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Tourist Information Hamburg
Site: Hamburg, Germany
Project Status: Competition, 2nd prize
Main Use: Tourist Information
Total Floor Area: 1.000 m²
Structural System: Steel
Structural Engineer: Bollinger & Grohmann
Cost Control: Prof. Ulrich Vetter

The design for the new tourist information under the steel and glass roof structure of Hamburg’s Rathausmarktarkaden adapts the characteristics of permeability and openess of the existing arcades. As the heavy tunnel vault roof structure stands on slender columns, Rathausmarktarkaden is characterized by an air of transparency on ground level and mass above. Taking on these features, the new tourist information is designed as a minimalistic glass pavilion, allowing for a maximum of transparency. This new pavilion is covered by a girder grid that incorporates both lighting and sun protection. Towards the outside, the new roof appears as a simple horizontal line.

The new roof stands on wall-like columns that are arranged in a rectangular fashion to the Rathaus and therefore strengthen the idea of permeability towards the city hall. These wall-like columns divide the interior space in a very subtle way. They are positioned towards the centre of the pavilion rather than on its edges thus keeping distance from the existing structure and preventing a concentration of mass on the ground level.

The structure of the girder grid aligns with the axes of the Rathausmarktarkaden, but also constitutes a rectangular system allowing for flexibility in arranging partition walls below. This division of the roof into a rectangular grid with compartments of varying sizes creates a subtle zoning of the open space below. The structure of the roof characterizes the space below, the glass roof allows for a maximum of light even in the centre of the pavilion. This also enhances the see-through effect of the Rathausmarktarkaden and the tourist information underneath it. Moreover, the glass roof preserves the view upon the existing steel and glass construction of the Rathausmarktarkaden. The space of the existing tunnel vault roof structure can still be experienced.