The Hopfenmarkt is being redesigned

The Hopfenmarkt is being redesigned: The square to the west of the St. Nikolai memorial is to become an attractive open space with a high quality of life. A so-called archaeological window is also to be created there: the structure is intended to bring to life the rampart of the medieval New Castle from the year 1021, which was found there during excavations. An overall design that integrates all these elements is now being sought in an urban and open space planning competition. The result is expected in late summer 2022.


Hopfenmarkt © moka-studio

Information about all the points and details to be included in the planning was provided at a digital event on November 23, 2021. Inputs on the ideas of the redesign and the requirements for the competition designs were given at the info event by Chief Building Director Franz-Josef Höing, Dr. Anna Joss, Head of the Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in the Ministry of Culture and Media, Gordon Nelkner, Head of Department for Economy, Building and Environment in the Hamburg-Mitte district office, as well as Prof. Dr. Rainer-Maria Weiss, Director of the Archaeological Museum Hamburg, and Daniel Luchterhandt from the office luchterhandt & partner, which is overseeing the competition procedure.

The Hopfenmarkt is being redesigned

The redesign of Hopfenmarkt, like the redesigns of Jungfernstieg and Burchardplatz, is one of the Senate’s flagship projects for the further development of Hamburg’s city center. It is based on the city center action plan. The basis for the city’s activities is formed by clearly defined goals for a lively and diverse city center: higher quality of stay at places in the public realm that are better connected by foot, more housing in the city center and more diverse usage structures overall. An initial sum of 29 million euros has now been earmarked for their implementation. Some measures are already visibly underway, such as the low-car Jungfernstieg. Others are in the planning stage – such as the redesigns at Hopfenmarkt and Burchardplatz and in the Rathausquartier. In addition, there are numerous private construction projects that also contribute to achieving the goals. This means that future-oriented developments and potential can currently be found at a total of around 20 locations within Hamburg’s Wallring.

autoarmer Jungfernstieg

Jungfernstieg © moka-studio

One element of the future design of Hopfenmarkt is to be the so-called Archaeological Window. Extraordinarily well-preserved parts of the rampart of the “Neue Burg” (New Castle) were discovered under the square in front of the St. Nikolai memorial. This rampart was built exactly 1000 years ago, from 1021, as a second fortification in addition to the rampart at the cathedral. The significant finds are to be permanently staged and embedded in a presentation of the history of Hamburg’s origins.

All in all, the Hopfenmarkt, which is currently used as a parking lot, is to be turned into a lively place to stay and its design is to do justice to the historical significance of the Nikolai Quarter as the nucleus of the port and merchant city of Hamburg. The current generous stock of trees is to be preserved as far as possible. The future ground-level crossing of Willy-Brandt-Strasse will also improve the connection to Cremon and thus the pedestrian link to Speicherstadt and HafenCity.

Upgrading Hamburg’s city center

The two-phase competition with initially 30, in the second phase presumably eight more participating offices, is announced by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing together with the district office Hamburg-Mitte, in close coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Media as well as the Archaeological Museum Hamburg.

You can learn more on our architectural tour Alster.

Hamburg’s main station is getting a glass hall

The expansion of Hamburg’s main train station has taken a decisive step forward: the jury has chosen the designs of bof Architekten from Hamburg with the landscape architects hutterreimann from Berlin as the winner of the urban planning competition for the expansion of Hamburg’s main train station and development of its surroundings. The design convinced the 23 jury members from politics, urban planning and architecture as well as from Deutsche Bahn with a glass hall on the south side of the station.


Hauptbahnhof Visualisierung Hachmannplatz © bof architekten & hutterreimann landschaftsarchitektur

According to the jury, this hall offers a contemporary continuation of the listed station hall. The large form of the existing building is taken up and the surrounding urban spaces are developed in a differentiated manner. The jury’s decision was also influenced by feedback from the people of Hamburg: both before the first and second jury meetings, they were able to provide feedback on the designs at public exhibitions of the competition entries at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe.

Hamburg’s main station is getting a glass hall

Clarity and visibility are the design-determining factors. In its current state, Hamburg’s main train station appears congested and confusing. By deconstructing all annexes, the main station is brought as close as possible to its original state and complemented by a clear, coherent addition. In addition, an addition is developed from the cubature of the station, which opens generously to Hachmannplatz and thus conclusively connects the quarter and the station. The station as an entrance to the city receives the appropriate generosity, clarity and visibility both internally and externally.

