Hamburg’s harbor has long been central to the development of the city. Shipyards and docks, terminals and ships from throughout the world are just as much a part of Hamburg as its rivers, the Elbe and Alster. In 1866 the Sandtorkai represented the inauguration of the most modern port in the world. After almost 150 years, HafenCity has now taken on this mantle: The “city in a city” concept is the largest inner-city development project in Europe. Here, where coffee and spice merchants used to ply their trade, the Neogothic stone buildings of the Speicherstadt stand cheek by jowl with contemporary office and residential buildings. Minimalist architecture with contemporary maritime details meets romantic brick buildings on ancient oak piles. Red clinker bricks bridge the past and the present – these can be found in both the historical buildings and the facades of the new structures. This characteristic color play can also be found in the Cinnamon Tower, a bright red-brown structure that projects some 213 feet into the sky.
The architects Bolles+Wilson from Münster designed the tower, a strikingly narrow residential building which, as an ensemble with the Altes Hafenamt, shapes the appearance of the northern part of HafenCity. The design objective of interior designer Ulrike Krages from Hamburg-based UK2 Architektur was to unite the industrial charm of Speicherstadt with exclusive luxury living. Ten condominiums were created, each one unique. The materials and color design meet the highest standards, with a strong focus on bathroom design as well: the 2nd floor series from sieger design and Duravit succeeds in being a high-quality yet homely product range: its practical design creates new structures, opening the bathroom up as a living space. The bathtub has an impressive depth and a narrow overflow design. A white sanitary acrylic cover conceals the water outlet and ensures optimum comfort. When suitably installed, panoramic views of the Elbe, Magdeburger Hafen and HafenCity can be enjoyed from the bathtub, facilitated by the tower’s continuous glass facade.
Last June the Cinnamon Tower celebrated its inauguration ceremony. The building is located in what is known as the “Überseequartier” of HafenCity, which stretches to the east from the Traditionsschiffhafen at Sandtorkai to the banks of the Norderelbe. Over the coming years a total of 14 construction projects are planned here that are all named after valuable historical and exotic commodities that used to be shipped to Hamburg. For example, Java and Virginia are types of tobacco, Arabica and Pacamara represent coffee, Ceylon is for tea and Silk evokes images of the textile trade. The name of the Cinnamon Tower is a tribute to the spices from India and Asia.