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Media information  BAID Architekten

19. Mai 2021

Symbiosis of old and new

Residential building in Hamburg by BAID impresses with high-quality architecture and interior design behind a historical façade in a prime inner-city location

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The lack of housing is a major concern in cities across Germany. BAID Architekten from Hamburg demonstrate in their home city how intelligent densification behind a historical façade can create urgently needed housing space and at the same time perpetuate urban identity and produce good architecture. Close to the Alster Lake, 42 high-quality residential units, six of which are subsidised housing, have been completed in a prime location. The nine-storey building is classified as a high-rise. A premiere for the Hanseatic city was the elaborate relocation of the nineteenth-century façade: it was cut into sections floor by floor, stored, refurbished and accurately reinstalled in front of the new building.

BAID, founded by architect Jessica Borchardt in 2005, has been shaping the area around Hamburg’s Outer Alster Lake with its residential buildings for many years. The White Ones on the Alster is what the architect confidently calls the nine pro­jects she has realised so far. Planned according to the 'Aussenalsterverordnungen' (Outer Alster Ordinance), their common feature is the white colour scheme, which enhances the maritime flair of the buildings. The most recently completed project, which joins the ranks of the White Ones, is the residential building on Warburgstrasse, completed in 2020.

An urban component of great architectural value

The 1,200-square-metre plot in Hamburg’s Rotherbaum district was formerly occupied by two adjoining houses built in 1878 and 1889 by the architects Hugo Stammann and Gustav Zinnow. With their numerous buildings, the architects left their mark on Hamburg’s cityscape at the end of the nineteenth century and were among the architects responsible for the construction of the Hamburg City Hall. Although the buildings on Warburgstrasse were not listed, BAID and the dedi­cated developer BPN-Bauplan Nord agreed to preserve the historical façades so that they could continue to serve as a source of identity for the location and the residents. The planning authorities also followed this line of reasoning and approved the design concept of combining old and new. “The decision to preserve the existing façades through elaborate efforts and the resulting design approach to give the new building behind it a clearly recognisable appearance resulted in something new and independent,” explains Jessica Borchardt. “We developed a contemporary architecture that does not deny its origins.”

Elaborate preservation of the existing façade

As the street was too narrow and the gap site was enclosed on three sides, it was not possible to use a standard solution to secure the façade in its position after the demolition of the building structure. However, a pure façade construction after a complete demolition was out of the question. In the end, it was decided to relocate the double-shell, solid brick masonry façade. This procedure was a first for Ham­burg. The existing façade was cut into sections up to 21 metres long and five metres high, taken away, stored and refurbished. This complex procedure was carried out by JaKo Baudenkmalpflege, a company from Baden-Wuerttemberg with around 40 years of experience in the field of relocation. Removing façade sections of this dimension and then rebuilding them undamaged has only been practised since the 1980s. The reconstruction was carried out after the comple­tion of the new building. “You can’t tell from the existing façade that it has ever left the site – only the auditing of accounts can testify to that,” relates Jessica Borchardt.

Versatile apartments

Behind the historical façade, BAID developed a new building that achieves inner-city densification with significantly more housing space than before. This resulted in 42 different, largely barrier-free city apartments with a very high quality of stay. BAID designed compact flats starting at 40 square metres and family-sized flats ranging between 120 and 200 square metres of living space. The penthouse on the top two floors boasts around 300 square metres and a panoramic view of the entire city. Generous glazing, some with round panes, and terraces with glass balustrades allow plenty of daylight into the interior on all floors. The residential units facing the street start on the raised ground level. Here, the generous storey heights of up to four metres correspond to the historical façade. On the courtyard side, there are nine full storeys; this layout classifies the new building as a high-rise and is associated with special requirements for safety and building services installations. The interior structure, organised as split levels, allows level access to the garden on the ground floor.

