For information hover over number | Click on project number | Overview of overall plan
- Project 1: Am Sandtorkai 68
- Project 2: Ocean‘s End | Am Sandtorkai 66
- Project 3: H2O | Am Sandtorkai 64
- Project 4: Dock 4 | Am Sandtorkai 62
- Project 5: China Shipping | Am Sandtorkai 60
- Project 6: Harbour Cube | Am Sandtorkai 58
- Project 7: Am Sandtorkai 56
- Project 8: Am Sandtorkai 54
- Project 9: Am Kaiserkai 60-62
- Project 10: Am Kaiserkai 56
- Project 11: Am Kaiserkai 42 - 48
- Project 12: Am Kaiserkai 30
- Project 13: Am Kaiserkai 26 - 28
- Project 14: Am Kaiserkai 10 - 12
- Project 15: Am Kaiserkai 4 - 8
- Project 16: Am Kaiserkai 2/ Großer Grasbrook 10
- Project 17: Am Kaiserkai 1/ Großer Grasbrook 12
- Project 18: Am Kaiserkai 3 - 7
- Project 19: Dalmanncaree | Am Kaiserkai 9 - 19
- Project 20: Am Kaiserkai 23 - 33
- Project 21: Am Kaiserkai 35 - 45
- Project 22: Am Kaiserkai 47 - 57
- Project 23: Am Kaiserkai 59 - 69
- Project 24: Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall
Fine-grained and Alive: HafenCity's First Neighborhood
Am Sandtorkai/Dalmannkai in northwest HafenCity was the first quarter to be completed
The architecture reflects the variety of the neighborhood: on Dalmannkai alone, the 15 buildings were planned by 27 builder-developers and 26 architects' offices (© ELBE&FLUT)
Still in very good shape at 150 years old: the opening of Sandtorhafen, the city’s first artificially created harbor basin, on August 11, 1866, marked the beginning of the modern Port of Hamburg. However, break-bulk cargo belongs to yesteryear here and today a vibrant waterside neighborhood forms the centerpiece of HafenCity’s first completed quarter. Am Sandtorkai/Dalmannkai was finished in spring 2009, following six years of construction. Today, the adjacent pontoons of the Traditional Ship Harbor form a floating plaza providing moorings for up to 30 historic vessels and is used by residents, visitors and people working locally for relaxation or a stroll.
To the north of the harbor is Sandtorkai, bordering the listed Speicherstadt on its other side. To the south are Dalmannkai promontory and Grasbrookhafen harbor. The views from the eight buildings on Sandtorkai and the 15 buildings on Dalmannkai encompass the city center, as well as the River Elbe.
Open, multidimensional topography
The urban spaces mainly extend over two levels. All buildings and roads are built on artificially raised, flood-protected bases at around 8 m above sea level, but embankment promenades remain at 4–5.5 m above sea level. The difference in height is particularly noticeable to the north of Sandtorkai. There unusually, in consideration of the adjacent Speicherstadt, the road (Am Sandtorkai) lies at the low level of the Speicherstadt, and the newly built basement foundations on the other side resemble a wall.
And while the Traditional Ship Harbor’s pontoons effectively form a third level on the water, which rises and falls twice daily with the tide by more than 3 m, the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall plaza in November 2016 adds a fourth level: at a height of 37 m, this public spaces offers spectacular views of HafenCity and the Elbe. Incidentally: until its opening in January 2017, the Elbphilharmonie remains the only building in the neighborhood still under construction.
Right in front of it, the new Mahatma Gandhi bridge, opened in January 2016 and linking Sandtorkai and Am Kaiserkai, offers pedestrians a 5 m wide sidewalk. There is still plenty of width in the 8.5 m wide street area for vehicles to stop briefly to pick up or drop off concertgoers without holding up the traffic flow. At the same time the rebuilt bridge is a visible enhancement to the walkway running between Landungsbrücken and HafenCity.
Multidimensional typical topography continues on the Magellan and Marco Polo Terraces, the largest squares in the locality and in the whole of HafenCity: like an amphitheater, the 5,600 sqm of the Magellan Terraces descend in steps to the water. The 7,800 sqm Marco Polo Terraces with their grass islands and wooden decking invite passersby to take a break under the trees. Vasco da Gama Plaza, a smaller neighborhood square nearby, also offers a basketball court.
While almost all plazas and promenades throughout western HafenCity were planned by EMBT of Barcelona, landscaping of basements and promenades on Sandtorkai was designed by BHF Landschaftsarchitekten (Kiel). The architecture itself reflects the variety in the quarter: on Dalmannkai alone, the 15 buildings were realized by 27 developers and 26 firms of architects, to ensure adequate diversity.
A variety of lifestyles side by side
Lifestyles of residents are as disparate as the architecture: around 1,000 people live and work in the quarter. Young working singles and families live side by side with older couples or seniors whose children have left home. They take part in sport and cultural clubs and mix socially through associations such as HafenCity Netzwerk e.V. This socially differentiated structure is also the result of a call for expressions of interest procedure: as of 2003, sites for housing no longer go to the highest bidder. Instead the developer with the best use concept is given an exclusive option on the property at a previously agreed price. This means that many rental or owned apartments are affordable for mid-income earners, while some are in the luxury segment. Much more reasonably priced living accommodation was realized through building cooperatives and three joint building ventures. As well as the residents, employees of the approximately 50 businesses also influence the quarter’s atmosphere. Most are modern services businesses in the media and logistics sectors. Residents, office workers and visitors are continually in contact with each other in the shops, cafés, restaurants, galleries and bars occupying the almost 6,500 sqm of ground floor space distributed through most of the buildings.
It was in this neighborhood. Sandtorkai/Dalmannkai that a major project first succeeded in functionally integrating public amenities into ground floors on a larger scale. The condition in sale contracts and zoning plans requiring 5 m ceilings throughout ground floors of buildings here, the reduced prices for ground floor space and the developer’s obligation to seek corresponding users pave the way for a growing vitality that completion of the Elbphilharmonie will further. Thus the diversity of caterers and retailers that have already set up shop in the quarter, combined with the various services and cultural uses, offer plenty of choice.
Of course the principle of a dense mix of uses also presents challenges which demand innovative solutions. To safeguard areas of privacy for residents, building ensembles on southern Dalmannkai are grouped around internal courtyards opening toward the south, allowing unobstructed views of Grasbrookhafen harbor and the river, but which are difficult to see into from the lower-lying promenade. It is not incongruous that the private and public exist side by side in Am Sandtorpark/Dalmannkai – quite the contrary: their coexistence is a definite sign of quality, in this neighborhood and the whole of HafenCity.
- Area 10.9 hectares
Total GFA: 261,000 sqm
- Jobs and commercial uses
Jobs: approx. 2,700
Uses: corporate, offices, retail, catering
746 (excl. Elbphilharmonie)
- Special institutions
Traditional Ship Harbor
- Development timeframe
2003 to 2009