The design that has now been selected is to form the basis of a master plan for the expansion of the main station and the development of its surroundings. In addition to the traffic capacity of the station, urban planning and architectural aspects are just as important as the careful handling of the listed building of the main station, the design of the open spaces and the networking with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Hauptbahnhof Visualisierung Kommunaltrasse

Hauptbahnhof Visualisierung Kommunaltrasse © bof architekten & hutterreimann landschaftsarchitektur

With around 550,000 passengers, Hamburg’s central station is the second busiest station in Europe. Up to 750,000 passengers are expected in the future as a result of the expansion of the rail network for local and long-distance traffic. In addition to fundamental modernization, the expansion of the station is intended to create the basis for this.

Jury selects winning design of the competition

A total of 60 offices and consortiums submitted entries in the competition. Thirty participants submitted their initial designs in June 2021, from which the jury selected eight offices for a second stage of processing at its meeting in August 2021. Seven offices finally submitted their designs, which were presented to the jury at the jury meeting on December 6.

In January, the results of the competition will be presented once again in an exhibition at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. In parallel, further preparation of the planning services will be carried out by means of subsoil investigations, as-built data acquisition and 3D modeling.

Hauptbahnhof Visualisierung Passage Modul C

Hauptbahnhof Visualisierung Passage Modul C © bof architekten & hutterreimann landschaftsarchitektur

You can learn more on our architectural tours.

Architectural competition decided for sustainable pilot project in eastern HafenCity

A sustainable, mixed-use building with a very high proportion of subsidized apartments is being built directly on Amerigo-Vespucci-Platz in the Elbbrücken neighborhood in eastern HafenCity. The project, which covers approximately 22,500 square meters, is characterized primarily by savings in gray emissions and reduced resource consumption in the construction phase, as well as future recyclability in the sense of circular construction. Gradient concrete is to be used in a building for the first time ever.

Building site-108-1-PATRIZIA-Kim Nalleweg

Building site -108-1- PATRIZIA © Kim Nalleweg

With the organic structure of the bone structure, the new technology takes up a model from nature. The aim is to significantly reduce the amount of material used in concrete components. The use of new climate-friendly technologies combined with a high social housing subsidy rate of forty percent in total – in addition to privately financed rental apartments, a daycare center, and commercial and public uses – is worthy of special mention in this project. In agreement with the Hamburg Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, PATRIZIA AG, the building’s owner, launched a structural engineering competition to which six architectural firms from Germany and abroad were invited. The Berlin architectural firm Kim Nalleweg Architekten emerged victorious.

Architectural competition decided for sustainable pilot project in eastern HafenCity

On construction site 108 in the Elbbrücken quarter in eastern HafenCity, 87 subsidized rental apartments are being built along Lucy-Borchard-Strasse in a continuous seven-story building covering approx. 8,000 sqm. At the new Amerigo-Vespucci-Platz, a thirteen-story high point and a likewise seven-story building will be joined by a single-story connecting structure. Here, approximately 11,600 square meters of space will be created for 95 privately financed rental apartments. Overall, the building structure thus comprises 182 apartments. On the first floor, an approx. 900 sqm daycare center and an area of approx. 2,000 sqm for several commercial units complete the mixed urban ensemble, which covers a total of approx. 22,500 sqm.

Building site-108-2-PATRIZIA-Kim Nalleweg

Building site -108-2- PATRIZIA © Kim Nalleweg

In contrast to conventional reinforced concrete buildings, the entire construction and utilization process of the building is substantially improved in essential points, resources are saved and material cycles are closed up to the deconstructability of the building. In the sense of circular construction, CO2 is thus saved over the entire utilization cycle and the environment is relieved. Specifically, this involves:

