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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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