Situated in the leafy residential district of Eppendorf, the 50,000 sqm block interior site has, since the 1920’s, been intensively used as bus and tram workshops.
The masterplan rejected tabula rasa in favour of a sympathetic appropriation, not only of fragments (Gate House becomes Café) but also of the inherent multifunctional template of large-scale production sheds. A strategy that, in co-opting the character and ambience of industrial heritage, gives a potency and direction to new urban scenographies. This method of re-inventing contexts, spatial sequencing and a certain open- ended pragmatism distinguished this from the eleven other object-oriented masterplans.
Process plans, sketches and model from the Falkenried Masterplan show the recycling of shed geometries, sequencing of enclosed interconnected spaces and the strategic location of the housing tower. The central production building was subsequently converted (LABFAC, Paris) as a TV Station and Kitchen Emporium. To the north the tranquil zone of low- rise/high-density housing was scripted not only by plans but also by atmospheric sketches and realised by various participating architects. Such townhouses meet a market demand for inner city family life, an alternative to suburban drift.
The east–west pedestrian axis and piazza connect the block interior to a busy commercial street (Hoheluftchaussee) and the leafy residential streets to the east. South of this dividing line the scale changes dramatically. The B+W Office Vector and 14-floor tower bring the density up to the allowed 70,000 sqm. The connection to Lehmweg and the canal is flanked by the second Bolles+Wilson building (Double ‘T’ Offices) and the final piece of the puzzle, glass-balconied housing (Baumschlager Eberle).
The Housing Tower is the pinwheel of the masterplan. The intentional solidity and sculpted form-language relates to a Hamburg typical expressionist tradition of the 1920’s as well as the industrial history of this site. A rough turf-fired (Wittmunder) brick gives a unifying tactile surface, further enriched by the corbelling of alternating brick courses. Winter gardens with sliding glass screens animate corners. Local slippages and variation in window sizes set up a dynamism and a vertical evolution within the overall building volume.