  • A reduction in the quantities of building materials used, especially concrete, by optimizing the construction method and a world-first application of so-called gradient concrete and possibly other innovative technologies. In particular, the gradient concrete technology developed by the Werner Sobek office (Stuttgart) and the Institute for Lightweight Design and Construction (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart can reduce the mass and thus the weight of individual components by at least 50 percent, thus saving gray energy and gray emissions. Based on the principle of organic bone structures, the concrete, which is primarily used in ceiling structures, has varying degrees of porosity (gradient) due to a large number of hollow bodies, while at the same time offering outstanding stability and resistance.
  • The use of recycled materials, such as masonry related to local demolition sites and the use of recyclable and compostable building materials and recycled concrete in the spirit of circular construction.
  • The creation of a deconstruction concept including a digital material database on the materials used in the building and the use of materials that can later be separated by type as far as possible.
  • Extensive cooperation with local Hamburg partners from the construction industry and science throughout the planning and construction process. The aim is to establish new network structures in order to shorten transport routes and reduce further emissions. In addition, the technological findings are to be documented, evaluated and passed on so that they can be used in subsequent construction projects beyond HafenCity.

Gradient concrete used for the first time

According to the jury of the architectural competition chaired by the renowned architect Prof. Julia Bolles-Wilson, the winning design by the Berlin-based architectural firm Kim Nalleweg Architekten impressively succeeds in meeting these very different and extremely demanding requirements. Right down to the materiality, colorfulness, depth and feel of the facade design, the building exhibits a high level of architectural aesthetics. As a simultaneously sustainable and socially vibrant residential building, the design also fits in very well with the urban environment at Amerigo-Vespucci-Platz and the entire Elbbrücken neighborhood in HafenCity.

You can learn more on our HafenCity East architectural tour.

Architecture for mixed-use building ensemble in HafenCity presented

In the Elbbrücken quarter in Hamburg’s eastern HafenCity district, a new, innovative mixed-use building ensemble is being built on construction sites 113 to 116: the highlight and attraction of the mixed-use project is the Digital Art Museum, which will bring digital art by the international artists’ collective “teamLab” to life and will be the largest museum for digital art in Europe. Other components of the building ensemble include around 600 rental and owner-occupied apartments in an exceptional location, an international, publicly subsidized student dormitory with a further 260 or so apartments at affordable rents, a daycare center, and supplementary space for business and gastronomy.


BF 113 Turm © KempeThill

For the project, located on both sides of the water at Baakenhafen and the Elbe, Hamburg-based ECE together with Harmonia Immobilien, Lars Hinrichs and the Studierendenwerk Hamburg as the project developer, together with HafenCity Hamburg and the Hamburg Ministry of Urban Development and Housing presented the winners of the architectural workshop process for the total of seven building sections on four construction sites last week.

The winning designs come from Atelier Kempe Thill, Rotterdam, and blauraum Architekten, Hamburg (both construction site 113), KPW Papay Warncke und Partner Architekten, Hamburg (construction site 114), Heide & von Beckerath, Berlin (site 115) and Diener & Diener Architekten, Basel (site 116).

Architecture for mixed-use building ensemble in HafenCity presented

The designs provide for different heights and cubatures, with glass high points and individual façade designs in clinker look, ceramics and colored recycled concrete for a varied design. A high proportion of glass surfaces and, in some cases, room-high modern exterior and light-flooded rooms in the apartments, which vary in size, cut and type of apartments.

Spacious balconies, loggias and green roofs as well as roof terraces and inviting floor plans ensure a high level of living comfort with great views of the water. Greened courtyards and shared outdoor spaces create a pleasant quality of stay.

Mixed-Use-Gebäudeensemble Elbbrücken

BF 113 Block © blauraum

By implementing high energy standards, using renewable energies, a CO2-reduced construction method, using recyclable building components and planning with a view to barrier-free access, the building ensemble offers maximum user comfort and meets the high sustainability standards of the HafenCity Ecolabel.

Results of the workshop procedure for architecture

The new building ensemble is conceived as an innovative and cosmopolitan urban neighborhood
that combines a variety of uses and inner-city, centrally located residential space for different
different target groups with a varied mix of uses.

The lighthouse project and digital core element of the ensemble is the Digital Art Museum initiated by Xing founder Lars Hinrichs, which will serve as a new tourist attraction for eastern HafenCity and the spacious Amerigo Vespucci Square, to which the new ensemble adjoins.