Contrasting vertical extension

Visible from afar, the vertical extension is a distinctive sign of the building’s con­temporary architecture. With its dynamically curved contours and a light glass and aluminium façade, it stands out from the historical building as an independent and self-confident unit without dominating it. Due to the set-back design, the new storeys are appropriately recessed above the historical façade. The residents of these storeys enjoy magnificent views of the nearby Alster Lake and the roofs of the city centre, all the way to the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall. Part of the irregu­larly folded and greened roofscape of the new extension is accessible and pro­vides terraces.

Equality has been the concept from the start

From the very beginning, the developer committed to not only wanting to create upscale housing – despite the exquisite location near the Alster. Six of the resi­dential units were built as subsidised housing with rent control. These were designed to the same standard as the other flats and do not differ in terms of finishing.

Architecture and interior design go hand in hand

BAID stands for the initials of Borchardt, architecture, interior and design – and thus for the holistic design approach of the Hamburg-based office. Jessica Borchardt’s team of around 30 people includes architects, interior designers and product designers. All disciplines also contributed to the residential building on Warburgstrasse. BAID was responsible for the interior design of seven residential units. The generous entrance area, which welcomes residents and visitors with durable and well-chosen materials – distinguished by natural stone, dark wood and bronze profiles – already offers a foretaste of the high-quality finishing of the apartments. This mix of premium materials is also used in the flats. Special eye-catchers are the marble wall cladding in the kitchen area and of the fireplace element. Owing to the different living levels, some of the marble-clad surfaces extend up to the ceiling to a height of 5.50 metres. BAID chose a durable parquet floor made of oiled Vosges oak for individual flats to install a floor covering with a pleasant and warm surface feel.

Data + Facts

Project: Residential building Warburgstrasse, Hamburg, Germany
Architecture: BAID, Hamburg,
Client: Bauplan Nord,
Site area: 1,200 m²
GFA: 8,549 m²
Construction period: 04.2018 - 03.2020
Site management: LV Baumanagement,
Structural engineering and building physics: Pape & Dingeldein,
Fire prevention planning: IFB Schütte,
Façade relocation: JaKo Baudenkmalpflege,

Manufacturers (excerpt):
Aluminium façade: Schüco
Solar shading: Warema
Door fittings: P.Bisshop
Porcelain stoneware: Marazzi
Marble: Florim
Bathroom fittings: Dornbracht, Lissé design collection
Switch series: Gira, E2 design line

Hamburg, May 2021
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Additional photos and drawings are available on request

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About BAID

BAID stands for Borchardt / Architektur / Interior / Design and was founded in 2005 by architect Jessica Borchardt. The 30-strong team of architects, interior designers and product designers pursues a holistic approach by keeping a close eye on all aspects of the project during the planning process. From the cubature to interior design, all relevant aspects – in addition to the functional requirements – are given the necessary appreciation that characterises a thoroughly conceived and aesthetically convincing building project.

Curious about new things, creative and enthusiastic about details, BAID designs and implements projects across all service phases, primarily in the segments of housing and contemporary office and administration buildings. In doing so, BAID represents the users’ internal structures with good architecture, taking into account the requirements of a radically changing working world. The planners are aided by the innovative use of modern design technologies, combined with the valuable experience gained from successfully completed projects.

BAID has, for example, designed the new company headquarters for DB Schenker, ista and Innogy SE. The new ALDI Nord Campus in Essen is currently nearing completion.

BAID’s generous office premises in the historical “Hopfenburg” in Hamburg’s centrally located Kontorhaus District extends over three floors. Part of the space is taken up by the exhibition room of Galerie Borchardt. The renowned art gallery, which has been run by Peter Borchardt since 1997, mediates between art and architecture with a project-oriented approach. It brings together artists, architects and clients — often resulting in the joint realisation of new projects.

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Contact details

BAID architektur GmbH
Hopfensack 19
20457 Hamburg
+49 40 32 90 471-0


Contact person for journalists

Rainer Häupl
bering*kopal, Büro für Kommunikation
+49 7117451759 16


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