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 

Aerial photo shows the area of Am Lohsepark and Elbtorquartier quarter

Aerial photograph of the site today: the area of the future Lohsepark is still being used by a logistics company and for infrastructure building works (© ELBE&FLUT) Start slideshow

Am Lohsepark is an attractive urban space emerging in central HafenCity – at its heart its green core, Lohsepark. 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 railroad swing bridge built in 1870. 

Family homes on the park

The residential theme is taking on increasingly concrete form here at Lohsepark. At the end of 2015, the first of three buildings, each comprising around 20,000 gross floor area (GFA), on the park between Steinschanze in the north, Überseeallee in the south, and Shanghaiallee in the west, 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 (70) 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, in which 19 people with disabilities and ten students live under one roof in seven shared apartments. On the ground floor on Shanghaiallee, Germany’s youngest three-star chef Kevin Fehling runs his top restaurant “The Table”.  Almost next door are the facilities of pme Familienservice GmbH. 

Meanwhile, construction of the building on the southern adjacent plot (71) is nearing completion. Members of the 70-party joint building venture 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, should be ready for occupancy by the end of 2017. The building complex is made up of privately owned apartments, subsidized rental homes, with commercial ground-floor uses and a kindergarten. 

Since summer 2016 building has been under way on the adjoining corner site to the south, which is being developed by a consortium of ECE, Harmonia Immobilien GmbH and the Hamburg student union into a mix of uses. The project covers around 21,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA), consisting of a Holiday Inn hotel with 265 rooms, 125 publicly subsidized student apartments, and 45 privately financed homes. The residential elements are designed by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten (Brunswick); the hotel element was conceived by Kister Scheithauer Gross Architekten und Stadtplaner (Cologne). Completion is due in fall 2017. 

East of the park, three adjoining plots (74-76), comprising around 15,200 sqm, will be used by Gruner + Jahr from 2021. From 2019, the publishing house will erect a newbuild for its around 2,000 employees, with a builder still to be designated. The accommodation will provide a total 66,000 sqm GFA, of which at least 36,000 sqm will be for Gruner + Jahr. Another 6,000 sqm GFA is available for additional office space. Apartments, half of which will be publicly subsidized, will occupy 17,000 sqm GFA. The ground floor also provides for another 2,000 to 3,000 sqm GFA for cultural uses, which will serve as exhibition space. As Gruner + Jahr is not developing the plot itself, but will have a leasing contract running 12 years until at least 2033, the media group will launch a competition in the first half of 2017 to find investors. The next stage will be to define the architecture for the building ensemble of 13 to 15 stories.

To the south of Gruner + Jahr, HafenCity’s central school complex consisting of a high school (gymnasium) and neighborhood school (77) will be built by 2021. The area, which is conveniently situated between the park, railroad tracks and subway station, will also comprise a three-field sports hall. A railroad underpass will probably be in place by 2019, giving direct access to Oberhafen quarter. That is also the future location of another soccer pitch and more school sports facilities from 2018/19. Until then, the popular HafenCity kick-around soccer pitch on the Gruner + Jahr plot will remain in service. Another temporary feature is the kindergarten opened in December 2016 for two years between the school and Gruner  + Jahr sites. It took just six weeks for the two-story, 850 sqm premises to be transformed into a large, mixed integrational project for 120 German and migrant children. 

The site of the former customs office (66), one of the few not owned by Hamburg’s special fund for port and city assets, offers around 9,000 sqm GFA. In addition, more residential units are planned to round off the block containing the Prototyp automobile museum.

HafenCity’s largest park

Lohsepark itself has been completely finished since July 2016. 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. 

Park centered on memorial

An essential part of the park is the denk.mal Hanover Railroad Station, a memorial which in many ways is an impressive reminder of the history of Hamburg deportations. 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 the first element to be made accessible in July 2016. On May 10, 2017, the central historic place of remembrance, the listed remains of an old station platform immediately to the east of the park, is to be inaugurated. The names of the at least 8,071 Jews, Sinti and Roma deported from here are displayed on panels. 

Finally, bids are currently being evaluated to find an investor for the plot (68/69) immediately to the west of the park. A documentation center for denk.mal Hanover Railroad Station will be sited on the ground floor of the planned building, with a direct visual connection to the historic memorial itself.  The exhibition to be shown there, “Sent to their deaths”, is based on the temporary documentary exhibit part of which has been on show in the Hanover Railroad Station Info-Pavilion since September 2013. 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 documentation center, a seven-story building providing some 6,600 sqm GFA, including the exhibition and events area. 

Businesses complete the urban picture 

On the corner of Shanghaiallee/Koreastrasse, the Hamburg oil company Marquard & Bahls moved into its new corporate headquarters (65) in late summer 2016. Offering around 18,000 sqm GFA, the building 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.

With the completion of structural alteration works to Shanghaiallee in fall 2016, the street ,with its broad sidewalks and comparatively busy through-traffic volume, already has an attractive urban buzz. 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 and large residential blocks on Lohsepark approaching completion. Over the coming months and years, as additional buildings are developed, more shops and other public amenities will open on ground floors, adding to the area’s urban character.

Neighborhood profile

  • Area
    12.5 ha
    Total GFA: 240,000 sqm
  • Jobs
    c. 4.700
  • Commercial uses
    Office, service, hotel, catering, retail
  • Homes
  • Special institutions
    denk.mal Hanover Railroad Station documentation center,
    Prototyp automobile museum, HafenCity school campus comprising two secondary schools and kindergartens 
  • Development timeframe
    2012 to 2021