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HDW Hochhaus

Hein-Saß-Weg 38
Hamburg Germany

Construction Dates
Floor Count13
Building Uses
 - office
Structural Types
 - highrise
Architectural Style
 - modern
 - glass
 - aluminium
 - concrete, reinforced
 - brick

• History before the building:
The founding and development of The Deutsche Werft (German Shipyard) in 1918, in the area between Steendiek and Rüsch Canals, initiated the industrialization of Finkenwerder. It became the biggest employer in the area with up to 10 thousand employees, transforming the area not only with the shipyard buildings, but also housing construction. The workers crossed daily the Elbe river from city centre on the shipyard's steamers, still today with ferries to Airbus factory. The Deutsche Werft was for a time the world's biggest shipyard in the construction of trading ships. With the start of second World War, the production was totally converted to the manufacture of U-boats for German Marine. 113 ones were made in this site. Prisioners of war, deportees from occupied areas and from Neuengamme concentration camp were forced to work here. From October 1944, it had in shipyard its own prisioners concentration camp on-site. Hundred died due to inhuman working conditions, hunger rations or bombing attacks. After the devasting air attacks on Hamburg in 1943 a housing development was constructed to provide shelter for bombed-out citizens. It was not demolished until 1976, after second flood disaster. In 1968, the Deutsche Werft AG merged with the Howaldtswerken, becoming HDW, the name of main building still today. The crisis in the shipyard industry resulted in the decline of the Finkenwerder site as well. After its shutdown in 1973, most buildings were demolished, remaining this one. Preserved were the quayside, 3 Halls on Steendiek Canal and the foundation walls of the U-Boat Bunker built in 1940-42 on the Rüsch Canal. On the Rüsch Peninsula, time periods overlap one another. Today a modern business park stands on the site of Deutsche Werft, where ships were built and repaired until the 1970's. The expansion of Airbus premises to one of the world most important air transport site has led to a cluster of modern high-tech companies being located around it. Former shipyard building like the assembly plants, the quayside and the bunker bear witness to history. The ruins of the U-Boat bunker, now converted to a memorial, serve as visible reminder. They mark the appearance of the new harbour entrance to the Rüsch Canal. On the former ground of the Deutsche Werft between Steendiek & Rüsch Canals, where the Rüsch Park (Place of slippery), a site for ship Hull build ramps to water, the last evidence of the production process of the shipyards still remains, today a hotel and the anchor ferry name. In the topographical connection of halls, quayside, quay wall and canals the history is documented. Once floatable, the ships dropped from Rüsch Park into Elbe river south waters were taken to the Steendiek Canal, where the actual outfitting took place. The hulls were docked in the west quay, which as set up with at least 8 cranes. There were among others, a boilermaker factory, a carpenter's shop, fitter's shop, plater's shop, engineering, metal working, joiner's shop, painting, rigger's loft, furniture, wood decks placement as well as timber store.

• Those buildings with year of built still stand today in poor and abandonned conditions, including this one:
- Former boilermaker facility - Hall 1941, travelling crane 1938.
- Former Assembly building - Hall 1921, partially destroyed in the war and repaired.
- Former metal working building - Hall 1921, partially modified in 1977.
- Old Adminstration building from Architect Fritz Höger of 1922, today called mini-HDW and connected with a skybridge to the tallest one, the HDW Hochhaus.
- Newest administration building, today called HDW Hochhaus, this one.

• This building is today the place many companies who work for Airbus Deutschland GmbH, a company of Airbus Aircraft Industry.

• It is the tallest reference of Finkenwerder areal, where the Airbus Runway and Aircraft builder of A380 assembly plant is placed, the biggest passenger flyer of modern times.

• The conditions of building today are not the best ones, but still usable.

• Next the building, there are the well known Mini-HDW and the 2006 built modern Hotel 4 Star Golden Tulip as well, both lower in terms of storeys, 4 and 7 respectively.

• Photo Links:
1- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/20441539
2- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/20441474
3- http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10362959

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Drawing by Finkenwerder
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Aerial View / Map - Location within Hamburg

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