Elbbrücken: A Metropolitan Business and Residential Neighborhood with a View

HafenCity’s sensational eastern threshold, on the waterside and close to lush Entenwerder island, will also make a very attractive residential neighborhood

In future the Elbtower will take its place as a matter of course as part of Hamburg’s urban landscape, forming a sculptural urban counterpart to the Elbphilharmonie. (© Signa/David Chipperfield)

Elbbrücken will serve as the second main urban center of HafenCity, after Überseequartier. This district will feature a high density of business and residential spaces, and will be characterized by its spectacular skyscrapers, three waterfronts, and large central square. This will be facilitated by an outstanding public transport connection with a newly connected U-Bahn station and S-Bahn station from December 2018.

In addition, transport users in the quarter will benefit from an innovative sustainable mobility concept which will encompass the entirety of Eastern HafenCity. The urban plan by Zurich-based Hosoya Schaefer Architects strikingly defines the eastern entry point to HafenCity and offers a solid basic structure for further development. Loidl, a Berlin-based studio, won the open space competition.

The Elbbrücken quarter will become a high-density business location for small and large companies with 11,000 jobs from 2018 onwards. About 1,400 apartments are planned in close proximity to the River Elbe, Baakenhafen, Billhafen, and the green island of Entenwerder. In order to maintain an acceptable noise level around the residential buildings, the east end of Baakenhafen was partially backfilled in spring 2016. This means that a double row of the new constructions can now be put in place, and higher external commercial constructions on the outside will be protect residential buildings on the inside that are facing the water.

The first properties tendered in the Elbbrücken quarter from April 2016 offer a great deal of space for advanced new work environments and a high degree of innovation. Plans include a healthcare prevention center, the headquarters for the photovoltaics company Enerparc, and ‘The Pier’, a high-tech smart building. A large international conference hotel will also be built in direct proximity to the Elbbrücken train station on the elevated segment.

In 2019, four more properties in the direct vicinity of the water were awarded for residential and
work concepts, as well as public uses on the ground floors. Furthermore, some more properties will soon be tendered for an interesting array of mixed-use office and residential projects.

For the first time in Hamburg’s history, an skyscraper will be built directly beside Elbbrücken, where it will serve as a new, southern gateway to the inner-city. The Elbtower, a powerful culmination to HafenCity, will act as a curtain-raiser for the entrée to inner-city Hamburg and the new, adjacent urban development zones. The powerful iconographic design by David Chipperfield Architects incorporates itself respectfully into the new Hanseatic skyline on the banks of the Elbe. Construction could get under way 2021, with opening in 2025 or 2026.

In future the Elbtower – privately built and financed by SIGNA Prime Selection AG – will take its place as a matter of course as part of Hamburg’s urban landscape, forming a sculptural urban counterpart to the Elbphilharmonie.