The best modern buildings in Hamburg were recognised with two awards last night, the renowned “BDA Hamburg Architektur Preis” and the “BDA / Hamburger Abendblatt Publikums Architektur Preis”. The new Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) is among the winners of the BDA Hamburg Architecture Award. The jury selected Hamburg’s convention center as one of the three first prize winners. The CCH, based on designs by the architectural cooperative AGN Leusmann / Time Hupe Architekten, is one of Europe’s most cutting-edge and largest convention centers, boasting 36,000 square meters of available space.
The new congress center was officially opened by Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, on Friday, April 29, 2022 after undergoing comprehensive modernisation and remodeling since January 2017. Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH is the operator of the CCH.
The BDA is the German architects association (Bund Deutscher Architektinnen und Architekten). Every two years BDA Hamburg honors exemplary architecture in the Hamburg metropolitan area through its “Architektur Preis,” or Architecture Award, to set quality standards in contemporary architecture. The award is given to architects and their builder-owner customers for their joint achievement. The awardees receive a certificate, and all winning buildings are jointly presented to the public on a dedicated BDA website, in a physical exhibition and in a catalog documentation.
This year, the jury selected projects completed between 2020 and 2022 from a total of 63 applicants in the Hamburg metropolitan area, awarding three equally-ranked first prizes, five equally-ranked second prizes and four equally-ranked third prizes. In addition, 27 buildings were honorably mentioned and included in the catalog and exhibition of the BDA Hamburg Architektur Preis 2022.
A first prize was awarded for the revitalisation of the CCH, Congressplatz 1, 20355 Hamburg-Mitte.
Building project: Remodeling and partial new construction of a civic facility featuring 50 halls for up to 12,000 visitors
Architect: ARGE AGN Leusmann and TIM HUPE Architekten, Hamburg
Customer: CCH Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG c/o Sprinkenhof GmbH, Hamburg
The jury explained its decision as follows: “With an entirely natural gesture, the new entrance area of the CCH welcomes visitors entering from Congressplatz square with plenty of light and space: In an atrium of dizzying height, a sweeping flight of stairs and galleries grants visitors access to the more than 50 halls and rooms of the CCH, which was Europe’s largest convention center when it was first completed 1973. With architectural elegance, the new shell of the building not only opens up the mammoth complex – which had aged considerably and is now fully remodeled – but it also forms a missing link in the city’s layout, connecting Dammtor mainline train station and Planten un Blomen Park, Hamburg’s most beautiful urban garden, situated two levels above. Upgrading and appreciating architecture from Germany’s postwar modern era is the need of the moment: The new CCH embraces the previously heterogeneous existing building masses, demonstrating that they are much more than gray energy and must be preserved for ecological as well as many other reasons.”
“As operators of the Congress Center Hamburg, we are extremely excited about this award,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “Thanks to this impressive building, Hamburg has been, and will continue to be a coveted location for conventions. The new CCH helps us further solidify our position, giving Hamburg a permanent place among Europe’s top destinations. With its appealing architecture, central location, the wide range of hotels in its vicinity, and its proximity to numerous vibrant city districts, the CCH is hard to beat in terms of attractiveness.”
“The modernised and remodeled Congress Center Hamburg enthralls visitors as a state-of-the-art, light-flooded, appealing building that leaves nothing to wish for. The breathtaking entrance hall is a must-see. It literally draws in the visitors, making them eager to experience more. Plus, the new CCH features spatial concepts that ensure ultimate flexibility. And all that is sustainable and barrier-free,” emphasised Heike Mahmoud, Chief Operating Officer, Congress Center Hamburg.
“We are extremely happy about the BDA award. It was a wonderful task for us to revitalise and develop this venue so close to the inner city, right next to Planten un Blomen Park and the Radisson Blu hotel. A few years ago, this was an almost forgotten place in the back yard of Dammtor station. It is nice to see this venue right in the heart of Hamburg now being a focal point again that attracts visitors from around the world, knowing that our architecture made a significant contribution to this,” remarked architect Tim Hupe.