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Uninspiring 50s office undergoes dramatic facelift


March 4, 2013

Schlump ONE: before and after ("after" photo: Jan Bitter)

Schlump ONE: before and after ("after" photo: Jan Bitter)

Image Gallery (19 images)

Taking its name from Schlump, the Hamburg underground station where the building stands, Schlump ONE is a 1950s administration block that has been transformed into a modern office thanks to a dramatic facelift conceived by the architects at J. Mayer H.

The work, completed in 2012, is more than superficial. The seven-story block, built in the 1950s and extended in the 1990s, has been entirely gutted and renovated to create four rental office units per floor. What was once a data processing center in the courtyard has become a "private university."

What we are able to tell you about the facade itself is limited by the brevity of the architect's blurb. Though J. Mayer H. reports its intention to duplicate the organic curves of the facade with the partitions used to divide interior spaces, the specifics of the facelift are something of a mystery (though we've asked for more information).

But the details are secondary. The photography alone demonstrates the point, that, with a little imagination, less-than-beautiful buildings of the post-war era can to all intents and purposes be replaced without resorting to costly demolition and rebuilding. The new-look Schlump ONE looks like an entirely new construction.

Source: J. Mayer H. via Arch Daily

Update, March 4, 2013: A spokesperson for J. Mayer H. tells Gizmag that though the "general organization" of the facade has remained as is, the facades themselves have been completely replaced. We're still not quite clear on what materials have been used, but this at least clarifies that a second-skin hasn't merely been placed over the old facade (which is as we figured, looking closely at the photos).

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

The windows remind me of worms or that Nokia phone game Snake.


Aside from the paint job I prefer the before look.


Interesting but really not very attractive and a waste of the corners. Corner lighting is the best use and this just kills it. And how are you going to reward middle managers with a corner office if that corner is more like getting a "time-out"?


It looks like a second skin to me - why does the update say that it isn't? That being the case, I hope they have some very skinny window washers to get in between the layers and clean the outside of the original windows and the inside of the new ones.

Marcus Carr

re; Marcus Carr

From looking in the windows I'm pretty sure that they took off the old facade and replaced it.


So, they "updated" it from 50's bland to 30's Art Deco.

Bill Wilson

The building looked a lot better before the people at J. Mayer H. got their hands on it. This is a bad example of the aesthetic benefits of re-skinning a building.

Stuart Brown

It will be just a few years before this "New" facade will be seen to be just as stale as wide ties & lapels or other decor left over from the 70's. Think how charming dirty old avocado green anything looked when the kitchen finally got overhauled.


Ant Farm. Inspiring.

John Hagen-Brenner

While I like the idea of using fluid lines, I agree with those who complain about the window placement. Additionally I would add that the color chosen makes it look more prison-like than a cheery office space. Would you want to go to work in a dreary dungeon?


What would impress me more is knowing the facts about the materials used, the potential for energy savings, how long the building was out of commission while it was being upgraded, and the $$.

Was it a good investment, or is this the company's way of saying "look at me, I'm a large-intestine!"?

Ruth Vallejos
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