HafenCity Hamburg [DE]

In Hamburg, the former port area along the River Elbe is being transformed into a lively urban zone. Practical experience has demonstrated that traditional planning instruments are unsuitable tools for guiding restructuring projects on this scale. Masterplans are often overtaken by events within a short space of time, and the quality can no longer be controlled. This informed the decision to opt for a combination of fixed basic principles and operationally manageable rules. The design process involved testing how various combinations of these guiding principles and rules would react to different urban planning structures, programmes, densities and growth prognoses. The results provided a wealth of information for development of concrete spatial designs.

The result in 'HafenCity' is a metropolitan mix of living, culture, tourism, leisure and business and is set to become a lively urban waterfront district. In the space of 25 years, eight sub-districts will be developed from west to east. The area has been subdivided into zones which have been assigned specific qualities and limitations; by combining different functions in the sub-districts, urban communities are established that function 24 hours a day. This, in combination with a flexible set of rules, generates maximum freedom for the programmatic infill and the architectural design. At the same time, the preservation of the old port structure and the retention of visually defining elements provide an aesthetic cohesion in the area.

Since HafenCity is located in the flood zone of the Elbe, there is a need to develop an innovative concept for the integration of sustainability and resilient city planning. The urban plan, that was developed in cooperation with ASTOC starting in 2001, concepts for flood prevention have been integrated right from the start. The multidisciplinary approach translates intelligent interventions and technological solution into a comprehensive holistic approach. Instead of a sum of single silver bullet solutions, the masterplan facilitates cross-fertilization between infrastructure and mobility, climate resilient and sustainable planning, flood prevention, identity, ecology and biodiversity.

Client Hafencity Hamburg GmbH (former: GHS - Gesellschaft für Hafen und Standortentwicklung mbH); Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Department for Urban Development and Environment
Program 165 ha masterplan with 2.000.000 m2  for  5.800 residences and 45.000 workspaces, culture, leisure, restaurants, retail, parks, squares and promenades
Time 2000 - present
Role KCAP/ASTOC Masterplanner and supervisor
Awards TOD Standard Gold (2014), ULI Global Awards for Excellence (2013)