The new office and commercial building Große Bleichen 19 was constructed on the plot adjoining the listed building of the Alte Post (The Old Post Office), at the lively Bleichenfleet in the centre of Hamburg. The new construction fills the former gap of 80 meters depth and only 14 meters width merging perfectly with the surrounding. New six-storey buildings will cover a gross floor area of about 6,700 m² in total. The second to fifth floors will house small or contiguous units of rentable office space, and those in the centre section will have light wells.
The building skillfully connects both neighbours, The Old Post Office and Galleria Hamburg, which recently also has been put under the preservation order. Taking into account their different eaves heights it carries them on them on its own façade and creates an interesting interplay of levels. Thus the building’s character becomes lively and outstanding, at the same time the streetscape remains harmonious.
Besides the eaves height the façades of the new office absorb the reach architectural language of the surrounding with its traditional brick buildings. Floor to ceiling windows with frames of anodized aluminum give a modest structure to the surfaces. The upper floors are underlined through light glass parapets which remind of french windows. The red brick used for the building underscores the desired integration of the new building into the ensemble of brick buildings, some of them listed. At the same time, contemporary details and anodised aluminium facades uphold the link to the present.
For the façade, brick was chosen as a traditional building material typical for Hamburg, which also characterizes the image of the street Große Bleichen. When selecting the bricks, the client and planner opted for the "D34" from Petersen Tegl in the Danish standard format DNF 228 x 108 x 54mm. The Danish company mainly processes clay from the immediate vicinity of the brickworks. The techniques used to produce the water-coated coal-fired bricks reflect the processing methods from the time when they were still handmade. Firing the bricks with charcoal creates an individual play of colours in light and dark nuances. No stone looks like another, which makes the facades lively. The way of manufacturing gives the clay an optimal texture with capillaries and pores. Penetrating water that freezes can expand without destroying the stone. There is no risk of frost damage due to water absorption.
The retail areas of the new construction are connected with these of the existing buildings all the way through the ground and first floor as well as to both sides of the street. From the second floor upwards there are small offices as well as office zones which can be connected if needed. An inner courtyard in the central part of the building ensures an appropriate exposure to light for the offices.
Ekkehard Voss, architect BDA, is managing partner of TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten and heads the offices in Hamburg and Dresden. After his studies at the RWTH Aachen and his first professional years in Düsseldorf, he has been based in Hamburg since 1992 and has been working for the predecessor office Nietz Prasch Sigl Architekten, since 1995 as a partner, together with Sergei Tchoban.Since 2017, the two long-standing partners have been running the company under the name TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten.According to his designs and plans, numerous recognised and award-winning buildings and ensembles were created, including the headquarters of the Volkswohl Bund Versicherungen in Dortmund, the Bethanien Höfe in Hamburg, the Hochschule Rhein-Waal in Kleve, the Berufskolleg in Geldern and numerous residential buildings. Ekkehard Voss represents the office as a member of the EAN (European Architects Network).