© Jan Bitter

As the flagship of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in 2013, the building for Hamburg’s State Ministry for Urban Development and the Environment forms the backbone of the new centre of the city’s Wilhelmsburg district. Its imposing presence contributes to the repair and sustainable development of the area. Its massing and orientation, in concert with the lively colouration of its outer skin, are a conscious response to IBA ideas addressing the active urban landscape in a diverse cosmopolis.

The building comprises a tower connected to a pair of wings, whose undulating contours lend rhythm to the huge development, bringing its scale down closer to that of its surroundings. Consisting of seven individual ‘houses’, the wings open up to the outdoors with exhibition spaces, a restaurant and planted terraces. The central foyer at the foot of the tower is conceived as a large communal forum, whose domed ceiling endows it with the sense of occasion that a public building deserves. It leads directly to the library, conference centre, exhibition space and a restaurant. The offices are laid out along two internal ‘streets’, which swing out in each house to create a daylit atrium that accommodates vertical circulation.

The need to provide an appropriate representation of civic purpose, along with easy orientation, accessibility, flexibility and sustainability, have led to a design that constitutes an important step towards the regeneration of a deprived neighbourhood.

© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter


  • Office building with exhibition space, conference area, restaurant


  • GGV Grundstücksgesellschaft Verwaltungsgebäude Neuenfelder Straße mbH / Sprinkenhof AG


  • gross floor area: 61.400 m²
  • competition: 2009, 1st prize
  • 2009 — 2013


  • BDA Hamburg Architektur Preis 2014
  • IBA-Exzellenz, Auszeichnung der Internationalen Bauausstellung IBA Hamburg 2013
  • DGNB Gold


  • DGNB Certificate ‘Gold’
  • IBA-Exzellenz

project team