To replace a dilapidating building, housing the company’s main production plant and ‘Hammer’ (steel forge), with a new building fit for 21st century purpose with minimal interruption to production whilst being constructed
To not only design a new piece of architecture, but to also design a sequence of temporary structures; demolish and erect a new building to coincide with ongoing production; and create an institution reflecting the origins of the company as well as its future
The Neue Hammerhalle is located within a mixed used zone in a rural part of North Germany, close to the Dutch borders. It is unusually surrounded by open agricultural land within a rural landscape next to a canal. The 2,300sqm unit is encased with semi-transparent industrial glass that reveals the structure of steel frames throughout the day, whilst approaching dusk, brightly-lit silhouettes of the machines at work. In addition, the stylish glass withstands the robust machinery it contains. Beneath the contemporary semi-translucent box sit the traditional North German/Dutch red brick. They are exactly the same shape and colour as previously used when the business first existed in the late eighteenth century. Interrupting part of the building is a ribbon window at eye level allowing each passerby on foot or bike to stop and observe inside the building. Everything has been considered and controlled during the design and construction of the Neue Hammerhalle: even the levels of sound the machinery generates are regulated so as not to affect its closest residents.
Photography by David Vintiner
Stahlwerk Augustfehn website