Start of construction for the "Roots - With Germany's tallest timber building, Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH is putting down roots for sustainable project development.

The 18-storey building with a height of 65 metres will in future be part of the entrée for the Elbbrückenquartier in Hamburg's HafenCity. A total of 181 flats will be realised. In addition, the German Wildlife Foundation will move into a total of 4,000 m², which includes exhibition, office and catering space. Completion of the complex, designed by Hamburg architects Störmer Murphy and Partners, is scheduled for 2023. The investment volume amounts to 140 million euros.


"Roots stands for our vision of redensifying the city in a climate-neutral way using wood as a building material," explains Fabian von Köppen, Managing Director of Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH. "When we decided to implement such a building project, we were ready to grow together with everyone involved. We set ourselves the goal of creating a best case that literally takes root."

The official start of construction on 27 November 2020 represents a decisive milestone for sustainable project development for Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH. A total of 5,500 m³ of softwood will be used as part of the realisation - this much has never been used anywhere in the world before. The concept allows for the creation of compact prefabricated elements, which are expected to be implemented from 2022. Thus, this construction method not only contributes to the reduction of the CO2 footprint, but also limits noise emissions during implementation - a contribution to more climate-efficient, resource-saving project development. "Technically speaking, timber construction in these dimensions belongs to the top class in project development. Even though we conceptualised a hybrid construction with the Treptower Twins in Berlin, even more comprehensive expertise is needed here," says Georg Nunnemann, Project Manager Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH, and adds: "It is all the more crucial to have people involved who are passionate about their work and also about giving nature a greater place in our cities again." Back to the roots - really living and experiencing nature The desire for a more sustainable lifestyle is increasingly determining the everyday lives of many city dwellers. In urban spaces, there is a need for an increasing connection with natural elements, which are given a symbolic character by the raw material wood and set new standards in the design of living space. On a gross floor area of around 20,600 m², 181 residential units are being built, of which 128 are condominiums and 53 are publicly subsidised. The symbiosis between urbanity and environment is underlined by surrounding loggias that connect the built-up and undeveloped space with sliding glass elements. All flats thus have views towards the harbour, HafenCity or the city centre. The residential use is complemented by a 600 m² inner courtyard designed by the renowned landscape architects LOIDL, as well as a yoga room with a terrace for the future residents. To underline the nature component of the concept, Garbe Immobilien-Projekte GmbH decided to integrate an interactive exhibition by the German Wildlife Foundation. Here, residents as well as visitors will gain an insight into the topics of nature and species conservation. "We have the opportunity to actively create our contribution to an environmentally friendly way of life. Therefore, it was important to us to provide insights into nature while being in an urban context. With the Roots, our vision becomes a mission. We want to give an impulse and show what is possible in project development. We want to lead the way with timber house development for the industry and in 10 years we will have managed together to ensure that this type of building is no longer a novelty," von Köppen summarises.

About the German Wildlife Foundation
The non-profit German Wildlife Foundation has been in existence for 25 years. With equity capital of almost €150 million (as of 31 December 2016), the German Wildlife Foundation is one of the most well-funded private environmental foundations in Germany.

Income from assets, donations and grants lead to an annual budget of 6 to 7 million €, which is used by the foundation's team of around 35 employees in Hamburg and Berlin for nature conservation and nature education projects.

The foundation organises its work in four pillars:

  • Protecting wild animals from extinction
  • Creating habitats
  • solving conflicts between wildlife and humans, and
  • getting people excited about nature and wildlife.

Its name says it all: the German Wildlife Foundation is committed to wildlife in Germany - from wild bees to lynx to the lesser spotted eagle. As a landowner and with its local species conservation projects, the German Wildlife Foundation is committed to nature conservation on the ground and in a very practical way. In addition, the German Wildlife Foundation relies on comprehensive educational and public relations work to get people excited about nature and its secrets.