Crown of Bronze
Crown of Bronzeby Robert Uhde | 29.10.2012
Riverside HotelIn Hamburg’s red-light district St Pauli, the Empire Riverside Hotel, designed by David Chipperfield, was completed in 2007.
Glittering eye-catcher of the square-edged building ensemble is the strictly gridded elemental façade with its narrow windows and the reddish-brown bonze panels. Apart from the 20-story hotel highrise with all in all 328 rooms, the complex also houses the so-called “Brauhaus” (brewery), a six-story office and commercial building with an area of 5,500 square meters.
On the Border of Hamburg’s Red-Light District
The lot, transformed by now, belongs to the former Bavaria brewery, shut down after more than 100 years in business; it is among the most attractive premises in the whole of Hamburg. Towards the South, you have a free view across the river Elbe with landing bridges in its direct proximity, direct opposite of it the red-light district St. Pauli with the famous Reeperbahn. As a response to the very differing city spaces, David Chipperfield distributed the demanded spatial program across three structures of various sizes. The “Brauhaus” to the north-west and the L-shaped building base to the South take on the eaves of the Wilhelminian style buildings to the north and the west. The highrise disk, however, pushed back behind a little forecourt, is designed in tune with the eleven-story warehouses along Bernhard-Nocht-Straße to the East.
Right next to it, the Astraturm by KSP Jürgen Engel Architektenand the Atlantic-Haus by Thomas Herzog have been completed by now on the premises of the former brewery area. Together, the three new buildings are the “Hafen-Krone” (harbor crown) skyline, giving a hint on what’s to come for the quarter, which is still mainly known for its bars and wicked establishments. The Empire Riverside Hotel doesn’t fit in, really, but still, you can have a wonderful overnight stay here.
View across Hamburg
Concerning the hotel’s layout, David Chipperfield has followed a strict bisection: The whole public area with conference rooms, restaurant, breakfast room, ball room and lounge has been placed inside the base, all hotel rooms and suites can be found inside the highrise disk. According to the British architect himself, he got his inspiration from ocean giants from the 1930s when he designed the interior. Cherry on the icing is a visit to the bar on the top floor, offering its guests a beautiful view across the city and the harbor. You can’t get any more Hamburg than from up there.
David Chipperfield, London, UK
GFA: 21,000 square meters hotel, 5,500 square meters brewery
Empire Riverside Hotel GmbH & Co.KG, Hamburg, Germany