HafenCity University
University of the Built Environment
Hamburg HafenCity

  • Client: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Behörde für Wissenschaft und Forschung
  • Architect:
    Code Unique Architekten
  • Port engineering,
    pile foundation,
    flood protection,
    large ceiling spans
  • High traffic loads and forklift traffic
  • Special construction methods
  • GFA: c. 30,000 m²
  • Time: 2010 - 2012
  • Building costs: c. 52 mill. EUR
  • Our scope:
    structural engineering

Architecture for the built environment.

This structure fully lives up to the expectations for a University of the Built Environment. Even its location, at the point where Magdeburger Hafen joins the River Elbe – located directly on the northern bank of the Baakenhafen harbour basin and important for the further development of the eastern side of the HafenCity district – is appropriate for the building and underlines the young Dresden architect’s understanding of university teaching: open, communicative and future-oriented. Despite all the need for special laboratory space, workshops and technical experimentation facilities, to a large extent the building is designed for flexible usage.

The site, directly on the waterfront behind an older anchored quay wall construction, and the securing of the building against flooding, demanded special technical qualities in the planning and execution of the required pile foundation and basement.

The design is marked by wide projections and roof spans. The northern and southern wings project freely by up to 15 metres. The atrium links the two wings of the building with large, pillar-free spaces and roof spans of up to 18 metres. This was made possible by special types of construction that are unusual for university buildings: hollow core slabs, steel constructions and composite steel pillars.

But the investment volume cap imposed on the building project ensured that the design ideas for a University of the Built Environment were not just pie in the sky.