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Facts & Figures

HafenCity Project

HafenCity development: facts and figures

HafenCity Hamburg is setting new standards – at least in Europe – in successful integrated urban development that takes local requirements and high expectations of urbanity and sustainability equally into consideration. On an area of 157 ha, a lively city is taking shape, a new downtown on the waterfront with a fine-grained blend of workplaces and residential uses, education, culture and leisure, tourism and retail facilities.

HafenCity is being developed from west to east and from north to south. In the meantime, HafenCity has become established as a popular place to live and work. (© HafenCity Hamburg GmbH)

Status: March 2020

Stages of development in HafenCity

  • 1997: Announcement of HafenCity project
  • 1999: Masterplan competition: winner KeesChristiaanse / ASTOC
  • 2000: Masterplan agreed by Senate2001: Above-ground construction begins (SAP, now KLU / MSH)
  • 2003: Completion of first building, building starts on first neighborhood (Am Sandtorkai / Dalmannkai)
  • 2005: First residents move in
  • 2009: Construction of first neighborhood completed
  • 2010: Revision of Masterplan for eastern HafenCity
  • 2012: U4 subway to HafenCity opens
  • 2014: Opening of HafenCity University (HCU) in HafenCity
  • 2017: Opening of Elbphilharmonie concert hall
  • 2017: Construction begins in southern Überseequartier
  • 2018: Elbbrücken subway station opens
  • 2019: Elbbrücken rapid transit station goes into service
  • 2020: Construction denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof documantation center begins
  • 2021/22: Construction of Elbtower begins
  • 2022: Opening of southern Überseequartier and new cruise ship terminal
  • 2025–2030: Projected completion of HafenCity (apart from a few buildings)

Basic data

  • Overall area: 157 ha of former port and industrial land
  • Land area: 127 ha
  • Expansion of Hamburg City area by 40% 
  • 10.5 km dockside promenade/3.1 km Elbe embankment
  • Proportion of public open spaces and publicly accessible private open spaces: 38%
  • approx. 7,500 homes (approx. 1,500–2,000 subsidized) for approx. 15,000 residents
  • approx. 5,000 students
  • Building density: 3.7–6.1 floor space index (FSI)
  • Residential density: 118/ha (land area)
  • Employee density: 354/ha (land area)
  • 77 projects completed; 63 projects under construction or planned
  • Investment volume: private investment – around € 10 billion; public investment – € 3 billion, mostly financed from special assets fund Stadt und Hafen sales of plots in HafenCity
  • General planning basis:
    – Masterplan 2000
    – Masterplan revision for eastern HafenCity 2010
  • Deals through sale of land or exclusive options have been closed on around 2.0 million m² GFA

Usage Pattern

Residential uses
(indicative data)

  • approx. 3,000 residential units completed
  • price spectrum:
    – subsidized living: € 6.60/m² (first tier subsidy) and € 8.70/m² (second tier)
    – housing cooperative rentals: € 9.50–14/m²
    – controlled price housing: € 11.50-14/m²
    – rental market: € 12–25/m²
    – privately owned homes:
        - from approx. € 3,500-4,500/m² (joint building ventures)
        - over € 4,500–6,500/m² (developer-managed concepts)
        - up to € 6,500–15,000/m² (luxury concepts)
  • Current number of residents: approx. 5,000 incl. refugees
  • increasing higher proportion of households with children
    (HafenCity: 24.2 %; Hamburg average: 17.8%)

Office and services uses

  • more than 930 companies to date including approx. 45 larger firms
  • creation of up to 45,000 jobs (of which 35,000 office jobs)
  • current jobs: approx. 15,000

Selected cultural institutions

  • Oberhafen (creative quarter in former railroad sheds, some in use, some being modernized)
  • International Maritime Museum Hamburg (private, opened 2008)
  • Prototyp automobile museum (private, opened 2008)
  • Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall (opened 2017)
  • denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof documentation center (permanent exhibiton on the deportations from 1940 to 1945, opens mid 2022)

Education facilities

  • HCU HafenCity University (since 2014)
  • KLU Kühne Logistics University (since 2010)
  • MSH Medical School Hamburg (since 2010)
  • International School of Management (branch; since 2010)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (branch; since 2011)
  • HafenCity school campus: educational establishment with four Gymnasium secondary streams and three community school streams incl. three-court sports hall, poss. added residential (Am Lohsepark building opens 2025/26; operations begin at Baakenhafen 2022)
  • Baakenhafen learning and family center: four-stream primary and children's day-care incl. sports hall, training pool, education services (opens 2022)
  • Katharinen school (primary; since 2009)
  • six children’s day-care centers operational (of which one temporary), five more under construction or planned (total more than 1,200 spaces)

Special projects
(not including cultural projects)

  • Traditional Ship Harbor in Sandtorhafen harbor basin: 5,800 sqm floating square on pontoons (since 2008)
  • Ecumenical Forum (since 2012)
  • Elbe Arcades (since 2013)
  • denk.mal Hanover railroad station (memorial with three elements in and at Lohsepark, step-by-step completion since 2016)
  • Lohsepark (since 2016)
  • 1.6 ha Baakenpark recreational island (completion 2018)
  • Überseequartier: highly integrated mixed-use quarter (retail, residential, hotel, entertainment, offices, cruise ship terminal, gastronomy), 400,000 m² GFA,6,100 jobs (completion 2022) Completed in the north,
    in the south completion 2022)
  • Community houses Grasbrookpark, Lohsepark (start of construction 2020) & Baakenpark (construction starts at a later date)
  • Elbtower: Hamburg's tallest permanently used building (approx. 245 m, 118,000 m² GFA, offices, hotel, audience-related uses, visitor platform at 220 m, entertainment; construction starts 2021/22)

