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.

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).

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