Civil Engineering
Marquard & Bahls Company HQ
HafenCity Hamburg

  • Client:
    Marquard & Bahls AG
  • Architect:
    Gewers-Pudewill GPAI GmbH Berlin
  • Building at the shoreline
  • Secant bore pile walls
  • Pile foundation
  • Flood protection
  • Highly complex boundary conditions, extensive civil engineering works
  • Directly adjacent bridges

    • Protected Ericus Bridge
    • Shanghai Bridge
  • GFA building: c. 27,000 m²
  • Time: 2014 - 2016
  • Civil engineering work costs :
    c. 6 mill. EUR
  • Our scope:
    structural and civil engineering

High Tide.

A new gem in the HafenCity is now in occupation. The headquarters of the Hamburg-based global company Marquard & Bahls has moved from the city centre to the banks of the Elbe. Before construction of the building could begin, extensive civil engineering works were necessary, involving the need to overcome a multiplicity of challenges.

The site had lain derelict for a long time. The existing shoreline was in a decidedly desolate condition. In the course of the necessary securing work for the c. 8.5 m deep building pit, the shoring wall on the water side was manufactured as a sheet pile wall. The shoring walls on the other three sides of the site were executed as secant bore pile walls. Back-anchoring of the shoring walls, as is normal practice, would have been less disruptive to the building process, but it was not possible here on account of numerous restrictions. These included the abutment constructions of the directly adjacent protected Ericus Bridge and the busy Shanghai Bridge, the highly deformation-sensitive main sewers, and the existing site improvements under the surrounding streets. Therefore the building pit was secured here by internal bracing against the maximum water pressure difference of c. 7 metres. The bracing was cleverly coordinated with the works for the building shell of the two basement storeys.

All the civil engineering works – including remediation of a quay wall for a very narrow area directly adjacent to the Shanghai Bridge, the building pit, the new bank revetment with slanting anchors, the pile foundation and the works for the building shell of the two basement storeys – were completed in less than twelve months.

As a little architectural highlight, on account of its immediate waterside location its own pier for special occasions was integrated into the building’s external walling and quay wall constructions, and equipped with its own tailored lift structure.