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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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"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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Europaquartier

A few days ago, a new project in the Überseestadt was presented to the public. It ist called "Europaquartier", the rather silly "-quartier" part somehow having become irresistible and inevitable for property developers over the last 5 to 10 years in Germany.

The whole thing centers around a rather nondescript and one-storeyed warehouse from the early postwar area of which about a third will be preserved and thoroughly remodeled whereas the rest of the area will be completely developed from scratch:

This is the area of the development:



(Weser-Kurier)

This is an overview of the whole thing:



(Deal-Magazin)

This is a rendering for the redeveloped warehouse part (Störmer Murphy and Partners):



This is a rendering for the midrise (56 m, 15 storeys) in the center of the area (Sauerbruch Hutton):



This is the rent-controlled part of the development (Stefan Forster):



These are a part of the smaller waterfront developments (Haslob Kruse):



Detailed visualizations of the remaining 4 waterfront buildings by Springer Architekten haven't yet been published online. Now this is probably nothing to write home about for bigger cities like Hamburg or Rotterdam, but for Bremen, this ist a huge project. I quite like it.
 

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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):

God those brick buildings are so much nicer and warmer than the buildings above it. I wish glass and steel and conrete would just stop being used as cladding, horrible to look at, cold, depressing
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The detailed plans for the project "Europahafenkopf" are out:





(C) Cobe Architects Copenhagen

A small cluster of midrises and one modest high rise by Bremen standards with 77.5m and 400 apartments as well as lots of office space and a "street food court" in the ground levels right on the Europahafen harbour basin. The architecture by Cobe Architects is supposed to be reminiscent of the typical postwar warehouse architecture of the area and I think they achieved this quite well.

One of the more interesting projects in the Überseestadt area at the moment. Construction is supposed to start in February.
 

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The detailed plans for the project "Europahafenkopf" are out:

A small cluster of midrises and one modest high rise by Bremen standards with 77.5m and 400 apartments as well as lots of office space and a "street food court" in the ground levels right on the Europahafen harbour basin. The architecture by Cobe Architects is supposed to be reminiscent of the typical postwar warehouse architecture of the area and I think they achieved this quite well.
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yeah, looks like they did achieve a post war, 1950s-1960s block-house look that nearly everyone wishes never happened. :eek:hno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I also have mixed feelings about the design... this can fail epically by somehow expanding this very basic shed roof and usually low rise warehouse architecture to urban and denser midrises.

On the other hand, it will probably form the most urban area in the Überseestadt at a prime location... so I see what you mean and I also wish that a different design had been chosen (the alternatives haven't really convinced me either, though), all in all this will nevertheless be an improvement because development up to now has been very fragmented and there were lots of unused plots between the different little cores (this isn't Frankfurt, after all). This will connect two different independent development cores...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More news from the Überseestadt:

A huge area with a peninsular shape between the Weser River and an old Harbour basin called Europahafen is currently being developed by the city and its main investor, the Bremen based wind energy consultant wpd. Its owner bought about 100,000 sq meters from the cereal company Kellogg's who had one of its European production facilities on the site.

This is the area in an aerial view from 2016 (Source Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen):



This is a current version of the planning, a work still in progress as more than one bureau have won the first architectural competition:



Some of the main landmarks on the site will be preserved, such as the granary and the adjacent "Rice Hall" that will be converted into a hotel and restaurants:






(Delugan Meissl Associated Architects)

In the central part of the area, the pre-war administrative building will be converted into an elementary school and behind it, there will be areas reserved for a new interpretation of the typical Bremen row houses, this part was won by the Bremen based architects of Gruppeomp:


(sorry, I didn't find a bigger one)



This is something very special for a new development in Bremen... we will see how it works out. The whole area is to be car-reduced with lots of open and semi-public spaces.

This is another view of the riverfront by the Berlin based bureau SMAQ architects which also won parts of the competition...



All in all, an exiting project for Bremen...

More information:
https://polis-magazin.com/2018/11/bremen-ueberseeinsel-planung-laeuft-auf-hochtouren/
 

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They show so many public spaces full of people, but aside from having a job in one of the buildings, I see no reason to be there at all, neither as a resident nor as a visitor. It's far away from all places of interest in Bremen, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to offer that's worth going there.
 
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