Living, Leisure and Work with Double Waterfronts
Baakenhafen, HafenCity’s largest harbor basin, will boast a dense blend of residential and leisure uses, open-air spaces and workplaces
Over the next few years, a dense urban cityscape will grow up on the site – more than one kilometer in length – offering a range of housing and leisure opportunities, as well as commercial uses (© ELBE&FLUT) Start slideshow
Wide-ranging leisure facilities in green open spaces, jobs in small and medium structures, but above all homes in all forms – those are the essential features of Baakenhafen neighborhood. In 2014 work will begin on construction of the first buildings. A new HafenCity neighborhood will be in place by 2020, apart from a few projects to the northeast.
Living by the water
In the space of just a few years, an urban residential and leisure quarter will develop around Baakenhafen, offering 1,800 apartments, of which at least one third will be publicly subsidized, as well as many others in a mid-price segment and some 2,500 jobs (excluding Baakenhöft). Also on offer will be a variety of sports and leisure facilities, shopping, restaurants, hotels, a primary school and generously planted open spaces and promenades.
The craning in of Baakenhafen bridge in June 2013 marks a big step forward in development of the neighborhood. Designed by the London firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Berlin’s Ingenieur Büro Happold, the 170m link is much more than a local bridge. It opens the way for infrastructural development of eastern HafenCity and, for the time being, during the reconstruction of Versmannstrasse and work on extending the U4 subway, channels traffic to and from the south of Hamburg. In addition to the up to three carriageways foreseen for motorized traffic, cyclists can cross the bridge safely and comfortably on both sides of the road. Sidewalks run, protected from traffic, outside the main bridge supports with viewing niches giving sweeping views of the River Elbe and HafenCity. The central segment of the bridge is removable using the power of the tide, which will allow one of Hamburg’s larger historic ships, for example, to continue to reach Baakenhafen harbor.
The first option on a building plot in Baakenhafen was granted in 2012. A family city hotel with 220 rooms and a range of recreational options is to be opened in 2015 by the Austrian JUFA group and DS-Bauconcept of Hamburg on plot 81a/b in the northwest of the neighborhood. There will also be publicly subsidized and privately financed homes. Planning for the project was by KBNK Architekten, PFP Architekten (both of Hamburg) and Baumschlager & Eberle (Berlin).
In summer 2013, the neighboring plot (80), located at the entrance to Baakenhafen harbor and enjoying immediate views of the Elbe, was put under option. Construction plans foresee a 15-story office tower, a seven-story adjoining office building, a seven-story residential building with around 60 apartments, as well as public amenities and commercial space in ground floors.
The second two bid packages focusing on development and purchase of residential construction were offered in the second half of 2013. Five to six buildings containing a total of around 720 apartments are to be built in central Baakenhafen on plots 89, 90 & 95, and 91, 92, 93 & 94a.
However, the site on the harbor’s western tip, known as Baakenhöft, will not be built upon for the next ten years, and instead used as a location for public events. The area, with its open spaces, 8,000 sqm warehouse and new ship’s berths, offers a wide variety of opportunities for leisure and cultural uses which will help to promote the urban development of the whole of Baakenhafen. In the long term, the Masterplan provides for a very outstanding use for this situation, similar to that of Ericusspitze with the Spiegel building. So far the details about this prominent site have still to be finalized. A decision could be postponed for ten or more years.
Sheltered courtyards on the elbe
The urban planning competition for Baakenhafen neighborhood was decided in August 2011, with the winner APB Architekten (Hamburg). The moderate staggering in height between the planned buildings made this the winning design. It has since been refined and compressed into a function plan. All the buildings will be four to seven stories high, with the uniformity of block structure façades broken up, with some smaller more open variations. On the Elbe side of the southern subsection of Baakenhafen, a built structure consisting of spacious courtyards staopening towards the river, will form an incisive perimeter to the city.
The rhythmic block structure of the northern plots between the harbor and Versmannstrasse, with differently used buildings, guarantees a high degree of protection against noise from Versmannstrasse and the railroad: on the street side the buildings form a solid block, but open out at the back towards Baakenhafen harbor. Thanks to this planning concept, the courtyards facing the water are just as well sheltered from noise as the street-side residential areas, which will all have a noise-protected side and will therefore not include any small apartments.