The HafenCity area from the air


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Creative and cultural quarter

Centrally located, a dynamic cultural and creative neighborhood is developing south of Oberhafen harbor, 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

In the coming years, a new, urban, creative nucleus will be created in the Oberhafen quarter as an extension of the city center, providing spaces and offerings to accommodate athletic and creative uses. Over the long term, up to 500 jobs in various cultural and creative industries can be created in the existing quarter in the western portion of the area, with a potential connection to the wholesale market area. Various areas for sports will be provided in the southeast.

The long barns, streets, and tracks from the 19th century can still be seen and give the quarter its very own old industrial charm. The first creative pioneers were already on site while the railway was still in use. The area’s actual transformation began in 2010 when the HafenCity master plan was revised following the decision to scrap initial plans to focus on industrial use in this area.

This marked the beginning of a long and comprehensive conversion process, which was jointly designed by the two codevelopers HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft mbH and, for some time now, in cooperation with an multi-institution municipal working group, Oberhafen e. V. and local actors. The land and buildings will thus remain the property of the city for the long term. As this quarter contains no new developments elevated for the purposes of flood protection, and the existing buildings at a historical level of approx. 5 m above sea level are used instead, steady, low rent prices can be guaranteed on a long-term basis. Sector clustering is deliberately avoided. Oberhafen is the creative home of a range of highly diverse concepts and offerings that will grow over time.

While renovation and expansion measures are kept to a minimum in the creative quarter, the appearance of open and public spaces will change significantly in the coming years. In an attractive waterfront location opposite the wholesale market, new leisure facilities and local meeting points will be created starting in 2019.

Behind the warehouses and the old railway maintenance building in the southeast, the quarter will get an entirely new look. A 90-m wide soccer field suitable for competitions and school sports areas including a 100-m track and field facility will be built. The facility will be used by the future school campus at Lohsepark, which includes a grammar school and district school, the two primary schools in HafenCity, and Hamburg sports clubs.

A flood-protected crossing with a bridge to the wholesale market and a railway embankment to the HafenCity University underground station will join the two parts of the quarter, opening up the creative and sports area to pedestrians and cyclists from the north and south.

Oberhafen also makes an important contribution to the sustainability of HafenCity. The enercity company generates 10 megawatts of thermal energy in the front section of Hall 4. Here, a small block-type thermal power station, which includes two boilers operated with natural gas (balance biomethane), a heat storage system, and a transformer station, feeds electricity into the local grid.

Neighborhood profile:

  • Size: 8.9 ha
  • Total GFA: 25,000 m² (existing)
  • Development period: Development based on pre-existing buildings with potential additional new buildings; detailed design within the framework of an intensive dialog process
  • Jobs: approx. 500
  • Commercial uses: Creative and culture industry, foodservices, energy supply Sports and changing areas

The plots with the warehouses will not be sold, and will instead remain the property of the city in the long-term.