Following the designs for the „Evolutioneum“, a natural history museum for Hamburg, and the new Altona railway station at the location of the Diebsteich metropolitan railway station, the Academy for Architectural Culture has now presented five designs for German port museum, Hamburg. The five different designs are the result of the aac’s international spring workshop, which was led by Professor Volkwin Marg and Nikolaus Goetze.
The designs by five groups of scholarship students, which were presented on 23 March and assessed by a jury, are exhibited at the Rainvilleterrasse campus at the site of the former Navigation School until 13 April.
In 2015, the City of Hamburg was given the go-ahead by the Deutsche Bundestag, as well as EUR 120 million of federal funds for the future Deutsches Hafenmuseum, EUR 27 million of which was reserved for the restoration of the former four-masted barque, the „Peking“. Since then, there have been analyses and discussions about the objective, the content, the exhibition concept, and the location for this German museum in the Hamburg port.
For the purpose of the workshop designs, the Afrikahöft in the area of the listed historic 1950s sheds and quays was selected as the location for the museum in order to benefit from the collection of the current Hamburg port museum, which is already being put together, and the Maritim Foundation in that location, with its historic cargo cranes, quay, railway sidings, and ships. The four-masted barque, the „Peking“, with its eye-catching maritime image, is an extremely fitting feature at this port location.
In contrast to existing maritime museums, the new German port museum is intended to convey primarily the development and effects of maritime trade, including its current global perspectives for trade, politics, and society at large; in addition, it is planned as a place for interdisciplinary communication and research.
The remit of the Academy for Architectural Culture is to promote public discussion and to contribute to the formation of opinion, and to provide self-explanatory design alternatives as aids for political decision-making. The design alternatives are examples of urban design and architectural solutions intended to amplify the existing cultural facilities in the port of Hamburg in the area of Großer Grasbrook and the 1950s sheds behind the Afrikahöft. The designs had to incorporate five key elements as pivots of regional and global trade, i.e. technical innovation in logistics and the world of work, the development of inland and maritime ports, shipbuilding and the port industry, and the myth of ports as gateways to the world. The diversity of the designs produced is reflected in their architectural solutions, which range from a compact cube via significant vertical landmarks through to container clusters, which change in their appearance due to the changing tides.