Inselpark Wilhelmsburg

A new look for Wilhelmsburg – Stadtpark (City Park), Neue Mitte (New Centre) Wilhelmsburg and the Hamburger Terrassen residential development

The design of the Inselpark Wilhelmsburg (Island Park) enhanced the value of both unused land and near-natural succession areas. The park was turned into an attractive, central building block in the continuing development of the Hanseatic city. The locality of Wilhelmsburg, which is located between the harbour and a motorway, has long been a little-noticed residential area – but is nonetheless one with a young and diverse population from over 80 nations. Our goal was therefore to create an integrative, identity-forming place that fulfilled the needs of the people living there; to create attractive open space that took advantage of projects that were part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) to open up new residential and landscape areas.

In formulating the concept of the Inselpark, i.e. its uses and functionality, the dominant themes were “sport & recreation”, “cross-cultural community” and “urban development through landscape architecture”. The decisive factor for the development of the Inselpark and the central Wilhelmsburg area (“Mitte”) was a sensitive approach to its existing identity that avoided the imposition of artificial, idealised images of parks. Existing elements such as allotment gardens, water bodies and biotopes were all integrated into the new park, and its buildings for administration, exhibitions, leisure and sport were designed for use long after the IBA had ended.

“Mitte Wilhelmsburg” lies within the park and has become the new centre of this Elbe island and also serves as the main entrance to the park. New buildings here were erected for administrative, healthcare service, commercial and residential uses, and an indoor recreation complex with various sports and leisure facilities (e.g. climbing and swimming) was also built. As a complement to the new indoor areas, multifunctional outdoor plazas were constructed adjacent to the buildings, offering a variety of user groups space for their events, and serving as places for meeting and relaxing. A generous staircase and ramp system leads from the building complex to one of the plazas. Framed on three sides by water, trees and buildings, this area opens to the south, forming the entrance to the park.

The “Neuen Hamburger Terrassen” (New Hamburg Terraces) were also built in Wilhelmsburg as a result of both the IBA 2013 and the International Garden Show IGS 2013. These are innovative and family-friendly residential buildings that blend into the surrounding urban area and landscape in a special way. The Schlöperstieg, for instance, became a new urban building block, and is divided into three sections. The front gardens were given structure by designing alternating barcode-like lawn and ground cover areas. Access ways to the buildings are paved with large-format slabs, whose yellow-beige colour is reminiscent of the Schlöperstieg and the adjacent waterworks. Gravel turf areas that serve as bicycle parking spaces are located near the main entrances of the buildings.

LOCATION: Hamburg Wilhelmsburg

CLIENT: City of Hamburg, Bourough of Mitte

TIME FRAME: 2005 – 2013, the master plan is ongoing

CONSTRUCTION COSTS:  approx. 38M euros (open space, net)

SIZE:  approx. 100 hectares

PROJECT: Service Phases 1–8

COMPETITION: 2005, 1st prize with Fischer Architekten, Munich

AWARDS: Deutscher Spielraumpreis 2013 in the “World of Movement” section

Neue Hamburger Terrassen Project: ArchiTECTURE: LAN Architecture, Paris / Bidard & Raissi, Paris / Konerding Architekten, Hamburg



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