Germany, Hamburg-Speicherstadt 

Headquarters of HHLA, Bei St. Annen 1


Design Volkwin Marg with Reiner Schröder
Klaus Staratzke
Project manager
Heiner Gietmann, Angelika Juppien
Project team
Anja Bartkowiak, Knut Maass, Jutta Kaufhold, Marina Hoffmann, Mariachiara Breda, Meike Schmidt, Bernd Kottsieper, Kerstin Falke, Elisabeth Mittelsdorf, Andrea Vollstedt, Michèle Watenphul, Imke Siewert, Maja Gorges, Dirk Vollrath
Structural engineers
Windels Timm Morgen
Structural engineers glas roof
schlaich bergermann und partner
Technical building equipment
Pinck Ingenieure
Light planning
Lichtplanungsbüro Andres
HHLA Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus AG
Gross floor area 10,770 m²
Construction period 2000–2002



Juergen Schmidt

[email protected]

The prestigious Neo-Renaissance building Bei St. Annen 1 dating from 1904 opulently stands out as the "town hall of the Speicherstadt" from the surrounding, modest warehouses with its light-red faced brickwork, the decorative divisions from sandstone as well as the ornamented gables and turrets.

For several years the neighbouring warehouses Holländischer Brook 4, 5 and 6 were used as a necessary extension for office uses. Inadequate builtin units, ineffective internal circulation and the wish of the HHLA, to set an ideal example for a conversion in the Speicherstadt, which is under a preservation order, were reasons for a synthesis of different historic buildings and architectural styles. The connecting central space between the administration building and the warehouse is the former inner court, now transformed into a hall as high as a house. Finished with a glass roof and equipped with a glazed lift, it is a polystylistic synthesis of all existing eclectic elements of style and existing materials, such as the timber skeletons of the warehouses, glazed brickwork, slate, copper, polished granite columns, terracotta tiles, cast iron columns, and stucco of the Speicherstadt town hall.

Due to low ceilings and insufficient daylight the warehouse floors were not suitable for office use. The new double-corridor-plan allows single cell offices on both sides of the building. Glass partition walls with fine steel sections and light suspended floorbays between the existing wooden load-bearing structures generate a brighter and wider appearance of the offices. In the interior the ceilings were removed to allow for visual and also communicative links between the single warehouse floors. Open stairs shorten the internal distances. The variety of the architectural layout has a stimulating effect for the HHLA staff in the converted ensemble.