Pure luxury: this is what the new residential tower “The Crown” in Hamburg’s HafenCity promises. Anyone who likes luxury real estate is definitely at the right address with this property. Imagine standing on your balcony, some 50 metres above the Elbe, looking down on the wave-shaped building of the Elbphilharmonie and enjoying the sun reflected in the Elbe, making the water glisten. Doesn’t that sound dreamlike? No wonder, then, that almost all of the residential units in the project have already been sold.
The Crown: architecture, design and high-quality interiors
The tower “The Crown” is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and is one of four projects of the “BE-Strandkai-Quartier” on the peninsula in the port of Hamburg, which also includes the almost equally large residential tower “FiftyNine”, which was designed by the architect Christoph Ingenhoven.
All the buildings in the quarter have a similarly large footprint, are around 60 metres high and are designed in white/grey. An overarching harmony was and is the focus of the concept.
The refined layout of the “Crown”, which incidentally takes its name from the point that tapers like a crown at the top, allows for an ideal view. The front line of the building runs parallel to the Elbe and ensures that the view of the west and east apartments really does fall on the Elbe in every single apartment.
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The property is not only located in the heart of HafenCity, directly on Strandkaispitze between the Elbphilharmonie and Marco Polo Tower, but is also well connected to the rest of Hamburg. The underground lines U3 “Baumwall” and U’4 “Überseequartier”, as well as various bus stops are in the immediate vicinity. But also the life in the Hamburg trend district can be varied thanks to numerous restaurants and boutiques, as well as architectural highlights, museums and galleries.
An innovative design that has its price
However, living in HafenCity is by no means cheap. Luxury living in Hamburg’s trendy district, directly on the Elbe, has its price. The average price per square meter of the “Crown” is 17,700 euros, which extends over a gross floor area of approximately 11,000 m² on over 17 floors. On the lower floors, up to the 11th floor, there tend to be the smaller 2- to 3-room apartments, with sizes between 55 m² and 130 m². The floors above are divided into spacious 3- to 4-room apartments with 154 m² to 228 m² and 4- to 6-room apartments with sizes of 260 m² and 303 m². The crowning glory is the two 5- and 7-room penthouses located on the 15th and 16th floors, each with two floors and over 415 m² and 426 m² respectively.
A special highlight are the balconies inscribed in the building structure, which are located on every apartment. As protection against the sometimes rather rough, Hanseatic weather, there is a glass windbreak on these, which was integrated into the elaborate frame-work design elements of the facade.
The aim of the building is, with the help of the design, to create a coherent symbiosis that transfers the elements of architecture from the outside to the inside, whereby the focus of the design is on creating a feeling of openness. This is to be brought to bear above all by the airy cuts and the generous room layout of the apartments.
Configure apartments with the help of digital means
A unique configuration tool makes it possible to get a feel for the luxury tower even before it is completed. Thanks to new visual standards, it is possible to experience each of the 75 condominiums, including their unique views in a 360 degree view. The apartments can be configured independently with the help of the tool. Three different interior styles, all created by the Düsseldorf designer duo Armin Panahi and Randi Schumacher, serve as templates. While “pure” captivates with its simple elegance, “Coco” features luxurious marble and gold elements, and “Silk” creates a noble living ambience with graceful wood panelling.
Take a look for yourself and get an idea of what the living spaces look like in each style.
Silk: Pompous, elegant gold design
Are you into luxury and do you like things to be extravagant? Then take a look at the living room, which is furnished in the “Silk” style.
Coco: Modern and simple design
The “Coco” concept is rather simpler and cooler. Immerse yourself in the modern world and enjoy the view from the luxury loft.
Pure: Minimalist but still daring
You can’t decide between the two styles? Then “Pure” could be just the right style, as it combines both styles.
The purpose of this simulation is to give prospective buyers an understanding of the price-performance ratio. This also includes the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows and from the balconies, which partially extend around the entire building on the upper floors and are planted with Mediterranean trees. For this purpose, thousands of drone shots were taken to simulate a realistic all-round view of the potential home.
By directly equipping the floor plan with furniture, the buyer’s questions regarding storage space, niches or room layout should be answered visually in the best possible way. Like Google Streetview, the buyer is thrown into the room and can get an extensive impression. The interior of each apartment is usually planned in advance individually by the buyer, so that the developer can directly take into account the wishes of the buyer. Prospective buyers are supposed to better understand the apartment on the basis of the three different styles, in the hope that this is decisive for the final spark that ultimately leads to a purchase decision.