BF 115 © Heide & von Beckerath

Construction of the project on a site area of around 15,000 m² and with a total gross floor area of around total gross floor area of around 76,000 m² is scheduled for fall 2022, with completion of the various of the various components is scheduled to take place in stages from the end of 2024 and up to the beginning of 2026. The total investment volume amounts to around 480 million euros. The project is being developed in ECE, Harmonia Immobilien, Lars Hinrichs and Studierendenwerk Hamburg.

Through various digital tools and features- from the Digital Art Museum to devices for
smart-home applications and digital access systems for the apartments, as well as a
coverage and high-speed Internet connections throughout the site, the building ensemble is designed as a building ensemble is designed as a forward-looking digitally oriented urban quarter.

You can learn more on our HafenCity East architectural tour.

Change at the top of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

A change is taking place at the top of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. On November 1, 2021, Dr. Andreas Kleinau took over from Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg as CEO of the municipal HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, which, in addition to HafenCity, is now also responsible for three other major Hamburg urban development projects, either directly or through subsidiaries. Theresa Twachtmann joins as the new Managing Director. She will succeed Giselher Schultz-Berndt, who is leaving at the end of the year.

HafenCity GmbH, Dr. Andreas Kleinau,Theresa Twachtmann, Giselher Schultz-Berndt, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg

Dr. Andreas Kleinau, Theresa Twachtmann, Giselher Schultz-Berndt, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg (v.l.n.r) © Stefan-Groenveld

Almost 25 years after Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Henning Voscherau first presented the vision of HafenCity in 1997, and some 20 years after ground was first broken, HafenCity’s 127 hectares of land are almost completely in the planning and realization stage. Various urban quarters have been created on the former port and industrial area, which will arrive at the Elbe bridges in a few years as an extension of the city center with the Elbtower visible from afar. However, development does not stop there: To the east and south of HafenCity, the new Grasbrook district and the commercially oriented Billebogen are being built, and to the west of Hamburg, Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. All three new development areas, as well as HafenCity itself, are the responsibility of the municipal development company HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (HCH), either directly or through a subsidiary.

Change at the top of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

The shaping of this new generation of urban spaces goes hand in hand with a change of baton in the management of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH: on November 1, 2021, the long-time Chairman, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, and on December 31, 2021, the Managing Director Giselher Schultz-Berndt will retire for reasons of age. Bruns-Berentelg was appointed to the helm of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH in 2003, while Schultz-Berndt had already been involved in shaping Voscherau’s “secret HafenCity project” from 1996.

Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher and the Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, thanked those responsible for many years and welcomed the new team.

Change at the top of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

Dr. Andreas Kleinau
Dr. Andreas Kleinau studied business administration at the University of Hamburg and received his doctorate in the field of business data processing. In 1993, he began his professional career at Quickborner Team, a company specializing in organizational and real estate consulting. Five years later, he founded macon Gesellschaft für Unternehmensberatung mbH and developed location strategies, building concepts and innovative work and organizational solutions on behalf of national and international companies, turning the company into one of the most renowned consulting firms in the German real estate sector. In 2015, combine Consulting GmbH emerged from a merger of macon and the Quickborn team, with offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf. In an advisory role, he accompanied the decision-making processes of numerous major projects, including in HafenCity. In the fall of 2020, Dr. Kleinau joined the management of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH.

Theresa Twachtmann
Theresa Twachtmann was Head of Finance, Controlling and Treasury at Hamburger Hochbahn until she joined HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. With a degree in business administration, she began her career as a strategy and banking consultant at IBM in Switzerland. In 2008, she became commercial director of the renowned “Lucerne Festival” and also completed a master’s degree in Arts Administration. In 2013, she came to Hamburg, where she first took over the commercial management of the Thalia Theater and later worked as an independent management consultant for the Elbphilharmonie, among other projects. In addition to her many years of management experience in the private, public and cultural sectors, Twachtmann has served as a member of several supervisory boards. Due to her involvement in a wide range of projects, some of them international, she also has a broad understanding of urban planning and political contexts.

You can learn more on our architectural tours.

Europe’s largest digital art museum comes to HafenCity

TeamLab Borderless: Europe’s largest digital art museum comes to HafenCity. 7,000 square meters of space, 10-meter-high ceilings: the Digital Art Museum – Europe’s largest museum for digital art – is being built in eastern HafenCity. The museum in the Elbbrücken Quarter will open in the course of 2024 with the inaugural exhibition teamLab Borderless Hamburg, a huge art world by the artist collective teamLab that extends across the entire museum.

