Chicago Square

Back in June last year I mentioned a couple projects planned for Hamburg, Germany's waterfront: a concert hall by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and apartments spanning the Elbe River by local architect Hadi Teherani. These projects are part of HafenCity (harbor city), Europe's largest urban planning project taking shape south of the city center.

One ingredient in the plan is Chicago Square, so named as Hamburg is one of Chicago's sister cities and because, "in May 2005, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg invited five renowned architectural firms from Chicago to put forward their blueprint ideas for Chicago Square, which is situated at the eastern end of Baakenhafen harbour."

The five renowned architects

"The idea of creating a Chicago Square with a high-rise skyline as the eastern entrance to HafenCity at the head of Baakenhafen harbour, and of using American architectsÂ’ know-how to achieve it, was proposed to mark the 10th anniversary of two sister cities, Hamburg and Chicago." The five designs were presented on March 1, 2006, though it's not clear if one has been selected yet or when one will be selected as the winning design.

The Chicago Square site

It's hard to say anything about the designs, as only small model images are available at the moment. It appears that each scheme uses one or two towers as focal points for the project -- most notably in Jeanne Gang's and Helmut Jahn's designs -- combined with low- and middle-rise buildings arranged on the rest of the site.

Here's the five designs (slide show link):

Dirk Lohan (Lohan Anderson)

Jeanne Gang (Studio/Gang Architects)

Helmut Jahn (Murphy/Jahn)

Mark Sexton (Krueck & Sexton Architects)

John Ronan (John Ronan Architect)

(Thanks to Antonio C. for the head's up!)


  1. Wow, its obvious that Gang came from OMA.

    Is that a skyscraper with legs...

    ...made of foam...

  2. what's the deal with the fuzzy faces on those other two guys? it's like Diller & Scofidio's Blur Building mutated into a really weird skin condition.

  3. I fuzzed the faces to make the architect's faces stand out a bit more. After I added the bubbles, it seemed like it wasn't clear enough who was who. If you click on the "Chicago Square" link you can see the original.

  4. why do you think its obvious that Gang comes from OMA? just curious...

  5. where did you get the image from the murphy jahn building? i would like to use it for a non-commercial postcard. possible?

  6. All the images are from the Hafen web site, linked via the "five designs" text above the projects.


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