The Baakenpark is the green centre of the eastern HafenCity and of the quarter of Baakenhafen. The 1.6 hectare peninsula, artificially created with sand from the river Elbe, is located in the middle of the former harbour basin of Baakenhafen, which is characterized by linear edges, steel banks and stone promenades. With its wild shoreline, the green embankments right up to the water and its characteristic topography, the park forms an atmospheric counterpart to its surroundings. A park that invites visitors to explore and only unfolds when walking through it. A park with a variety of offers for all visitors, with lively meeting points, wide meadows and playgrounds, but also with quieter, isolated places.
Baakenpark has a remarkable topography with several plateaus of different heights. The highest peak at the eastern end of the peninsula is the 15 m high Himmelsberg, a panoramic point visible from afar. When exploring the park, visitors are offered surprising shifts in perspective and varied insights and views. As a green area, the park offers recreation with a variety of sports, play and recreation possibilities and is an optical-aesthetic point of reference in the middle of the harbour basin. The bridge from Versmannkai to Baakenpark provides pedestrians and cyclists with a direct link between the northern and southern parts of the new city quarter. The peninsula itself is accessed by a circular path along the shoreline.
Due to the special flood protection requirements, the playgrounds and lawns of the park were laid out on three plateaus. The three plateaus are clearly different in their uses and atmospheres: in the western part a sport and play area dominates, the middle level offers a play and sunbathing area with the gallery of banks, in the east the “Himmelsberg” rises away from the hustle and bustle as the highlight.
Right at the entrance of the park, the “island sofa” presents itself as a meeting point, an impressive, wooden seating scenery on which sitting, but also lying, is possible. Above it, within easy reach, is the “Treibgut” playground. Seemingly indiscriminately there are wooden boxes distributed on a playground, which remind of flotsam from old times. The ‘flotsam playground’ offers different ‘themed boxes’, which can be discovered by children. A second important component of the plateau is a small artificial turf playing field for leisure and school sports.
The northern embankment of the central plateau is equipped with a generous seating area. With panoramic views of the harbour basin and the Versmannkai on the other side of the plateau, this heightened area is an attractive place to stay, which can also be used as a platform for small events. With its extensive lawn under fruit trees, the central plateau also invites visitors to picnic. In an exposed location there are three large ‘sky swings’ as well as a slightly recessed area with cross-generational training equipment sheltered between trees. In the neighborhood of the newly planned primary school and kindergarten there is a 100 m running lane.
The Himmelsberg rises in the eastern part. It forms the striking end of the park and blends harmoniously into the picturesque landscape of the peninsulas. Like a pyramid, the 15-metre high mountain drops sharply on three sides. A staircase cutting into the flat slope of the hill leads the visitor to a viewing platform. It forms the highlight of the Himmelsberg and is rewarded with a panoramic view of Hamburg harbour.
Landscape Architecture: Atelier Loidl
Project location: Baakenallee, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Design year: 2012
Year Built: 2018