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HafenCity Hamburg: Start for first major building in Elbbrücken Quarter

The groundwork is laid for the first building construction project in HafenCity’s easternmost district. Two of Germany’s biggest employers’ liability insurance associations, BGW and VBG, are planning a shared prevention center on a pivotal plot sited next to the Elbe Promenade, the subway stop under construction and the planned rapid transit station

Elbbrücken neighborhood will become HafenCity’s second urban center after Überseequartier.

Elbbrücken neighborhood will become HafenCity’s second urban center after Überseequartier. (© Multivision)

The insurers aim to use it to train multipliers and occupational health and safety staff from companies as well as for individual counselling. About 30,000 seminar participants and visitors to exhibitions and events are expected to use the building each year. HafenCity gave the two insurance associations an exclusive option to develop the site in May 2016, and the architectural competition is already under way. Construction is expected to start mid-2018. Among the preconditions is the approval of the supervisory boards of both employers’ liability insurance associations.

At their location in HafenCity, the two Hamburg-based employers’ liability insurance associations BGW and VBG will be breaking new ground. Contemporary and future-oriented preventive programs are planned to address social and economic change such as the increased use of technology and growing flexibility in the working environment. Their chief focus will be promoting a culture of risk prevention in the companies and improving the health literacy of the insured individuals. In addition, around 180 BGW and VBG staff will move into their offices at the new location. The prevention center is scheduled to open early 2021.

“As well as the tried and tested seminar program offered at other locations, the prevention center will be promoting new, specific qualification formats plus exhibitions, practical scenarios and events covering a range of current work and health and safety topics,” says Professor Stephan Brandenburg, Chief Executive of the BGW (employers’ liability insurance association for health and welfare occupations). “Parts of the prevention center will be open not only to those insured by both associations but also to members of the general public, and so the center’s reach will extend throughout the neighborhood and beyond. We are delighted that such a prominent location in the growing setting of HafenCity will be providing optimum working and learning conditions.”

The innovative character of the shared prevention center is designed to be reflected in the new building itself. “What we are creating is a future-oriented building for safety at work, accident prevention and health where barrier-free and inclusive principles will not be taught in theory only but will be implemented and lived out in practice,” says Thorsten Döcke, Management Board Member of VBG (employers’ liability insurance association for the administrative sector).

Thus the new prevention center is also a kick-off project generating great impetus for the whole of the Elbbrücken Quarter, with 560,000 m² gross floor area both the easternmost and the largest of HafenCity’s neighborhoods.

“With this highly sophisticated building development, both in terms of its concept and of its construction, we have succeeded in getting Elbbrücken Quarter off to an outstanding start. The fact that this key site next to the Elbe bridging point is being developed at an early stage means that, in its last phase of construction, HafenCity is for the first time developing from east to west rather than west to east,” says Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH.

Elbbrücken neighborhood will become HafenCity’s second urban center after Überseequartier: a densely built business and residential location by the waterside. Close to the city center and excellently integrated into the public transport system from December 2018 with subway and rapid transit stops, an attractive business location will grow up here, an address for major companies as well as smaller, growing businesses. In the course of development sorely needed larger contiguous office space will come on the market – in the center of Hamburg – meeting sustainable HafenCity building standards. Around 60 percent of the area is planned for office use and some 15 percent for restaurants, bars and special uses – a potential 13,000 jobs in addition to over 1,100 homes in the noise-shielded parts of the neighborhood.

With its close proximity to the River Elbe, to Baakenhafen and Billhafen harbor basins, as well as to verdant Entenwerder island, Elbbrücken neighborhood also has great potential as a residential area with plans for about 1,100 homes – provided solutions are found to reduce noise emissions. As is usual throughout HafenCity, ground floors will accommodate public amenities – shops, restaurants and cafés, social services and cultural institutions.

In Elbbrücken Quarter Hamburg is growing upwards: At the eastern point of the quarter, right next to the Elbbrücken bridges, two to three tower blocks are planned, forming a new southern entrance to Hamburg. Uses under consideration are offices, hotels, retail and possibly residential if suitable noise protection solutions can be developed.

Mobile and flexible without a car of one’s own: The sustainability concept for Elbbrücken Quarter includes a car-sharing system, overlapping neighborhood boundaries and located in underground garages, that will make ownership of private cars increasingly dispensable for many residents. In the medium and long term, a higher proportion of electric vehicles is envisaged.

Planning of the neighborhood is already substantially complete. The urban planning competition for the quarter was concluded September 2015, with seven internationally renowned architectural firms participating. First prize went to Hosoya Schaefer Architects of Zurich, Switzerland, whose design gives the eastern entry to HafenCity clear definition and provides a robust foundation for further development. A competition is currently running to determine the design of open spaces. As well as ensuring that the quarter’s many maritime spots for leisure and encounter are accessible on foot, the task in hand also comprises an ambitious landscaping concept for its central Amerigo Vespucci Square, to be completed 2018. The competition will be decided November 2016.

Further developers will not be slow to follow: site offers and options for the next projects are due in the coming months.


Press contacts:
Susanne Bühler, Head of Press and Public Relations, Press Spokesperson
HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Tel: +49 (0)40 37 47 26 14

BGW (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege)
Torsten Beckel and Sandra Bieler, Communication
Pappelallee 33/35/37, 22089 Hamburg
Tel: +49 (0)40 202 07 - 27 14, Fax: +49 (0)40 202 07 - 27 96

VBG (Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft)
Daniela Dalhoff and Julia Schambeck, Public Relations
Deelbögenkamp 4
22297 Hamburg
Tel: +49 (0)40 51 46 - 25 25, Fax: +49 (0)40 51 46 - 22 55

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