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Urban Excursion: Baakenpark by Atelier Loidl

Urban Excursion: Baakenpark by Atelier Loidl

Baakenpark by Atelier Loidl © Mark Pflueger

The Baakenpark, designed by Atelier Loidl, is the green center of the eastern HafenCity in Hamburg. The 1.6-hectare peninsula, artificially created with sand from the river Elbe, is located in the middle of the former harbor basin of Baakenhafen. It is characterized by its linear edges, steel banks, and stone promenades. With its wild shoreline and characteristic topography, the green spaces of the park continue to the water’s edge, forming an atmospheric counterpart to its surroundings. It is a park that invites exploration and only unfolds when walking through it. It includes a variety of offers for all visitors, with lively meeting points, wide meadows, playgrounds, and quieter, isolated places.

Ph. Leonard Grosch

Baakenpark has a remarkable topography with several plateaus of different heights. The highest peak at the eastern end of the peninsula is the 15-meter-high Himmelsberg, a panoramic point visible from afar. When exploring the park, visitors are offered surprising shifts in perspective and varied insights and views. As a green area, the park offers recreation with a variety of sports and play possibilities. It is an optical-aesthetic point of reference in the middle of the harbor basin. The bridge from Versmannkai to Baakenpark provides pedestrians and cyclists with a direct link between the northern and southern parts of the new quarter. The peninsula itself is accessed by a circular path along the shoreline.

General Plan.

Right at the entrance of the park, the “island sofa” presents itself as a meeting point with its impressive wooden seating scenery. Above it, within easy reach, is the Treibgut playground. Seemingly indiscriminate, wooden boxes are distributed throughout the playground, creating a space for children to play that is reminiscent of the flotsam playgrounds from the past. A second important component of the plateau is a small, artificial turf playing field for leisure and school sports.

The northern embankment of the central plateau is equipped with a generous seating area. With panoramic views of the harbor basin and the Versmannkai on the other side of the plateau, this heightened area is an attractive place to rest and it can also be used as a platform for small events. With its extensive lawn covered with fruit trees, the central plateau is also inviting as a place for picnics.

Three large sky swings are located in an exposed location with a slight recess that also includes training equipment sheltered between the trees. In the neighborhood of the newly planned primary school and kindergarten, there is a 100-meter running track.

The Himmelsberg rises in the eastern part. It forms the striking end of the park and blends harmoniously into the picturesque landscape of the peninsulas. Like a pyramid, the 15-meter-high mountain drops sharply on three sides. A staircase cutting into the flat slope of the hill leads the visitor to a viewing platform. It forms the highlight of the Himmelsberg with its panoramic view of the Hamburg harbor.

DATE: 2012-2018 / LOCATION: Hamburg, Germany / AREA: 16.000 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Urban Park / STATUS: Built / DESIGN: Atelier Loidl Landscape Architects GmbH / CLIENT: HafenCity Hamburg GmbH / COLLABORATORS: BBS Landscape Engineering GmbH, Umtec.Hilpert / PHOTOS: Mark Pflueger, Leonard Grosch

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