Der Spiegel, one of the world's most respected news organizations, is the newest addition to Hamburg's HafenCity- Europe's largest inner-city redevelopment project.
The news giant's new sleek headquarters is also one of the greenest buildings in the shiny new river-side development. Spiegel had outgrown its previous space, and relocate its whole television unit to a nearby building.
The new 27,000 square-foot, 13-story Spiegel building is part of a larger complex designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects. Each building was designed with its orientation to the city in mind-- the Ericus building faces the large Lohesepark and serves extend and complete the greenspace intended for the complex.
The Spiegel building, on the other hand, faces the city, and according to the firm "will become the gateway to Hafencity," designed with a more urban character.
The U-shaped complex, with each building on one side, creates a public space between them that effectively forms two plazas, one for pedestrians and the other as an extension of the waterfront promenade.
The Spiegel building has an atrium that extends from floor to ceiling, making it light and spacious, and it gets some of its energy from photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal probes that cypher heat from the earth 100 meters below ground.
The building also features triple-glazed windows, a sky-lit roof and walls of glass on the outside, giving it a lot of natural light and minimizing need for indoor lighting.
Since 2007, Hafencity has had its own system of awards for eco-conscious building. Gold and silver prizes, much like the LEED system, were introduced to reward designers, engineers and architects for their green building practices.
The Spiegel building received a Hafencity Gold Environmental Label, with top honors in four out of five categories: energy consumption, handling of public resources, health and comfort and environmentally-friendly operation.
The fifth category is use of green building materials, which the firm said was impossible to meet the gold standards, given the scale of the building.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com