A Chipperfield for Hamburg

David Chipperfield Architects in portrait

Who is the architect behind the Elbtower? Who was it who had the simple – yet ingenious – idea for its sweeping form? Because it is this curved façade that allows the Elbtower to “flow” into the silhouette of HafenCity.

The flowing design picks up on the organic architectural language that begins with the Elbphilharmonie and highlights it in an elegant and surprising way. The idea came from Christoph Felger, partner and design director of David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin.

David Chipperfield Architects is an architectural practice that is world-renowned for its iconic designs. Its founder and namesake is David Chipperfield. He is considered a master of minimalism. His clear, reduced formal language is characteristic of classical modernism as well as contemporary Japanese architecture. His work is centred on the examination of the site and the context of a building – with the aim that public spaces also create added value for society. It is this approach that shaped the design of the Elbtower.

Elbtower in Hamburg

Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Height: 244,80 m
Floors: 64
Office space: 79.000 sqm
Start of building: 2022
Completion: 2025 (planned)

Born in England – at home in the world

David Chipperfield grew up on a remote farm in England and studied architecture in London. He started working for major international architects in 1977, including Richard Rogers, who achieved international fame with the Centre Pompidou in Paris as well as for Sir Norman Foster, who designed the Reichstag dome in Berlin and the Apple headquarters in Cupertino (US), which is reminiscent of a spaceship.

A new style takes hold

Later, Chipperfield went his own way. He founded David Chipperfield Architects in 1985 and began to realise his own personal vision for architecture – a vision that is characterised by clarity, attention to detail, high demands on materials and simple forms while always showing consideration for local character and traditions. Connoisseurs describe his style as being monumental without the heaviness, self-confident without being ruthless and minimalist without being cold. An architectural style that radiates calm, security and reliability.

Today, David Chipperfield Architects has offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. His design language can be found around the globe – the Amorepacific Towers in Seoul and the City of Justice in Barcelona are world-famous.

In Germany, Chipperfield is best known for his design for the reconstruction of the Neues Museum in Berlin and the associated James Simon Gallery. The transparent and delicate looking columned structure built on a plinth level was met with an enthusiastic response from the general public.

Major current projects for SIGNA Real Estate include the reinterpretation of the old Karstadt building at Hermannplatz in Berlin and, in Hamburg, the conversion of the “Stadthaus” into the “Stadthöfe” as well as the Elbtower.

Chipperfield’s designs are repeatedly awarded international architectural prizes. He received the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for his life’s work. He was knighted in Great Britain and awarded the Federal Cross of Merit in Germany.