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Old November 23rd, 2017, 10:06 PM   #1
Heinzer
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BREMEN | Überseestadt | Development & Projects & News | U/C

Bremen is redeveloping its old port area which suffered from the typical loss of traffic due to a lack of water depth and the trend towards containerisation from the late 60ies onwards. Also, a lot of the shipbuilding facilities faced a decline. It is basically the same story everywhere in the western world, be it Baltimore, London or Hamburg. After quite a bit of struggle within the city council the decision for a thorough redevelopment was made in the late nineties, though the whole thing didn´t really kick off until late 2000´s.

This is a photo of the situation in the early nineties:


(Source: SUBV Bremen)

The first major change was the filling of the "Überseehafen" ("Overseas Harbour") to gain space for the move of the wholesale market from the airport area, a decision that is now seen as being a mistake. But we´ll come to that later.

Here is a very early version of a visualisation:





Or this one:



The current version of the master plan looks like this:



Bremen is quite proud of the new area and claims it being the largest redevelopment area in Europe at the moment with an area of almost 3,000,000 square meters, but that is of course marketing, because a huge amount of the area is still in industrial use with port activities going on.

This thread is to inform you about recent and current projects in the Überseestadt which for some reason has not had a thread by its own in this part of the forum until now.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 12:42 PM   #2
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We will start with the area of the old Weserbahnhof, one of the former transportation hubs for loading and unloading cargo off freight trains. Its position is almost ideal because of the proximity to the city center. A river promenade that begins right in the old town now extends to the Überseestadt an connects these parts of the city.

Its development began in 2008 with the construction of the WeserTower bei Helmut Jahn, the first new highrise in Bremen since the early seventies. It has since then been completed by a hotel and lots of new office space and is now called "Weserquartier".

This is the view across the river towards the almost completed Weserquartier in the summer of 2015:



The Hotel Steigenberger under construction in the winter of 2012/2013:



and completed in March 2014:



The WQ1 by Hadi Teherani:



A view from another of the early hotspots of development, the Europahafen area towards the Weserquartier:



This whole area has a decidedly modern look, whereas there are many other areas in the Überseestadt that feature conversion of old port architecture (warehouses etc.) and a more traditional brick style architecture.
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Old November 25th, 2017, 12:04 PM   #3
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Next up a project close by to the above Weserquartier called "Bömers Spitze" on a rather peculiarly shaped triangular plot of land which led the ever grandiose local media to compare it to New York's famous Flatiron building:





Though far from impressive it is rather typical of the newer architectural trends in the Überseestadt. Construction has begun in October, so I'll keep you posted about the process.

In this thread I will irregularly present a mix of showcase-style photos and post current developments/projects and renderings. Everyone else from Bremen or with a weakness for it is of course invited to join me here!
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Old November 25th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #4
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It's nice but again rather short. Überstadt would be an ideal opportunity for a few highrises, but they're wasting it. I'm not calling for a Frankfurt style skyline, but come on, the city has over half a million people, the metro over a million, there's nothing wrong with it actually looking like a big city a bit more.
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Old November 25th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #5
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That's right, but I think things are picking up in terms of highrises.... just look where we were 10 years ago. The first areas to be developed (Europahafen and Weserquartier) are indeed not incredibly urban, apart from the Wesertower not a single highrise and the rest not overly ambitioned concerning height/size. Hamburg's Hafencity has definitely set the pace here in Germany. But with Bremen now seriously growing and apartments selling extremely well almost everywhere, it is just a question of time until new highrises hopefully a bit more ambitioned than the rather drab Landmark Tower shown below will follow.



My hopes are that the current hot spot of development about 2 km downriver, the "Hafenkante" area will become more highrise-minded, at least it's a lot denser and also features living/apartments. And then there's the former Kellogg's area next to the Weserquartier which hopefully will also provide new chances for a denser, more urban look and a bit of a skyline. Yesterday the last shift of cereal production ended there, ending 50 years of tradition of cereal production in Bremen and putting 200 people out of work.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 05:24 PM   #6
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It's all gonna be upper class residential like they build like crazy here in OL at the moment? Or mixed income?
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Old November 29th, 2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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A few years ago, the city council introduced a mandatory mixed-income structure in larger projects (it is about one third rent control, one third non controlled rent and one third ownership). Almost all of the waterfront development had been commissioned before the introduction of this rule, only the more recent developments in the "second row" are now being built under these rules.

The first of these "Sozialwohnungen" developments was called Marcuskaje and has been universally critisised for its 70ies-style architecture (photo from Juni 2015):



But things have been picking up recently, the second huge development is called Johnson-Quartier and far from being impressive architecture it at least shows minor ambition:



As always, things need to go badly (and there is consensus amongst developers that the Marcuskaje project looks rather dreary) before someone realises there is a better way to do things. Investors (in this case mainly semipublic entities) slowly become more daring and ambitious and the current developments in this area of partially rent-controlled housing are far better and show elements of the typical northern German early modern brick architecture, such as the Cecilienquartier (Winking Froh Architekten Hamburg):



or the Europaquartier on the plot where Schuppen 3 is just now being torn down (Stefan Forster Architekten Frankfurt):

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Old November 29th, 2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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Far better indeed (looking back to the 1930s architecture also)
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Old November 29th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #9
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"Sozialwohnungen" is a concept that needs to be abolished - something that should have been done decades ago. By "mixed income" I was talking about apartments affordable to the middle class rather than upper class exclusively.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 10:08 PM   #10
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Maybe I got mixed up in the terminology. We are not talking about the project (U.S. terminology) or estate (British terminology)-like Sozialwohnungen of the 60ies and 70ies but in order to be able to provide housing for about 6-7 €/sq metre you need some sort of subsidy, at least in Germany with its complex body of regulations concerning the construction of residential buildings.

Bremen's policy with new housing aims at a mix of different income classes sharing a quarter ("Durchmischung"). This is being done by direct subsidies to the developers and also by a sort of "cross-subsidy" whereby some of the revenues of the upmarket section of a development is channeled to the subsidized part.

An example would be this project called Stephanitor (it isn't strictly in the Überseestadt, but right next to it - and it demonstrates the general idea quite well):





The tall and almost finished building to the left is rent controlled, it also functions as a sort of noise barrier from heavy traffic for the remaining houses to the right which are decidedly upmarket pricewise. Thus, people who would normally never be able to afford living with a riverview in a most central location get this opportunity while the rest of the houses are shielded from traffic noise which would go down badly with potential buyers who pay a fortune for their new apartment.

But I get what you are saying, there is definitely an income gap between people who qualify for rent-control apartments and people who can afford the non-subsidised part of this kind of housing. These people usually are being left out from these new developments in attractive areas.
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