Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club


2020 -


Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg


Hamburg, Germany


Clubhouse & boat hall


1’200 sqm


Tendering procedure (VOF)


Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG


Posse & Götze
ProKonPlan GmbH




Elbinselquartier Wilhelmsburg


As part of the urban development of the new Elbinsel district in Wilhelmsburg, the new clubhouse of the Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club (WRC) is being built. As the first new building in the quarter, the building plays an important pioneering role. Due to its location on the Assmann Canal, the structure takes on two important urban planning tasks within the emerging urban context. On one hand, it forms a structural ensemble with the newly emerging Inselcampus school complex and, on the other hand, it forms the beginning of a newly planned green axis along the Assmann Canal, coming from the north.

The simple and clear volume, along with its functions and openings, is oriented toward the waterside promenade and the Assmann Canal. Opposite the green axis, the building sets a recognizable symbol with its simple yet iconic profile. The aim is to create a permeable building that interacts with its surroundings and strengthens the experience of rowing in Wilhelmsburg.

The new building sees itself as part of the green axis of the new Elbinsel district. With its planned wooden facade, the building refers to the tradition of old timber-framed boat houses.

The main facade of the clubhouse has floor-to-ceiling glazing with opening elements, allowing direct access to a covered communal terrace facing the Assmann Canal. Openable timber folding elements visually correspond to the folding doors of the boat hall and link the design of the two functional units together.

According to the motto “all under one roof”, the two primary usage units, consisting of the club and boat hall, are housed in a clearly structured building and thus, despite their differences, form a singular structural unit.

In order to stay within the tight budget, value was placed from the start on choosing a geometry that was as simple as possible, whilst at the same time meets the design requirements and represents its prominent location in the green axis of the new Elbinsel district. The aim is to create a building for the Wilhelmsburg rowing club, which is optimally designed to meet the needs of its users and offers both rowing and club life in Wilhelmsburg a new home in a prominent location. The main façade, which can be completely opened to create a seamless connection between the clubhouse, boat hall and exterior space, intends to bring interested residents and passers-by into contact with rowing, whilst the building’s permeability includes it in the life of the district through other communal uses such as yoga classes and local events. The barrier-free and accessible building is divided into two main uses; the uninsulated boat shed with a workshop, and the insulated volume of the clubhouse with common rooms, a weight room, changing rooms, a kitchen, storage rooms, a technical room and a multifunctional room. In order to keep the building as simple as possible, a sectional figure was developed which is based entirely on a supporting structure and at the same time meets the requirements of both uses.

A protected veranda is created under the protruding canopy, enabling the entire pre-zone to be used even in bad weather and, on the other hand, naturally shades the glazed part of the main facade. The prominent skylight brings light into the depths of the building and enables natural cross ventilation. Along the south-eastern façade, orientated toward the Inselcampus, additional storage space was created for boats from the vocational school and their associated equipment. In analogy to the main facade, the cabinet-like storage areas have foldable doors for a coherent and unified appearance.




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