The Cinnamon tower was conceived as freestanding campanile – a pin on a piazza. This unexpected idea won the 2006 competition for the neo-gothic Harbour Masters Building and surroundings.
A tower was not anticipated in the competition programme, but the jury agreed that it anchors and at the same time leaves the only remaining historical building freestanding between the new megablocks of the 'Overseas Quarter‘.
Slenderness is essential for a campanile. Over the course of its 8-year gestation this proportionality was respected – even while its function mutated from stacked restaurants to housing. The 13 x 16 m floor plan tapers towards the top. With a height of 56 meters the tower is 4-times higher than it is wide.
How can such a thin chap be efficient?
The organisational answer is duplex apartments. Originally the concept foresaw seven apartments, each on 2 floors, a panoramic living deck on the upper level and bedrooms with punched windows below. Precise market analysis led to a variation of this formula: one triplex apartment at the top and some 1-floor apartments at lower levels. Built were ten apartments, four with 130 sqm, five with 185 sqm and one with 300 sqm. The tower has a gross floor area of 4.300 sqm and a volume of 16.000 cubic metres. At the ground level is a restaurant / commercial unit of 300 sqm.
Strict high-rise regulations demanded an escape route from every floor via secure escape stair. The possibility to clean every window from the inside was also a criterion to be met. The spectacular view over Hamburg‘s skyline and of the New Elbphilharmonie should not be blurred by smudgy windows. Room-high windows on three sides of the living deck also allow the tracking of incoming cruise ships.
Facade panels of anodized aluminium sheets in different gradations of dark red correspond to the patchwork of BOLLES+WILSON‘s neighbouring 2008 pavilion, the first realized component of the Harbour Masters ensemble. In sunlight these aluminium panels take on colourful nuances while on cloudy days they assume a darker, more serious Paul-Klee like nuance. This is a building that changes its character according to the incidence of light, a new figure on Hamburg‘s skyline.