Germany, Hamburg 

Residence at Elbchaussee


Design Meinhard von Gerkan, 2002
Project leader Volkmar Sievers
Staff Ulrich Rösler, Michèle Watenphul, Andrea Moritz, Urs Wedekind, Jared Steinmann, Mathias Salbeck, Simone Nentwig
Structural analysis Helmut Wiemer                        
Building equipment Econ
Lightning design Schlotfeldt Licht    
Landscape design Sven Andresen
Gross floor area 1.600 m²
Construction period 2007–2009



Heiner Leiska

The Elbchaussee is one of Hamburg’s finest streets, and the top address in West Hamburg. It runs from Altona along the Elbe as far as Blankenese, and is lined with splendid villas with park-like gardens. The former Schillerburg site is in the Othmarschen part of town facing the Elbe. The existing 19th-century building was dilapidated and had to be demolished.

The new home constructed on the sloping site is for a five-member family. Its design adopts the proportions of neighbouring villas. It has two full stories, a basement and a floor on the slope, and a staggered floor with a terrace running round it. The orthogonal ground plan structure has curved shapes superimposed on it. On the north side facing the street, the villa is largely closed, with only the glazed central axis offering a view of the Elbe through the atrium. Southwards, the building opens up through room-high windows and capacious balconies. The facades are clad with large-format white metallic panels, while horizontal profiles characterise the floor slabs.

All the rooms are organized round an atrium as a green central area. A steel spiral staircase round a central circular glass lift connects all floors. The family’s three children each live in separate apartments on the slope level or ground floor, which are accessed via separate entrances. The parents’ wing spans all four levels, and is entered via a slender steel bridge.