Baakenhafen - Double Waterfronts for Homes, Leisure and Work

Baakenhafen neighborhood will be intensively used for housing and recreation. A range of different types of homes will be built in an urban cityscape. The area’s green "soul" will be an island for play and leisure

Photo shows a crane at the old port in Baakenhafen


Baakenhafen neighborhood will be characterized by intensive use for housing and recreation. Its 1,800 homes will enjoy two waterfronts on HafenCity’s largest harbor basin

Within a few years, one of the most urbane and high-quality neighborhoods of HafenCity will be sited here. The attractive residential area will also be an ideal center for leisure and sport.

Two-waterfront living

The entire site, which stretches out along more than 1km, will develop into a dense urban cityscape offering a total 1,800 homes in joint building ventures, building cooperatives and condominiums, as well as subsidized apartments. The area will feature five to seven-story buildings throughout, arranged in semi-open block structures with some smaller open variants. Although residential uses predominate, the aim is to encourage the typical HafenCity mix of uses.  A total of 4,600 job opportunities will be created in mixed-use buildings, on ground floors of residential buildings, as well as some smaller office buildings, recreational facilities and hotels.

At Baakenhöft, the western tip of the quarter, the Masterplan provides for a landmark building 70m high (85). The use for this conspicuous principal building will be decided as development proceeds.

A leisure island on the water

To exploit the neighborhood’s strong interplay with water optimally, a 1.5 hectare play and leisure island will be created in the harbor basin. Various indoor and outdoor sports facilities may be developed on Versmannstrasse, too, perhaps complemented by a family-oriented hotel. In addition to intense juxtapositions with water surfaces, the new Baakenhafen neighborhood will have generous green open spaces and promenades. Tree-lined Lohsepark, HafenCity’s “Central Park”, will be extended down to the River Elbe. Walkers will enjoy a landscaped promenade, 30m wide, in the south of the quarter; this will then connect to the recreational island of Entenwerder via a pedestrian and cyclists’ bridge east of the Elbbrücken bridges.

Eastern HafenCity will be well served with transport. Good road connections will however increase noise exposure in the north of the neighborhood, demanding intelligent technical and planning concepts for noise protection.

New Baakenhafen bridge ensures rapid development

Three new bridges running north-south will provide internal and external connections. The 130m Baakenhafen bridge, to be realized in 2012/13, will link the northern area of the neighborhood with its southern part. Since development of eastern HafenCity is proceeding from west to east, the bridge will guarantee connection of access roads to the area at an early stage so that construction works can begin from 2011. The first sites will be put out to tender in 2012.

Baakenhafen bridge will also provide an ideal link between the southern area and HafenCity University U4 subway stop, the schools close by and Überseequartier, the central shopping location. Medium term it could also be extended across the River Elbe to Kleiner Grasbrook (e.g. with limited traffic access). The Europe-wide interdisciplinary design competition at the end of 2010 was won by Wilkinson Eyre Architects (London) and the Happold firm of engineers (Berlin). Their design provides for an elegant steel bridge for motorized traffic as well as attractive areas for cyclists and pedestrians.

In August 2011 the urban planning competition was won by APB architects (Hamburg). The open space competition for the neighborhood, to be judged in 2012, followed on immediately. Then the neighborhood’s conception will be determined.