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Hamburg River Promenade

  • Hamburg, Germany
  • 2006 – 2012
  • Landesbetrieb Strassen, Brücken und Gewässer
  • Design
  • Length: 750m

A new promenade linking key areas of Hamburg – incorporating ‘purposeful erosion’ to create a meandering river promenade with open vistas – compressed and expanded at key moments, punctuated by cut-out access cones, amphitheatres and three contrived ‘rock formations’ on which restaurants, cafes and kiosks are placed.

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The riverbank area between Landungsbrucken jetties and Speicherstadt warehouses forms one of the most exciting sites in this port city – yet the location, poorly connected, fails to fulfill its potential.

The need to ‘open out’ the promenade drives our design for a new river promenade – with the notion of ‘purposeful erosion’ conceived as a way to complement flood defense requirements.

The new structure is carved out at strategic points to form cone-like excavations, equivalent to small ‘amphitheatres’, wherever connecting street or path meets the elevated promenade. These provide both street level access and on entry open up views onto the masts and superstructures of vessels along the river. On the riverside, similar interruptions provide resting areas closer to water level.

The succession of alternating city-side/riverside ‘cut-out’ entry and rest points creates a meandering promenade, at three points along which, more substantial rock formations have been utilized to provide spaces for restaurants, cafes and kiosks. Lighting and materials are employed to accentuate key points and to build dramatic contrast.

En masse, these different punctuating elements form a unique urban sculpture, offering manifold opportunities for appropriation and generating a revitalized presence in the area.

Architect

Zaha Hadid Architects

Design

Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Jan Hübener

Project Team

Niels Kespohl, Cornelius Schlotthauer, Rassul Wassa, Walentina Tradowski, Gonzalo Carbajo, Eren Ciraci