Oberhafen – the Creative and Cultural Quarter
Centrally located to the south of Oberhafen harbor basin, a dynamic cultural and creative neighborhood will develop, bringing fresh potential for Hamburg
The centrally located Oberhafen neighborhood is well connected to the rest of HafenCity. Later it will also encompass the Central Wholesale Market site to the east and its creative influence will spill over into the central neighborhoods of HafenCity, Rotenburgsort, City Süd and the "museum mile" (© ELBE&FLUT) Start slideshow
Although the area is still designated for railroad use and the buildings will continue to be used by forwarding companies until at least 2014, various spaces that had become vacant have already been let to tenants in the creative industry. In future the whole of Oberhafen neighborhood is destined to become a creative and cultural nucleus, well connected to the rest of HafenCity but also to Rothenburgsort, new cultural activities in City Süd, and Hamburg’s “museum mile”.
To do this, the conventional HafenCity development process has been turned on its head. Instead of a new urban concept, the point of departure for development here is to find new uses for existing buildings; a step by step transformation. The plots will not be sold, but remain the permanent property of the Special Fund for City and Port (HafenCity Hamburg GmbH), so that Hamburg’s interests shape development .
Oppurtunities for culture and creative industries
Today, long warehouses and multi-story frontage buildings are the main features of Oberhafen neighborhood. Converting these buildings – most of which are fully leased and largely used by the railroad – will lend them a very public character. Nevertheless, new change of use permits and considerable modernization will be needed, as well as flood-protection for individual buildings. Residential uses, if at all, owing to the risk of flooding, would only be possible in new-builds integrated into flood protection measures.
In the medium term, new-builds could complement the existing buildings. Private or cooperative investment could be possible if new buildings are used for cultural and creative purposes and, like older buildings, sublet at affordable rents. The quarter’s mix of old and new could create around 500 jobs in various cultural/creative industry branches. On this basis, a lasting creative scene in Oberhafen should evolve that could spill over later into the Central Wholesale Market site to the east.
Because of the initial complexity of local conditions, expressions of interest were invited at the beginning of 2012 to find a use concept for a newly vacant 600 sqm site that could help in the initial phase to establish and brand the new culture and creative industry location. From the 15 concept proposals submitted, an interdisciplinary jury selected Hanseatic Materialverwaltung. The concept is to supply Hamburg cultural institutions, state schools, universities, societies as well as involved citizens with equipment and scenery for social, ecological or creative projects. Five other concepts submitted were recommended to be followed up for medium-term implementation on other sites in the quarter.
The various development concepts for the neighborhood will be worked out through an intense dialog process, based on a longer development timeframe of up to ten years. Throughout the development phase, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH will be cooperating closely with Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft GmbH. At the same time, energetic exchanges of ideas are taking place with creative enterprises and many other creative and interested individuals. A kick-off symposium at the end of March 2011 generated the first impetus. This will be followed by other events and discussions. In 2013 the initiation of an expression of interest process for new users will bring the implementation phase closer.
Sports facilities on the waterfront
Although creative and cultural uses will be an important focus in Oberhafen, unbuilt areas in the neighborhood also offer opportunities for a range of sport and leisure activities. Extensive facilities for all kinds of sports will be developed by the water on the site of former rail tracks from 2014/15, including a soccer ground. The facilities will serve children and youngsters from inner city areas and HafenCity in particular and can also be used by sports clubs. The gymnasium and the two HafenCity primary schools will also be able to make use of these fields for school sport.
- Area: 8.9 hectares
Total GFA: 25,000 sqm (existing)
- Jobs and commercial uses
Jobs: approx. 500
Uses: creative and culture business,
- Special institutions
Sports facilities in the east
- Development timeframe
Development centering on existing
buildings and perhaps additional
new-buildings, detailed concept
thru intensive dialog to 2015