On 17th November, the latest publication by Volkwin Marg with the original title “Geheimprojekt HafenCity oder Wie erfindet man einen neuen Stadtteil?” (“HafenCity – secret project or how to invent a new city quarter”) has been presented to public. At the launch, which was held at the Kesselhaus in the historic Hamburg Speicherstadt, well-known personalities have contributed with lectures.
The story of this development reads like a thriller staged in the middle of Hamburg: “Geheimprojekt HafenCity oder Wie erfindet man einen neuen Stadtteil” is the title of the latest publication edited by architect and
gmp founding partner Volkwin Marg. Written by the well-known architecture critic Gert Kähler, and published by Dölling & Galitz, the book has been presented to the public on 17th November 2016. Well-known personalities have spoken on the occasion of the launch event at the Kesselhaus in Hamburg’s historic Speicherstadt: Volkwin Marg as well as the author Gert Kähler, the publisher Robert Galitz, the Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dorothee Stapelfeldt and the Chairman of the Board of Bundesstiftung Baukultur, Reiner Nagel.
The 280-page book with about 100 illustrations recounts the story of how the port area between Kehrwiederspitze and Elbbrücken was secretly designated to become HafenCity. On 17th May 1997, Henning Voscherau, First Mayor of the City of Hamburg, announced at the select Übersee Club, that a large part of the port area would be re-classified and re-modelled to create an inner city extension: a new urban quarter with workplaces, leisure facilities, shopping, and apartments – and establish what has been named the new “HafenCity”. It took five years to prepare the largest inner city development project in Europe with political maneuvers. It almost sounds like a thriller when Gert Kähler recounts this story. The main protagonists were Peter Dietrich, boss of the HHLA, the most important Hamburg port company, and Henning Voscherau. Kähler recounts the situation that had to be faced at the time: booming container traffic, the commercial wake-up call from the East following unification and – last but not least – the rekindled love of Hamburg’s citizens for an urban ambiance and lifestyle at the Elbe waterfront, made it necessary to build a new container terminal at an existing port section in Altenwerder. The result is an exciting story, that is also a study of how and whether long-term planning is possible in the context of contemporary political practice.
The author Gert Kähler is an architectural historian and journalist with numerous publications on the subjects of 20th century cities and architecture.
The editor, Volkwin Marg, has been linked with the HafenCity topic since 1986 at the latest, when he fought for the preservation of the historic port basin, which enabled him – ten years later – to provide an urban design concept.
Geheimprojekt HafenCity oder Wie erfindet man einen neuen Stadtteil?
Published by Volkwin Marg. München, Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz, 2016.
German, 280 pages with about 100 illustrations. Format 13.8 x 19.5 cm, Hardcover.
Price EUR 19,90 (when sold in Germany)
A review copy is available on request.