The design is open: In larger apartments, for example, the bathroom has a separate shower and toilet, behind closed doors, so that the only thing that catches the eye when you first enter is the free-standing bathtub.
The product is very broadly defined, which is normally unusual for property developers. However, it is not only intended as a decision-making aid, but can also be used by the customer according to his wishes. The setting of individual accents, such as a different wall color or a differentiated wood tone for the parquet, allows the prefabricated designs to be individually adapted.
“We want to give the buyer the opportunity to experience something that isn’t even there yet” – Björn Dahler, managing director at DC Developments
Björn Dahler knows how important it is, especially at this time, to create a digital visualization in order to offer customers added value. According to his own information, “a few hundred thousand euros will be invested”. And yet: Despite the unique tool, the majority of buyers have opted for a “naked” apartment for the time being, in order to plan the furnishings only afterwards.
In a showroom in the Übersee-Quartier in HafenCity, buyers can experience all that they have already experienced virtually. According to the marketing team, the Coco style has so far been the most popular with buyers.
Sustainability comes first
The philosophy of the commissioned architectural firm is geared towards sustainable and ecological buildings. In general, the HafenCity standards are high. Great attention is paid to sustainability in the use of materials. But also on an energy level. Electricity and heating costs are to be minimized, and the flow of water in the building is also restricted. The architects had to meet these requirements from the outset.
What makes the architect, Christoph Ingenhoven, special is his planting. When you think of his buildings in Shanghai, this is one of the first things that comes to mind. In this project, this kind of planting only occurs in the penthouses, and on all the other larger terraces. Björn Dahler confirms this, and tells a press conference that a rock birch will be placed on all these outdoor areas, as it can withstand the high winds in HafenCity. Both penthouses, for example, have four trees that are more than room-high.
Completion and buyer at a glance
The apartments should be ready for occupancy in the second quarter of 2023. A good two more years of construction time is very realistic. 70 of the 75 apartments have already been sold or earmarked, and that merely through silent marketing, without advertisements or press articles.
Many buyers use the apartment as a second home. Cosmopolitans who have several residences also definitely need one in the prestigious, modern HafenCity. Many buyers come from the region or from North Rhine-Westphalia, but are of course also spread throughout Germany. The proportion of buyers from abroad is not noteworthy.
The Corona pandemic has also contributed to the rapid sale, as real estate is a good investment nowadays. However, the ratio of capital investors is very low in relation to owner-occupiers: just 20-25 per cent are reported to be used as an investment, although this tends to be the smaller units, which have 50 to 60 square metres (in total 22 units on 11 floors). Björn Dahler emphasizes that all apartment sizes on all floors have sold well. Everything is said to have been equally in demand. However, in the initial marketing, only the apartments on the first 11 floors were available, as the visualisation for these was completed first, which explains why the apartments up to the 11th floor were sold first.
Also one of the two penthouses is already sold, but the other is still free. This is because they have only been on the market for a short time, but also because the price range is very high.
“The penthouses are the two most expensive properties at 11 million each.” – Björn Dahler, Managing Director at DC Developments
FiftyNine: A competitor?
The individual buildings in the “Be-Strandkai-Quartier” are not in direct competition with each other, as different target groups are addressed depending on their location in HafenCity. The marketing of “Strandkai”, “FiftyNine” and “The Crown” have taken place offset from each other. There are just eight apartments on the market in parallel, which do not interfere with each other.
The “FiftyNine” is also almost completely sold, with just three large apartments of the 76 units still on the market. However, the demand for the “Crown” is already significantly higher than the demand for the “FiftyNine” after a shorter period of time, as every apartment has a water view. The standard is significantly higher, as the building is neither adjacent to the cooperative project nor does it offer a view of the inner courtyard.
Generally speaking, little else in the way of new construction has come onto the market in the same period that could compete with the two towers, which may well have contributed to the rapid sale of apartments in both luxury towers.
A larger project with over 300 apartments is currently in the planning stage. It is somewhat lower, not “high-end” and can be seen as a completely different project. Another project with 150 rental apartments is to be built at the top of the island, between the two towers. This will also include subdued rent apartments, but luxury apartments similar to “FiftyNine” or “The Crown” will also be available.
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