Dornbusch 4
For the revitalization of this 1960s gem, less was more
  • Location
  • Project
    Revitalization of an office and commercial building with underground parking, design of office spaces
  • Client
    Quantum Projektentwicklung GmbH
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Planning and construction period
  • Service phases
    1–5, 8 (artistic supervision)
  • Gross floor area
    2,500 m²
  • Photos
    Christian Schaulin
  • This project is from the joint period of meyerschmitzmorkramer.

In 2007, Quantum Immobilien AG relocated its headquarters to Hamburg’s historic stock exchange and banking district. The new house is an old house – realized in 1960 by local firm Schramm & Elingius with high-quality materials and elegant proportions. Its corner position, where Dornbusch 4 and 2 converge without forming an actual corner, is also distinctive. Both adjoining structures are clad in light gray natural stone, covering the narrow flanks entirely and presenting as a refined grid on the fronts. This existing building deserves particular respect, and we gladly incorporated its elegance into our contemporary vision. Updating, not overwriting, was the focus of our revitalization approach, breathing new life into the ensemble while maintaining the highest standards of comfort, aesthetics, and efficiency.

Honoring the existing

Preserving the facades’ distinctive grid structure was a primary objective. We installed high-quality aluminum-wood windows with integrated sunshades into the nearly square openings of the original staggered structure’s upper third and fourth floors. The windows’ warm bronze hue and prominent central mullion provide a striking contrast to the natural stone grid. An additional floor was added to Dornbusch 4, enhancing its proportions. We constructed a roof terrace atop the lower section of the building – a small green oasis amid the urban landscape. The new mullion and transom facade on the added level features full-height window elements that echo the grid pattern of the rest of the building. However, the metal pavilion-like structure sets it apart as a distinct addition, contrasting with the stone facade of the original building. Ground-floor shops welcome visitors with expansive glass surfaces that open up to the urban environment. The main entrance, positioned along the central axis of the Dornbusch facade, is flanked by a restaurant and a generously glazed lobby nestled in the building’s corner. Access to the underground parking garage is discreetly situated on a side street.

Updating for the future

The interior of the reinforced concrete skeleton structure was largely dismantled, but the distinctive semicircular staircase, showcasing the era’s architecture, was preserved along with the original elevator system. The office floors provide approximately 3,000 square meters of gross floor area, and we tailored the floor plans to meet tenants’ needs within the existing column grid. Most non-loadbearing walls are glazed, allowing ample natural light to penetrate deep into the building. To minimize building services, we prioritized natural ventilation and air extraction in perimeter offices. Mechanical ventilation is solely implemented in interior spaces, using air circulated from the perimeter offices. Revitalizing this unique property into a contemporary office space did not require extensive interventions. Instead, we focused on careful resource utilization and leveraged existing features.

Project team