Central green urban district with a history
An historic industrial and railroad site is home to a family residential neighborhood clustered around HafenCity’s largest green space
Am Lohsepark is an attractive urban space emerging in the middle of HafenCity with the park as its green heart. Since all of the buildings adjoin the green space to the west and east, this continues Hamburg’s town planning tradition of planting large parks amid residential and working neighborhoods. Development of the neighborhood started from the Hildebrandtblock, a partially listed red-brick ensemble between Lohseplatz and Shanghaiallee, whose residents include the Prototyp private collection of automobiles.
This beautifully renovated architectural gem was once the corporate headquarters of Harburger Gummi-Kamm-Compagnie, a pioneer of Hamburg industrialization. The look of this quarter will be dominated by closed blocks of five to seven-story buildings grouped around the park. Since June 2014 it has been directly connected to Brooktorhafen in the north by the newly renovated Ericus bridge – a former railroad swing bridge built in 1870.
Family homes on the park
At the end of 2015, the first of three buildings on the park, each comprising around 20,000 m² GFA, was completed. The three form part of an urban area consisting of nearly 500 apartments (for rental, publicly subsidized, building venture and privately owned), as well as student accommodation and a hotel. In the mixed-use building complex are offices, health services and commercial space as well as social services, kindergartens and altogether 159 housing units, some of which are publicly subsidized. Among these is the first inclusive household community in HafenCity, where 19 people with disabilities and ten students live together in seven residential groups under the aegis of the association “Leben mit Behinderung”. On the ground floor on Shanghaiallee, Germany’s youngest three-star chef Kevin Fehling runs his top restaurant “The Table” right next door to the facilities of pme Familienservice. Meanwhile, construction of the residential building on the southern adjacent plot is making good progress.
After members of the 70-party joint building venture (Dock 71) managed by Stattbau Hamburg and Conplan moved into the completed northern section of the building in summer 2016, the southern section, for which Behrendt Wohneigentum, Altona Spar und Bauverein and building cooperative Hamburger Wohnen are responsible, was completed in 2017. The building complex is made up of privately owned apartments, subsidized rental homes, with commercial ground-floor uses and a kindergarten. Special features of the project include the roofscape with terraces, gazebos, greenhouses and viewpoints, as well as the courtyard used as a green recreation and meeting space. On the adjoining site to the south, between Lohsepark and HCU, a consortium of ECE, Harmonia Immobilien GmbH and the Hamburg student union has completed a mixed-use project comprising a hotel with 265 rooms, 125 publicly subsidized student apartments, and 45 privately financed high-quality homes.
Central school location
On the southern side of the seam of the denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof, Campus HafenCity is planned. It combines a gymnasium high school and a district school under one roof, making it one of Hamburg’s largest general public schools. The development plan has not yet been finalized following criticism of the site by an initiative, and the architectural competition has not yet been held. The decision on its future is planned for 2021.
In order to offer a secondary school in HafenCity in advance, Campus HafenCity will start in August 2021 in a temporary school container village on Versmannstrasse with one fifth grade for each type of school. In January 2022, it will move into the primary school building currently under construction at Baakenhafen – until the building at Lohsepark is completed.
Lohsepark itself has been completely finished since July 2016. During a big summer festival, around 20,000 visitors celebrated the opening of the green space together with the Mayor of Hamburg. The open space concept developed by Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten AG (Zurich) is based on the Masterplan for urban development and continues the tradition of the Hamburger Volkspark.
Its overall area of 4.4 ha makes Lohsepark the largest contiguous green space in HafenCity, performing wide-ranging urban, social and ecological functions. Framed by an unbroken visual axis from Ericusspitze to Baakenhafen, the park extends 550 m in length; a 100 m wide green ribbon running from water’s edge to water’s edge. The extensive lawn areas, planted with more than 500 trees, are crisscrossed by paths and dotted with inviting seating and play areas. The planned community and play building for the southern section will also house a café and public barrier-free washrooms. Long park benches and movable chairs create peace and quiet and space to spend time. On the long sides, terraces known as bastions connect the park to the street, providing a barrier-free transition between the green space and the surrounding urban neighborhoods, while at the same time mediating between built structures and open space.
An essential part of the park is the three-part “denk.mal Hanover Railroad Station”, a memorial to the history of Hamburg deportations, whose central historic place of remembrance is the listed remains of platform 2 immediately to the east of the park. From here at least 7,692 Jews, Sinti and Roma were deported between 1940 and 1945.
The so-called “seam”, tracing the path of the historic rail tracks from the former station forecourt on today’s Lohseplatz right across the park to the platform remains, was opened in July 2016 together with the park. On the west side of the park a documentation center with a permanent exhibition on the fate of the deported citizens from north Germany and Hamburg is being built, with a direct visual connection to the historic memorial and The exhibition to be shown there is based on the temporary documentary exhibit “Sent to their deaths” conceived by Dr Linda Apel.
The exhibition will be revised and expanded for its new, permanent premises under the management of Neuengamme Concentration Camp. Wandel Lorch Architekten (Frankfurt/Saarbrücken) designed the new seven-story building which will provide some 6,100 m² GFA and 700 m² for the ground-floor exhibition and events area.
Mix of uses
In addition to a lively residential mix and the green spaces, companies will also contribute to the life of the neighborhood – as is customary in mixed-use HafenCity. On the corner of Shanghaiallee/Koreastrasse, the Hamburg oil company Marquard & Bahls moved into its new corporate headquarters in 2016. The building’s 18,000 m² GFA has space for around 700 workplaces. Retailers and catering uses occupy the ground floor.
As well as its unusual three-story urban balcony along Brooktorhafen embankment, retailers and eateries on the ground floor give the building a special open character. Another unusual feature of the building designed by Gewers & Pudewill (Berlin) is the exterior elevator, which can carry up to 20 people direct to a boat on Brooktorhafen dock.
Businesses complete the urban picture
As further employers move here, an attractive working environment with companies of various sizes is developing alongisde Brooktorhafen, profiting from the direct vicinity of the surrounding neighborhoods with companies such as Gebr. Heinemann, the Spiegel publishing house or DNV Germanischer Lloyd. With the successful completion of structural alteration works in fall 2016, Shanghaiallee, with its broad sidewalks and comparatively busy through-traffic volume, increasingly has the attractive urban buzz of a commercial and residential street.
It was built at an early stage of HafenCity’s development as a flood-secure axis running through the center from the Speicherstadt in the north to HafenCity University on Überseeallee in the south. The big-city boulevard feel is underlined by the finished buildings on the other side in Elbtorquartier – NIDUS, Ecumenical Forum and Musicians’ House – as well as the Prototyp automobile museum andlarge residential blocks on Lohsepark, now mostly inhabited approaching completion. Over the coming years, as additional buildings are developed, more shops and other public amenities will open on ground floors, adding to the area’s urban character.