Just one year after the first announcement regarding Hamburg's skyscraper plans next to the Elbe Bridges in HafenCity, the city has decided to build the Elbtower. On 8 February 2018, at the Town Hall, Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz, joined by Senator Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chairman of the Board of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Christoph Felger, Partner and Design Director at David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, Hamburg's Chief Planning Director Franz-Josef Höing, and Timo Herzberg, CEO of SIGNA Prime Selection AG, presented the new builder SIGNA, the architectural design by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, as well as the use and implementation concept for Hamburg's future tallest building.

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In the coming years, SIGNA Prime Selection AG will build the Elbtower based on plans by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin as a landmark high-rise building right next to the Elbe Bridges. Construction will start in early 2021 and completion is planned for mid-2025. The Elbtower, which will be 235 metres high, will become an unmistakable point of focus in Hamburg. The Elbtower represents both a culmination of the HafenCity development and, at the same time, the prelude to the entrance into Hamburg’s city centre. Together with the new Elbbrücken subway and urban railway station, it will become a new urban hub that will be reachable from the future urban development areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook.

For the “Elbtower” high-rise project, a single-phase builder selection process was carried out. The process was successfully completed in just nine months. The tender phase started on 31 May 2017. An interdisciplinary, independent jury selected the three applicants, and HafenCity Hamburg GmbH then started negotiations with them in November 2017, following the approval of the Supervisory Board.

As part of a final jury decision on 31 January 2018, SIGNA stood out from its other two competitors and was selected as the future builder. The jury was impressed with the fact that the design by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin fits in very well with Hamburg’s architectural culture and famous city silhouette. Consisting of architects, city planners and real estate professionals, the jury unanimously voted for the design by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin.
Supported by the design by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, who also designed the Kaufhaus Tyrol in Innsbruck and the WaltherPark Project in Bolzano for SIGNA, and who were also responsible for the design of the Nobel Center in Stockholm and the James Simon Gallery in Berlin, SIGNA prevailed in the complex selection process for the high-rise development next to the Elbe Bridges.

In addition, SIGNA impressed with the resilience of its financing through high equity capital backing, with financial solidity and rich experience with similar complex projects.
On 6 February 2018, the Supervisory Board approved the project and the notarial certificate was drawn up. The validity of the contract requires the approval of the Hamburg Parliament, which is expected to come to a decision in this matter in late summer 2018.

The Elbtower

As a mixed-use high-rise building with a gross floor area of approx. 104,000 square metres, the Elbtower will be developed as a public, widely used base, with entertainment and edutainment areas, retail stores and restaurants, semi-public use facilities, such a hotel, a boarding house, fitness and wellness areas, a children’s facility [Kinderland], co-working areas and modern and flexible office space on the tower floors. The social and communication-oriented meeting point of the building will be a covered atrium featuring natural light.
The Elbtower meets the highest sustainability criteria. It will be certified pursuant to the Platinum Standard of the HafenCity eco-label and will fulfil the ambitious Smart Mobility concept of the eastern HafenCity.