Project25 May 2021
Win in Horner Geest
Featuring a strategy of preservation of what is impossible to recreate, an existing Hamburg district is transformed via intense but subtle densification.
Vandkunsten Architects has won the planning competition for Horner Geest in Eastern Hamurg. The development plan consists of densification efforts of 3.100 new housing units, a district shopping center near a future metro station as well as extensive urban renewal of the existing and housing areas mainly built in the 1950’s and 60’s. In comparison the area of the plan is similar to the entire medieval city center of Hamburg and the plan is the largest project of its kind in the 50 year-long practice of Vandkunsten Architects.
The plan will now set the foundation for further city planning of the district.
Preserving what is the most challenging to recreate
With the structural plan Vandkunsten has developed a strategy for the called for 400.000 squaremeter densification which preserves what is most challenging to recreate – the big old trees and the existing affordable housing. Communities and a new hierarchy of urban spaces catering urban life and everyday life adds to creating the framework for a sustainable and diverse district.
Quote by Jan S Kauschen, architect and partner at Vandkunsten Architects
Jan Kauschen states: “the project means a lot to us because it is a sustainable response to the demand for densification and urban renewal of a socially exposed housing area. The vision not only addresses Horner Gest but many of the post-war solitary and building block structures facing similar issues. These are areas where citizens with smaller incomes can afford to pay the rent. At the same time these areas deal with a high level of insecurity.”
The proposal by Vandkunsten is described by the jury chairman as a “well-balanced play between new urban development trends and a careful development of the existing stock of housing and urban spaces. This is a stable and inspiring foundation for the urban development of Horner Geest”
The plan introduces a new network of urban spaces and landscape spaces which spans from the urban square and the landscape loop to the local neighborhood spaces in the neighborhood to social spaces in shared courtyards and private front gardens. If the plan is followed, all existing and listed trees will be preserved despite the brief for intense densification, and the larger landscape spaces will be connected in a green loop with spaces of nature, play, recreation and sports, as a large regional attraction.
The landscape is a major carrier of the of the area identity and climate adaption has been designed in ways to create new qualities while securing the area.