Digital Art Museum HafenCity

Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather © teamLab

The international artist collective teamLab, represented by Pace Gallery, was founded in 2001. teamLab is an international and interdisciplinary collective that explores the connection between art, science, technology and nature through their collective creations. The group consists of specialists in many fields, such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects. The collective’s groundbreaking ideas, immersive art, and mutable installations have significantly shaped the concept of digital art.

One of teamLab’s latest projects, teamLab Borderless Hamburg, is a single, continuous world of artworks where visitors immerse themselves in borderless, ever-changing art, wandering around, exploring, creating and discovering a new world with others. The works on display physically move between spaces, communicating and influencing each other, forming relationships with people, crossing boundaries, and sometimes mingling in this seamless space.

Europe’s largest digital art museum comes to HafenCity

teamLab Borderless, based on teamLab’s conceptual model, now reaches Hamburg after Tokyo and Shanghai. After opening in 2018, the teamLab Borderless Museum in Tokyo attracted 2.3 million visitors from more than 160 countries and regions around the world within one year, becoming the most visited museum by an artist collective in the world in its opening year.

Inspired and touched by this unique art, XING founder Lars Hinrichs started developing such a digital museum for Germany in 2019. After intensive examination, the decision was made to locate the museum in Hamburg’s HafenCity district. The result of the architectural competition will be presented in November. After that, construction is to begin immediately in order to open the largest museum for digital art in Europe in 2024.

teamLab Borderless Hamburg

To provide a suitable setting for art and visitors, the developer Lars Hinrichs is having a 7,000 square meter space built with ceilings up to 10 meters high. The Digital Art Museum will be located in the Elbbrücken Quarter in eastern HafenCity, as a key component of the new mixed-use property being built there. The entire complex is being developed by ECE together with Harmonia Immobilien and Studierendenwerk as a lively quarter with a variety of uses and, in addition to the Digital Art Museum, will include an international student residence, a daycare center, and around 600 apartments.

The building ensemble is very centrally located, on two waterfront sites and served by public transport via the Elbbrücken S-Bahn and U-Bahn junctions. It borders directly on Amerigo-Vespucci-Platz – the largest city square in HafenCity. The museum will thus also contribute to the revitalization of the public space. The focus is also on holistically strengthening Hamburg as a cultural location. The approach of Digital Art Museum GmbH is holistic: fairness (fair prices, fair payment, fair dealings), sustainability and transparency are particularly important. A central goal is, for example, to become the first climate-neutral museum in the world. Right from the start, a wide range of measures are being taken to keep the museum’s carbon footprint to zero.

You can learn more on our architectural tours HafenCity Ost.

Hamburg also Germany’s smartest city for mobility in 2021

Title defended! Hamburg is also Germany’s smartest city in the field of mobility in 2021.


Haltestelle HCU Raupach © a-tour

After 2019 and 2020, Hamburg is also the “smartest” German city in the field of mobility in 2021. The industry association Bitkom has confirmed the Hanseatic city’s top ranking in its annual Smart City Index for 81 major German cities for the current year as well. The latest smart city study certifies that the Hanseatic city is the most advanced in digitization in many areas of everyday life – this applies in particular to the mobility subranking, which Hamburg leads with 98.6 points – and has thus even improved on the previous year’s ranking (96.8 points).

As part of the Reallabor Hamburg, Hamburg is already testing various digital sustainable mobility offerings such as electric on-demand services in the outer city. At the ITS World Congress, starting next Monday, 400 exhibitors from around the world will present the latest developments in intelligent mobility, networked transport and smart logistics at the reopened CCH, the exhibition halls and at selected locations throughout the city.

Hamburg scores with digitalisation strategy

With the autonomous HEAT minibus, which is traveling on a test route through HafenCity and could perspectively connect passengers in the outer city to the rapid transit network, traffic light forecasts in real time on the smartphone for bicycles or medical air freight by drone flight, Hamburg will present further digital mobility projects at the ITS Congress. By 2030, the Hanseatic city wants to achieve the goals it set out in 2016 in its “ITS Strategy.” They comprise the complexes “Automated and networked mobility,” “Mobility services,” “Digital port and logistics solutions,” “Intelligent infrastructure,” “New services from new technologies” and “Sustainable solutions for cities and citizens”.

