A Green Dock for the City of Docks: Atelier Loidl’s Baakenpark, HafenCity Hamburg.” World Architecture/Shijie Jianzhu 2020
Rinaldi, Bianca Maria
Rinaldi, Bianca Maria. 2020. “A Green Dock for the City of Docks: Atelier Loidl’s Baakenpark, HafenCity Hamburg.” World Architecture/Shijie Jianzhu 2020 (9): 108-111
In February 2017 the astounding Elbphilharmonie opened in Hamburg. Designed by Herzog & De Meuron and defined by some critics as a “profane cathedral”, right from its construction phases the Elbphilharmonie became a totemic image of the complex operation of urban transformation it is part of: the construction of the HafenCity, a new vibrant urban district resulting from the conversion of a 157hm2 abandoned section of the port of Hamburg on the Elbe River, close to the historic urban core. While a series of iconic buildings by renowned international star architects (from Rem Koolhaas to Richard Meier to Massimiliano Fuksas) dot the HafenCity, the Elbphilharmonie is emblematic of the meanings underlying the grand urban project: recovering the structures of a former warehouse, the building’s solid red-brick base effectively alludes to the site’s glorious past, as well as to the port’s role in the construction of both the identity and the economic fortunes of Hamburg; while its airy and glassed-in elevated part represents the city’s (desired) shiny future. […] The HafenCity is the largest project of urban transformation in Europe. After almost 20 years in the making it will be completed in 2025/30. […] The idea behind the urban transformation process was developed in the 1990s, responding to the ambition of repositioning Hamburg in the new geopolitical constellation of a united Europe.