Gallery: Hamburg’s WaterHouses Draw Geothermal Heat from Groundwater

Of all the cities in Germany, the port city of Hamburg is most closely associated with water. So it makes sense that one of the most exciting new residential developments in Hamburg is located in the middle of a small body of water. For the IBA International Building Exhibition, Schenk + Waiblinger Architects designed the WaterHouses, a complex of homes that are built on pillars sunk into a water basin on the Elbe islands.

The five buildings that comprise the WaterHouses are designed to demonstrate how residential developments of the future could interact with water from an environmental and recreational perspective. All of the WaterHouses will be built to the Passive House standard, which is among the most rigorous green building standards in the world. Geothermal energy from groundwater and solar radiation will be used to heat the homes, and solar thermal installations will provide hot water. Smart building technologies will also be installed to enable residents of the WaterHouses to monitor their daily energy use.

The development consists of four three-unit houses and a nine-story “WaterTower”, which features 22 apartments. At the triplexes, each apartment will have its own water terrace, which functions like a dock. Residents of the WaterTower will have access to a common water terrace area. The development will feature a variety of water-focused recreational amenities, including floating terraces, boat jetties, underwater gardens, and water walls. Overall, the development consists of 34 residential units, and they are scheduled for completion this month.

+ WaterHouses

+ Schenk + Waiblinger Architects


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