What this ensemble of buildings will look like right on Baakenhafen was decided as part of an architecture competition in cooperation with HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Hamburg’s Authority for City Development and Housing. Three architecture firms from Frankfurt, Cologne and Copenhagen took part in the competition.

Baakenhafen is the right address for those who want to live in the city because they want a space that can accommodate a host of different lifestyles. No other quarters in Hamburg can offer such a diversity of living options and blend of uses in such small space. With a total of around 26,000 sqm GFA (gross floor area), the “Creative Blocks” located on construction site 82 a and b particularly exemplify this diverse and urban character.

Besides a wide range of housing options comprising both publicly and privately funded flats, Garbe Immobilien-Projekte will turn two particularly innovative uses into reality as part of the “Creative Blocks”: “Manufakturwerk”, located on the eastern side of the construction site, will shape the identity of the entire project. Numerous small businesses will move into a space of about 2,800 sqm GFA. They will be able to use the two-storey hall predominantly for manufacturing their products individually. Not only that, they will also be able to sell or, as part of events or special exhibitions, showcase their products. Traditional craftsmen, such as watchmakers and tailors, will not have to ply their trade tucked away in backyard workshops, but rather be able to display their craft alongside attractive food and beverage offerings. Regular guided tours will take both Hamburg residents and tourists through the manufacturing facilities, giving them greater insight into the unique stories behind each product.

Based on the concept of co-living, a living space with approximately 4,400 sqm GFA will be created on the main part of the construction site to cater to people who value the privacy of their own flat and yet want to experience a rich community with their neighbours – the first of its kind in Hamburg. Special communal spaces will be built on the living floors and the ground floor, such as a large kitchen for communal dining, a music room for rehearsal and playing music together, and a library for reading and chatting.

There will be a room to accommodate family celebrations and other occasions that may be impossible to hold even in much larger flats. Also in the works is a guest apartment that every resident can rent in addition.

Between these two main areas of use, the joint building venture “HalbInsulaner” will realise a residential project that closely blends together living and working for freelancers (mainly from the creative, architecture, lifestyle and media sectors). A few members of the joint building venture will set up offices for their small- and medium-size companies at the site to improve the compatibility of their work and private life. Beyond the house community, HalbInsulaner also wants to open its doors to all neighbours living in the quarter. This will take the form of “KreaTiefgeschoss” (a wordplay loosely translated to mean “Creative Underground”) located on the promenade, a 300 sqm community space spread across three floors that will be open for use by residents of the neighbourhood. There are a myriad of ideas on how the space can be used – from flea markets to film nights to cooking events.

What the entire ensemble of buildings will look like in the future has now been decided by a jury headed by Prof. Jörg Aldinger, an architect from Stuttgart:

Construction site 82a1 (Garbe): KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, Brunswick
Construction site 82a2 (HalbInsulaner): WERK Arkitekter, Copenhagen
Construction site 82b (Garbe): kister scheithauer gross architekten und stadtplaner, Cologne/Leipzig

The winning architecture designs will shape the “Creative Blocks” using three very different approaches to express the diversity of uses and users – ranging from the elegance of the co-living space to the transparent aesthetics of the joint building venture to the markedly individual aura of “Manufakturwerk”.