Project Design


Apart from being a Maritime School, the Maritime Centre of Hamburg also holds research and design facilities for ship hull and propeller simulation, as well as space for an exhibition and café. It is located on the Kehrwiederspitze in Hamburg’s Niederhafen port and underscores its position as the North-German center-piece of nautical education. The “Nautikum” is a place of education and exchange as well as a site of representation. It clearly underscores the district of Hansa’s unique shipbuilding ties, both in a general sense as well as through the educational path of becoming sea captain. 

The Kehrwieder in low german “kehrwedder” is one of the many man-made islands in Hamburg. It currently lies west of the old warehouse district and belongs to the new development of Hamburg called Hafen City. The district is completely separated and is only accessible via two bridges. It is separated by the inland port and Zoll-Canal from the old city. To reach the old town you must cross the Niederbaum Bridge. In 1899 a police station was built on this site. Currently, the police station has been decommissioned and the Maritime Centre is excited about taking over this site. 


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

School of Architecture

Building Design & Technology

Building Construction


Hamburg, Germany

Project Date

1 April 2016

Concept Design

This project focuses on analyzing and integrating shipbuilding methods and techniques and incorporating them in the design process of the new Maritime Centre. The result, is a building with recognizable ship attributes and features. 

The building, isolated from its surroundings and taking the shape of a ship’s hull, sits comfortably on the triangular site. To further accentuate the theme, the buildings levitates over the ground level, imitating the agility and lightness of a ship sailing off into the ocean. The space, located between the elevated part of the building; so called hull, and the building foundation, features an open and transparent ground floor level which is enclosed with a retractable glass curtain wall and houses the exhibition space and café. All school related spaces, including, classrooms, research facilities, dorm rooms and lecture halls, are located in upper hull of the building. This main hull’s has a steel structure and is cladded in retractable sails, to further stay true to the maritime theme as well as give the hull some weight.  The lines between ship building and architecture begin to blur. Finally, a rooftop observation deck, completes the whole building. 

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