With “switch,” the hvv already offers an app that provides mobility from a single source and, in the future, will digitally bundle and make available all relevant mobility services in the city. It combines classic public transportation, including the smart purchase of hvv tickets, with other sharing services, such as the booking of MOIA shared cabs or sixtShare.

In the Reallabor Hamburg, the city, together with Hamburger Hochbahn and partners from science and industry, is already testing new smart mobility forms and services of the future on the city’s streets – for example, fully electric autonomous on-demand shuttle buses that connect people in the outer city to the bus and rail network from areas less well served by public transport.

Hamburg tops the Smart City Index 2021 for the third time

The Smart City Index examines all German cities with at least 100,000 inhabitants using a total of 133 parameters in the five categories of administration, IT infrastructure, energy/environment, mobility and society.

In January 2020, the Hamburg Senate adopted a comprehensive digital strategy that focuses on all areas of life in the community. With the concept of “digital spaces,” it addresses the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental nature of digitization projects and thus opens up a perspective for the entire urban society.

Smart City Index 2021

You can learn more on our architectural tours.

Start of construction for Lohsepark community center in HafenCity Hamburg

The time is soon to come: In May 2021, construction work is to begin on the long-awaited community house at the playground in Lohsepark in HafenCity. The colorful wooden house with a lookout tower and green roof by rethmeierschlaich architekten will be built in the area of the playground on the western side of the park. This will create a social meeting place for visitors of all ages in the park.

Community House Lohsepark

Gemeinschaftshäuser Lohsepark © rethmeierschlaich architekten

One can already guess where the community house will be located: since the house and its location were co-planned from the beginning as an integral part of Lohsepark and the playground, the play areas in this area are only temporary and are mainly simply designed with lawns and hedges.

Preparatory work from the end of February 2021

In order to be able to start the construction in time, the hedges within the play area are being removed at the moment. Subsequently, some trees have to be taken out of the ground in order to have enough space for the construction site equipment. However, these measures are only temporary: once the building is completed, the adjacent parking areas will be restored and the trees replanted. Then the fenced-in play area will finally be fully usable as well: Due to the construction work, the area will be temporarily somewhat restricted in size for the construction period until September 2022.

Common place through common design

As one of a total of three community houses in HafenCity’s parks – the other two are being built in Grasbrookpark and Baakenpark – the house in Lohsepark will become a new meeting place for a wide range of neighborhood activities. The wooden building designed by rethmeierschlaich architekten is bold, colorful, inviting and visible from afar thanks to its observation tower.

The utilization concept was worked on intensively with the active participation of the neighborhood. Inside, the community center will be flexible in use: Half of the space will be available for community use as a neighborhood office with two multipurpose rooms and a kitchen. The other half will provide functions for the park and play areas. A café, public restrooms and storage areas for loaner equipment and toys are also planned. It will be ready in the fall of 2022.

You can also learn more information on our Architectural tour HafenCity East.

Urban planning competition for the extension of Hamburg`s main station

The urban planning competition for the expansion of Hamburg’s main station has been launched. The City of Hamburg is launching a competition in coordination with Deutsche Bahn. It is an important step on the way to the expansion of Hamburg’s main station: With the public announcement of the urban and open space planning competition on January 29, 2021, the Europe-wide application and selection process starts, in which architectural firms, landscape architects and urban planners can now apply directly. The competition is being organized by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, represented by ReGe Hamburg and in close cooperation with Deutsche Bahn (DB).

competition Hamburg's main train station

Hamburg Hbf © Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang

The process is the starting point for the expansion of Hamburg’s main station and the further development of the entire station environment. The capacity of the main station is increasingly reaching its limits due to the increase in travelers and passers-by. A structural extension of the traffic junction is urgently required. The aim of the planning competition is to obtain an integrated overall picture and to create infrastructurally, architecturally and urbanistically appropriate solutions for the main station and the surrounding area in order to advance the mobility turnaround. The requirements of the passengers as well as the transport companies and tradespeople are the focus here. At the same time, it is important to treat the issue of historic preservation and the neighborhoods affected by the conversion with respect.

