Taking transformation as a guiding theme, Gröninger Hof will be transformed from a place for parking cars into a neighborhood center in Hamburg’s old town.
The building will be developed as a prototype that demonstrates how an icon of the car-oriented city can be converted into an urban hybrid for community living and working in a post fossil fuel future. The design proposes maximum preservation and minimal deconstruction, with the new construction measures serving primarily to upgrade the existing building and improve energy efficiency.
The 36-meter-deep parking garage will be opened up by creating a large courtyard while the upper floors will be partially deconstructed to form two parallel building volumes. The former central access ramp will be transformed into a generous and open threshold that marks the transition from city to building, where it connects to the shared courtyard by means of an open atrium.
The atmospheric qualities of the coffered ceilings and expressive columns and beams that comprise the original reinforced concrete structure will remain visible throughout the building, adding a temporal layer to the narrative of transformation. The demolition of the building’s interior consists of perforations made exclusively for technical infrastructure and circulation.
New foundations are not required. The new façade and balcony system will be constructed from wood, which has the added benefit of long-term CO2 storage.