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Specially-adapted windows for one of the most prominent and challenging new buildings in Hamburg

19 May 2015
Case study

The Chamber of Commerce Innovations Campus (HKIC) in Hamburg is a unique building which has a radical design that successfully overcame a series of significant project challenges. 

The result is a high-rise façade created using specially-adapted aluminium window systems from Wicona to reflect the classical art deco appearance of adjacent architecture but with eco-building principles.

Located in the Nikolai Quarter in the centre of Hamburg, which is home to around 600 businesses, major international banks and buildings dating back to the 12th century, the scheme was developed by Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on an ‘impossible’ site.  It is positioned between two historic buildings, opposite the impressive classical façade of the old stock exchange – now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce – and directly above live railway lines and underground tunnels.

The project was the result of a design competition run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Hamburger Sparkasse Bank, which was won by Johann von Mansberg Architekten. The finished building has created an inspirational business environment for study, learning and training for the Hamburg School of Business Administration and Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.  The 3,000sqft scheme has 15 well-appointed meeting and seminar rooms, a 240-seat auditorium and a public café on the ground floor.

The six-storey development has a very structured façade with extensive glazing that is illuminated at night by back-lit translucent pilaster LED strip lighting.

The Wicona WICLINE 75 series – a high thermal performance window – was developed into a bespoke solution for the project and the aluminium profiles were adapted to meet the architect's specific requirements, including a special width.

The frames were fitted with pressed-on pilaster strips externally, which enhance the static load-bearing capabilities of the glazing, provide a degree of solar protection, and give the appearance of supporting columns – an architectural element used in classical architecture.

The ribbon windows have concealed openings and the frames are finished in anodised ‘champagne’ to complement the surrounding buildings.

With an overall depth of 75mm, this window solution delivers outstanding energy efficiency that could easily achieve the demanding ‘Swiss Minergie’ standard required for the project, and Uw values of less than 1.0 W/m²K.

The window systems were fabricated and glazed off site which delivered a high level of precision and reduced time on site. The glass was also specially designed for the project and features etching and screen printing. The pilaster strips were mitre glued and sealed – another challenging aspect to this scheme.  Normally invisible ‘inner elements’ of the seals are now very visible when the back lighting is turned on.

The Wicona technical team worked on the project to accommodate and develop the bespoke modifications that were required by the building designers.

To allow for the railway lines that pass just below the building, there was a complex cantilevered ‘arm’ and specially-designed four inch bearings absorb noise and vibration. The position of the building also closes up a space to enhance the historic square it overlooks, creating a new public amenity area.

The WICLINE evo window suite uses common components and easy-to-fit accessories across the range of options to simplify specification and ensure cost-effective fabrication. There are two fitting options with visible or concealed hinges and large sash sizes can be accommodated up to 2.5m high by 1.7m wide and weighing up to 160kg as standard, whilst still maintaining slim profiles and narrow sight lines.

There are options for enhanced security, bullet and burglar resistance, thermal and weather performance, acoustic protection, open-in and open-out systems, and a high quality range of window fittings.  The system is fully tested to the highest levels of security and can be supplied in accordance with the latest European standards RC1 to RC3 for burglar resistance.

Configurations in the WICLINE evo range include concealed vent windows with ultra-slim profiles for maximum light transmission; a classic casement design featuring bevelled profiles; automatic or manual roof lights; vertical or horizontal pivots; top or side hung windows; standard or concealed opening lights for use with ‘stick’ or unitised curtain walling; a parallel sliding window; tilt/turn windows, smoke vents, and patio doors with a disabled access threshold, available as single or double leaf and inward or outward opening.                                                                                                               

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