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Head of Communications
Phone: +49 (0)40 37 47 26 - 14

André Stark
Press Relations Marketing
Tel. (040) 37 47 26 - 21

Henrike Thomsen
Press Relations Marketing Billebogen
Tel. (0)40 37 47 26-20

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Gruner + Jahr: London-based firm Caruso St John designs winning architectural scheme

London architects Caruso St John have won the competition to construct the new Gruner + Jahr publishing house headquarters on Am Lohsepark, HafenCity. The panel, made up of representatives from the city, architects, investor Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate, project developer HIH Real Estate and Gruner + Jahr, voted unanimously for the design, which features striking green-enameled ceramic struts and three partially covered interior courtyards

The judges praised the “high aesthetic standard” of the submission, characterized by “clean composure and high quality”. They added that the building design suggests a “restrained Hamburg Kontorhaus”, referring to a distinctive type of office building from the late 19th-century, of which several survive in Hamburg. The Caruso St John design also successfully meets Gruner + Jahr’s requirements for a building which is creative and innovative on the inside.

Julia Jäkel, Gruner + Jahr CEO: “The new G+J publishing house will be a building focused on on lasting elegance; a perfect example of business architecture that works without gestures of vanity. The building will be truly eye-catching from the outside, and an industrious workplace inside.”

The London-based practice won out over twelve internationally renowned offices in the engineering architecture competition run by investor Warburg-HIH. The competition awards four prizes, and the top-ranked winner is taken forward for construction.

Located in the Lohsepark area, the new building complex will play an important role in the development of the HafenCity location. An ensemble of buildings, encompassing a gross floor area of more than 75,000 m² is set to be created. It will comprise, in addition to the Gruner + Jahr headquarters, both office space and residential buildings. Public facilities such as restaurants and cultural exhibition areas on the ground floor, supplement the usage program. The plot is 15,200 m² in size and construction is scheduled to commence in 2019.

Caruso St John impressed the panel with a sustainably beautiful building design. A row of green-glazed ceramic struts soars over an open ground floor, gradually tapering towards the top. These elements are created by hand, and give the building an iridescent green appearance when viewed from the side. Approached from the front, it is open, bright and inviting. The interior space groups office and meeting areas around three courtyards, and can be flexibly divided or left open, enabling a huge range of use options. Employees can access gardens and outdoor spaces on the tiered roof areas, as well as enjoying views over Hamburg.

Berlin architects Baumschlager Eberle triumphed over six competitors in the residential category of the competition, run by investors Adlershorst Baugenossenschaft eG and HIH Real Estate. Their winning design has a meandering shape which impressed the panel with its balanced distribution of publicly funded and privately financed apartments. The northern part of the building, facing Gruner + Jahr, will house the publicly funded apartments and commercial areas, while the southern part of the building contains the owner-occupied apartments.

The competition entries from all 20 participating architectural offices, for both the commercial and residential categories, will be exhibited from October 6 to October 21 2018, at HafenCity InfoCenter im Kesselhaus, Am Sandtorkai 30, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm

Julia Jäkel, Gruner + Jahr CEO:
“We consider ourselves to be the most creative and most innovative publishing house. The way we work has changed – many new products and enterprises are taking shape across editorial departments, in constantly changing team structures. We need a building that can keep pace with our change, and which is a good fit for us – a building that is not modernistic and pretentious, but instead is of enduring elegance. The design submitted by Caruso St John is hugely successful in achieving this. We are very much looking forward to working with them.”

Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg,
Chairman of the Executive Board, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH:

“The design for Gruner + Jahr very effectively combines an almost timeless exterior aesthetic with innovative work solutions in the building’s interior. It will also serve to promote increased public use of the park. Together with the residential building, it constitutes a very special ensemble in the HafenCity.”

Franz-Josef Höing, Chief Construction Director, Ministry of Urban Development and Environment:
“The new building is yet another example of Gruner + Jahr’s desire to contribute to Hamburg’s architectural culture: it is flexible, yet to the point, elegant, yet open and accommodating. The building is extremely well-suited to Gruner + Jahr, and also fits very naturally into the fabric of the HafenCity. Moreover, its design, which was created by Baumschlager Eberle, will doubtless significantly enhance the Lohsepark area.”

Jens Nietner, HIH Real Estate Managing Director:
“Enabling people to live and work in attractive buildings is the most exciting task a project developer can be faced with. We are lucky enough to be able to make the Gruner + Jahr company headquarters and neighboring residential buildings a reality – two premium designs which will also integrate beautifully into the architectural landscape of HafenCity. We are making a home for one of the most important publishing houses in Europe. And it’s no less important for Hamburg that we, together with Adlershorst Baugenossenschaft, are creating almost 200 apartments – of which more than half will be publicly funded. For many people, this means affordable living right in the heart of the city.”

Uwe Wirries, Chairman of the Management Board of ADLERSHORST Baugenossenschaft eG:
“The intended development concept makes living space in HafenCity – one of Germany’s most sought-after locations – affordable for everyone. We are delighted to be able to make our contribution as a corporate residential company, and in future to offer our members the opportunity to live in this attractive location.”

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