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D-Berlin Masterplan Europacity
ASTOC won a master-plan competition for a site close to Berlin’s central station. Their design envisages a town harbor on the site which is located between Invalidenstrasse, Perleberger Bridge, mainline railway tracks, and the Spandauer navigation channel. Planned to become the focus of a new metropolitan quarter, it will house an art campus, a marina, restaurants, apartments, and offices. The inner-city site lies close to one of Europe’s most important traffic hubs. In spite of achieving metropolitan densities, the design offers plenty of public space and an inviting riverside promenade up to thirty meters wide. The residential buildings accommodating around 1,200 apartments adhere to the city’s eaves height.

Buildings of greater height are located in the office quarters at the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Nordhafen. Three new bridges will improve connectivity to the city. Along a railway line, new commercial buildings are to shield the residential buildings from traffic noise. In order to preserve the site’s special atmosphere, the old shipping company halls are to be converted to galleries.
The general idea was to design “a piece of Berlin.” As such, the question initially was to find out how the city can develop at this particular location. The urban quarter will, in future, be Berlin’s first impression for millions of visitors. It is therefore an important urban “visiting card” for the capital. The moment of arrival in Berlin occupied the minds of the planners in particular. It was not their goal to produce “a totally sterilized” model city, as Neppl has said. Rather, it was their intention to design a station district, instead of a type of “city of Europe.” The district was allowed to be somewhat more “normal” than the high-strung Potsdamer Platz in the vicinity, holding out the potential to develop into a more laid back art district. ASTOC’s approach was based on the self-image of the city as a whole and not just on the location itself. Berlin is currently rediscovering its waterfronts. The new town harbor will become a magnet of the quarter. The architects want to promptly redesign
the highway-like Heidestrasse, intending to create a “clear and precise urban space” all around the harbor which may also be experienced from the eastern promenade along the navigation canal. In contrast to the HafenCity in Hamburg, the planning in this example from Berlin is almost entirely determined by non-urban plot owners. The design has to take care not to lose sight of the inherent contexts.

CA Immo Deutschland GmbH in Cooperation with City of Berlin and Deutsche Bahn AG

Planning and Realisation
Competition 2008, First Prize
Planning 2008 until today
Realization until 2025

GFA: 520.000 sqm / 40 hectares

Richard Büsching, Frank Eittorf, Judith Freund, Ulrich Hundsdörfer, Inci Yilmaz

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