourages natural ventilation.
The building is incredibly energy efficient and uses 72% less energy than the EnEV 2007 energy standards, resulting in a very low annual carbon footprint of 18,9 kg CO2/m²a and saving 1,700 tons of CO2 per year. Additionally, ecological and recyclable building materials would have been utilized. Unfortunately this was not the design chosen by BSU, but if it had been chosen, it would have aimed for the Gold Certificate from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). The DGNB bases their certification on three areas: Life-cycle cost analysis, ecology and social-cultural analysis and thermal, acoustical and visual comfort analysis.