One Step Ahead –
Can a building improve the air,
cool the surroundings and
enhance the neighbourhood?

Typology residential Location Hamburg Construction volume site area approx. 4,730m²; GFA approx. 19,000m² with approx. 11,900m² for 190 rental units (33 % publicly funded), underground car park with 400 bicycle and 50 vehicle spaces with 30% for car sharing Client Moringa GmbH by Landmarken Project developer Landmarken AG Property development competition performed by the City of Hamburg, 2020 Completion 2021 – 2024 Awards ldeenPreis Wohnbau Hamburg 2020, Polis Award 2022, 1st place in the ‘Ecological Reality’ category


#New construction of a sustainable residential block in HafenCity Hamburg

The first residential high rise built according to the cradle-to-cradle principle offers green spaces in and around the building for the recreation of residents, and improves the air quality and biodiversity within the entire quarter.

Rendering rendertaxi | Moringa GmbH by Landmarken

An ensemble of three buildings arranged around a green central courtyard is being developed on the northern bank of Baaken Harbour in the Elbbrücken Quarter of HafenCity Hamburg. Based on the cradle-to-cradle principle, the building is being assembled with recyclable and non-toxic materials that can be dismantled separately and reused at the end of the life cycle. All in all, the area created by horizontal and vertical greenery is larger than the building’s footprint. The green facade cools and conditions the air, produces oxygen and contributes towards the biodiversity in the city, characterises the residents’ urban realm and enhances the building’s design. In addition to being used as retention space and generate renewable energy, the horizontal areas are intended as exterior zones for private and communal use, for recreational purposes, urban farming, working and communication. The purely tenant-occupied property with variable floor plans and one third subsidized units is designed to accommodate people from different social backgrounds. The building incorporates co-living and co-working space, communal areas, such as kitchens and multi-purpose rooms, which can be booked via an app, a children’s day-care centre and a variety of exterior space on terraces, balconies and in the courtyard.

Rendering rendertaxi | Moringa GmbH by Landmarken

“As a green oasis, Moringa will contribute towards improving the climate and air quality in HafenCity and, thus, increase the wellbeing of its own residents as well as those living in the neighbourhood.”
Gerhard Wittfeld

More than 100% of Moringa’s footprint is returned to nature through the implementation of green facades and rooftop terraces.

The vegetation functions as a “green lung” within the quarter by producing oxygen, reducing particulate matter, binding carbon dioxide and nitrogen, as well as cooling the microclimate in summer. Moreover, it provides a habitat for a variety of animals, increases biodiversity in the urban realm and creates a retreat where residents and neighbours can relax and recharge.

Rendering rendertaxi | Moringa GmbH by Landmarken
Facade construction

The modular structure of the timber facade is a clear advantage. The fact that the layers of building materials can be dismantled easily, separated and recycled (timber cascade) is a prerequisite for the building’s closed-loop strategy.

“Due to its hybrid mix of uses and wide range of spatial functions, Germany’s first C2C-inspired residential block adds value, benefiting the entire quarter.”
Gerhard Wittfeld

The mixed use of the building is an important aspect concerning the development of a lively quarter. In addition to the children’s day-care centre at ground floor and basement level, the building also includes catering facilities, retail units, as well as event and co-working space.

Module 1
Government-funded units for singles, couples and families (floors 1 to 6)
Children’s day-care centre with outdoor area for 80 children
Retail unit, kiosk
Communal areas

Module 2
Co-living space (floors 0 to 6)
Co-working space on ground floor
Communal areas
Event space
Roof terrace and urban farming facilities

Module 3
Private residential units (floors 1 to 12)
Catering facilities in semi basement
Café on ground floor
Roof terrace

Buildings as material banks

The aim to achieve a non-destructive deconstruction of more than 50% of at least three component groups and ensure the clean separation and recycling of building layers is designed to bring about a long overdue change of paradigm: we need to turn construction into a closed-loop supply chain system, which considers buildings as material banks. Instead of producing waste and removal costs, the objective should be to generate added value and protect resources. Based on the urban mining concept, buildings must be considered as material banks and material cycles must be closed.