Urban planning competition for the extension of the main station Hamburg

Following the start of the tendering competition, 30 offices will enter the first phase of the competition from April 2021 to develop basic urban development concepts. The number of participants is deliberately set high in order to obtain as diverse and different concepts as possible.
These different concepts will be examined and evaluated in a first jury meeting in August 2021. In the second phase, 10 offices will then remain and will be called upon to prepare a detailed concept. A second jury meeting to select the winning design and announce the winners is scheduled for the end of 2021.

Rethinking the main station and its surroundings

The jury includes Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dr. Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Change, and Franz-Josef Höing, Chief Planning Director of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, on the Hamburg side, as well as Sven Hantel, Member of the Management Board for Production DB Station & Service AG, and Oliver Hasenkamp, Head of Property Development and Planning DB Station & Service AG, on the DB side.

Selection procedure and public dialog process

The competition will be accompanied by a public dialog process, the results of which will be incorporated into the concepts. In the form of several events, citizens will be invited to contribute their comments and ideas to the competition. This process will start with an initial digital information event with parallel online participation in mid-March 2021.

The winning design of the competition is to form the basis for defining the guidelines for the expansion of the main station and the urban design of the immediate neighborhood for the coming years and decades.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

The development plan for the Elbtower in HafenCity has been given the green light. After three hours, the commission approved the development plan for Germany’s third tallest building. The 245-meter office and hotel tower is to be the finishing touch to HafenCity. The cost of building the Elbtower is estimated at at least 700 million euros. It is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Elbtower HafenCity

Elbtower © HafenCity Hamburg GmbH/moka-studio

Too high, almost bludgeoning Hamburg’s skyline, and bringing too much shade for residents in Rothenburgsort – these are the most common of the 26 objections, revealed a meeting of the Urban Development Commission. However, the CO2 consumption was also criticized. And an anti-terrorism concept for the building was missing. However, the representatives of the urban development authority defended themselves against this point of criticism. The express elevator to the viewing platform on the 55th floor, for example, could only be entered after online registration and after being scanned by a body scanner.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

In December, the developer Signa from Austria had submitted the construction plans for the skyscraper. Actually, the building application should already be available in the middle of the year. The media speculated whether the Corona crisis might have an impact on the plans for the Elbe Tower. But at the end of last year, Signa submitted 400 folders of planning documents to Hamburg’s urban development authority for review. The company speaks of a milestone for the construction.

In the second quarter, the company wants to prepare the excavation pit and the foundations. Test drillings had shown that the ground at the Elbe bridges is actually somewhat firmer than expected and that the foundations do not have to be driven 111 meters into the ground, but only a good 70 meters.

Signa also announced its first tenant in December: Hamburg Commercial Bank plans to rent 11,000 square meters of offices – equivalent to one-eighth of the total office space. The selection of the hotel operator is said to be imminent.

Elbtower in HafenCity: development plan approved

In 2017, an interdisciplinary and independent jury voted unanimously in favor of the design by David Chipperfield Architects. As a mixed-use high-rise with approx. 104,000 m² of gross floor area, the Elbtower will develop from a public, multi-use base with entertainment and edutainment areas, retail and gastronomy to semi-public uses such as a hotel, boarding house, fitness and wellness areas, children’s land and co-working spaces to modern and flexibly configurable office space on the tower floors. A public area is planned for the upper floor; gastronomic use is planned. The building’s social and communicative meeting point is a daylit, covered atrium. In the summer of 2020, a multi-story sample facade of what will be the city’s tallest building was constructed.
The 1:1 facade prototype of the Elbtower is a total of 11 meters high and 13.5 meters wide.

Elbtower model facade

Elbtower model facade outside © Helge Schwarzer

The Elbtower meets the highest sustainability criteria. It will be certified to the Platinum Standard of the HafenCity Ecolabel and will fulfill the ambitious Smart Mobility concept of eastern HafenCity. The Elbtower not only marks the end of the HafenCity development, but is also the prelude to the entrance to the center of Hamburg. Together with the new Elbbrücken subway and S-Bahn station, it will become a new urban hub that will radiate into the future urban development areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook.

You can also learn more information on our architectural tours.