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PATRIZIA Projektentwicklung GmbH Opens The Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg
in Historic Converted Water Tower Built in 1910

June 11, 2007 - The moment has finally arrived: The new Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg in the converted water tower in the Sternschanzen Park is now ready to open its doors. For over two and a half years the industrial landmark, built in 1910, has been comprehensively renovated and upgraded. With its unique atmosphere the 4-star plus hotel with 226 modern rooms is a delight, offering both business and leisure travellers the ideal setting for a personalised stay in one of Europe’s flourishing metropolitan cities. 

The Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg is ideally located in the green surroundings of the Sternschanzen Park yet in the heart of the city’s vibrant districts. Hamburg Messe, the city’s trade fair ground, is only a few minutes walk away. The Sternschanze rapid transport and underground train station is virtually on the doorstep, with a journey time to the city centre of only five minutes.

"This unique hotel certainly adds to the quality of Hamburg’s hotel industry," confirms Annette Hammer, the Hotel’s General Manager. "We are delighted to welcome our first guests and to offer them genuine Swiss hospitality."

"We are very pleased that this exceptional historical building has been given a new lease of life and been preserved for the good of the city of Hamburg," says Jürgen Kolper, Managing Director of PATRIZIA Projektentwicklung GmbH. "We were meticulous about observing the stipulations set out by the city authorities, namely not to impair the public’s access to and from the Sternschanzen Park and to preserve the historical details." 

The history of the water tower:a centennial landmark on the Schanze

From the mid-19th century onwards a total of 43 water towers were built in Hamburg. Very few are still in operation today. A number of decommissioned water towers such as the one on Sternschanze have been successfully preserved and put to a new use.

It was during the mid-19th century that larger towns and cities in Germany began building central waterworks. Technically water towers were the simplest way of ensuring an adequate mains water pressure in large urban areas. In cities, the towers were often given an appealing architectural design as they were considered a sign of progress and symbolised the cities’ pride. By the middle of the 20th century new electric water pumps had made the construction of additional water towers redundant.

The Sternschanze has been located on the site where the water tower stands today since the Thirty Years’ War, when it was a star-shaped hillside fortification at the gates of the city; in fact the Schanzen district takes its name from it. The fortification was razed to the ground in the early 19th century, and the Schanzenpark was laid out as of 1863. A brick vault was built up on the hill in the Park as a reservoir for the water supply in the surrounding area.

The present-day water tower was built to meet the demand for a steady water supply for all the new buildings erected in the surrounding area, many of which were constructed to a much greater height. The architecture tender called for simple yet representative structures in red brickwork. No fewer than 135 drafts were submitted for the Sternschanze tower alone. The architect Wilhelm Schwarz from Hamburg was awarded the tender in 1907. The water tower was built into the old reservoir and completed in 1910.

The two stacked water reservoirs inside the tower had a water capacity of 2,300 cubic metres. At the time the tent-shaped roof was covered with copper. The art historian Hermann Hipp described the overall impression made by the building as “grounded, north German and sturdily fortified”.

Originally the tower was also designed as a viewing platform. It is unclear however how long visitors were able to enjoy the “incomparably beautiful vistas” (Hamburger Nachrichten) to be gained from the tower. The viewing platform was accessed via the exterior stairway with its 181 steps. In the Second World War parts of the roof were destroyed by bombs. The tower went back into operation as early as 1945; however by 1956 it had become superfluous as a water supply, and it was finally decommissioned in 1961, after which it slowly began to decay. The conversion of the old water tower into a hotel has now brought it back to life again.

Source: Jens U. Schmidt, Wassertürme in Hamburg

From the entrance on the Sternschanze street, hotel guests access the reception and lobby of the 60 m high listed building using a 25 m long escalator. Once in the lobby, they are able to marvel at the exciting architectural interplay between contemporary design and historical red-brick cross-vaulting of the former water tower. The "Cave" lifestyle bar with its spacious lounge, and the wellness and fitness area with sauna and power showers are also located on the lower floor. The 226 modern rooms are spread over 17 floors, and include eight Junior Suites and two Tower Suites, with fascinating views of the city. On the allergy-friendly floor two rooms have also been specially furnished and equipped to cater for the needs of guests with disabilities.

To the south of the water tower, a modern two-storey glass building has been added. It hosts the main restaurant for up to 145 persons offering trademark Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts culinary specialities as well as the ever-popular Mövenpick breakfast buffet. Guests can also relax on the terrace overlooking the Sternschanzen Park. A modular banquet room for up to 180 persons is at guests’ disposal on the upper floor. The amenities are rounded off with conference and meeting rooms, the majority benefiting from natural daylight and all equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as a business centre.

"The Mövenpick Hotel Berlin, which is also integrated inside a historical building, has established itself outstandingly well in Berlin, and we are convinced we shall enjoy similar success on the Hamburg market with this highly distinctive hotel," explains Stefan Flury, Senior Vice President Europe Mövenpick Hotels & Resort. "The fact that we are now also represented in the metropolitan city of Hamburg is an important step for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts."

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R), a premium hotel management company with over 12,000 employees, is represented in 25 countries with over 80 hotels existing or under construction and focuses on its core markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The international hotel group with Swiss roots is forging ahead with its expansion and aims to extend its portfolio to include 100 hotels by 2010. MH&R has an established presence in the 4 and 5-star segment with two types of accommodation: business and conference hotels and holiday resorts. In keeping with its slogan "True Excellence in Swiss Hospitality", the hotel chain is a byword for the uncompromising quality of its products and services. The hotel group is owned by the Mövenpick Holding (66.7 %) as well as the Kingdom Group (33.3 %).


Alain Gozzer
Public Relations Manager
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Management AG
Flughofstrasse 61 
8152 Glattbrugg, Switzerland
Phone +41 44 828 41 44


Also See: Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg / How We Built The Most Famous Hotels / Andreas Augustin / September 2006
Annette Hammer Appointed General Manager of the Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg / September 2006



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