BALTIC HOUSE, HAMBURG
LIST LICHTDESIGN AND GRS REIMER ARCHITEKTEN
Short, individually controlled sections of linear
lighting are integrated into the curved and glazed
facade of Baltic House, an office and residential
block in central Hamburg. Graduating the lighting
so that it is brighter at the building’s rounded corner
subtly reinforces its geometry, while gentle reflection
of the hidden lighting in the window glass visually
Hamburg-based List Lichtdesign proposed integrating
linear lighting into the fabric on the basis that,
‘the luminaires should not be visible but the
architecture should be recognisable,’ says practice
founder Peter List. The solution was to use ruggedised
linear lighting developed for insertion into shallow
trays or troughs. In total, the installation required 420
flexible LED Linear Varioled luminaires, linked to
create continuous runs of dot-free light, and carrying
an IP67 rating for water and weather resistance.
Controlling each luminaire individually enabled
the light to be graduated, evoking the lines of the
Hamburg’s characteristic Kontourhaus office blocks,
a stipulation of the city’s planners.
Hamburg was the first German city to have office-only buildings, with the Dovenhof in 1886. Previously,
warehouses and offices had shared the same premises.
The design of a Kontourhaus was marked by load-bearing outer walls enabling their open interiors to be
rented out to multiple tenants. While their form had
its roots in Chicago, the city quickly developed
its own style; construction reached a peak in the
1920s. Some 250 of the buildings survived the
Second World War and helped the Hanseatic port
retain its special character.
Baltic House has received a silver rating from the
DGNB , the German Sustainable Building Council.
Baltic House is on a prominent corner in Hamburg. Its architectural
style evokes the city’s office blocks of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Its curves are emphasised by graduated lighting