Kaufhauskanal Metrozone

Kaufhauskanal Metrozone

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group
Harburg, Germany


Kaufhauskanal Metrozone

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group as Architects

The IBA Hamburg is a building exhibition which is running in Hamburg until 2013 and has as its mission to develop solutions for the future of the metropolis. One in a long line of building exhibitions held throughout Germany which also included the 1927 Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart which showed the latest developments in architecture and house construction. All building exhibitions to date have had one thing in common: they generated ideas on shaping the future of urban life.

In this tradition the Kaufhauskanal housing scheme provides 80 residential units, which introduce living into this former industrial area of Hamburg. The typology for the overall plan for the Kaufhauskanal Metrozone is designed as a series of new ”Kaufhaus Hybrids””. The scheme is meant to accommodate the existing quarter so that all the new buildings slopes downward and outward to meet the heights of the existing buildings. The roofs are angled and inclined to maximize views to the sky and at the same time minimize the noise from the surrounding streets, roads and railway. Our proposal for the Kaufhauskanal provides a new framework to create an urban geography where the best elements from both the old and new areas will be incorporated.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG Partner-in-Charge “Our Kaufhauskanal vision proposes a neighbourhood where you can have both – both city and nature, both open and urban, both history and future, both identity and diversity, both work and play.”

The warped framework creates a layout that is varied and unique without impacting movement through its open space. The warped parcel structure provides the basic framework for the future planning of the Kaufhauskanal. The resulting urban experience fluctuates between variation and continuity. In order to respect and engage the existing buildings and outdoor spaces, we propose to proportion the urban scale to match the adjacent properties. Along the Kaufhauskanal scheme’s periphery it assumes the scale and height of that neighboring property: from the postmodern office blocks to the old pitched roofed buildings.

Jörg-Heinrich Penner, Harburg’s Department Head for Economy, Building and Environment "Harburg’s docklands and its eclectic mix of buildings and their uses are entirely unique. That is why a BIG + Topotek 1’s scheme whose form is quite untraditional can actually fit in here and succeed here. I am quite sure that their strong yet thought through forms and open spaces will quickly locate both investors and soon to be residents.

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