Productive landscapes-ocuppied infrastructures

The industrial monument. Unlike the “traditional” European city whose characteristic image is usually associated with the qualities of the residential area in its historical centre, the heritage of the city of Hamburg extends beyond housing, the square and the street to incorporate a whole rich tradition linked to the industrial sphere. This «other» heritage extends from the landscape, as we have mentioned, to the architecture encompassing an infinite collection of objects, machinery, constructions and vehicles that the city has forged its own identity with.

In this sense we could speak of a «productive industrial monumentality» as an identifying element for an entire community. However, the monument is living heritage since it has remained in active use over time. A fully contemporary monument that, due to its location and spatial qualities (dimensional, structural, etc.), may be able to survive a specific activity and become flexible «scaffolding» capable of adapting to new times and new uses. The proposed work site, the future district of Elbinselquartier on Elbe Island in Wilhemsburg is clearly representative of these landscapes so characteristic of the city of Hamburg. This is a place also built on a site with an important old industrial past: the margarine factory on Jaffestrasse, which has wisely had two of its most unique buildings preserved.

Its location between transport, communication and recreational canals (Jaffe Davids Canal and Amann Canal), the present industries and manufacturing (from heavier industry to the workshops for services and ateliers), the abundance of the riverside vegetation, cultivated areas used for agriculture, as well as marsh and green land, the heterogeneous mixed usage (from the previously mentioned productive ones to residential) make the site a potential model of coexistence between new typologies and those that have always been there.

Industrial Reflections converts this particular hybrid situation into the basis of a project capable of engaging in a dialogue with the city image over different scales and time periods: on the one hand, the history of such a complex location that is trapped in the various pre-existing elements (residential and industrial) and on the other the desire to develop an integrated district, a neighbourhood of mixed functions and social uses, where housing, work and commerce coexist in harmony.

Industrial Reflections starts by identifying certain constituent materials from the project site, and using them defines a specific language and heir to the industrial past and present, the current infrastructure and how the district has been built over time.

Urban implementation. At an urban level the proposal follows the general indications determined by the winning proposal for the Elbinselquartier functional plan established for the sector. The requirements relating to connections and general circulation networks, the dimensioning of individual buildings, schematic volumes (alignments and building heights), the relationship between public spaces (urban, natural) and the mix of intended uses are considered on each of the scales the proposal operates on. The project is developed by means of these premises at a spatial, material and functional level, enhancing the master plan to achieve a specific and unique solution based on the desired mixture of housing and business in the area.

Hybrid city – Stratified city

The reflection of “industry” on the canal becomes an image that is especially important for the whole district.The «structural order» is present in many of the elements found in this complex. Whether the repetitive dimension of the «container» or the patterned facade of the buildings of the old margarine factory, there is complete structural rigour unifying objects and elements from a variety of different origins.

Work and residential spaces build an image that is both diverse and unitary at the same time between factory and housing, between the past and the future. The proposed new hybrid building typology is quite flexible, adapting the structural and envelope mesh to the needs and number of different uses found within each building. More resistant and liberated slabs floors with more transparent enclosures identify the productive and work-oriented use while the residential is associated with smaller dimensions and with the hollow and the window, being the representative domestic elements.

The complex and difficult stratified overlap of housing and productive industry is filtered (apart from adequate structural elements) by the positioning of strategic botanical terraces and circulation galleries which, as natural screens, attenuate possible interference (acoustic and olfactory) that may arise between these two different uses.

In the organization of the urban space, the proper mix of working, commercial and residential spaces, establishing different relationship gradients and typologies between productive multifunctional uses. Along the main street, the activities of a more public nature are carried out. Heavily frequented spaces are used to get walk-in customers, while locations at the back of buildings are used more for developing and producing goods and services. Commercial spaces with workshops on the ground floor yet requiring direct contact with customers are distributed throughout the street area. These exist in conjunction with another type of multifunctional usage; as a space intended for public events (exhibitions, conferences) and another related to restoration. The whole area connected to the canal is also activated with uses that could be linked to sports activities. A canoe wharf is located at the ends of the Block17.

The housing is always raised above the public street, either occupying the upper floors or on a small platform that is especially characteristic in Blocks 26 where residential use is denser. The spaces destined for labour activities in these areas are characterized by shared rent zones for cooperative work with common infrastructures.

Flexible infrastructure – polyvalent typology

The idea of a flexible and multifunctional infrastructure finds an interesting reference to take into account (Puhsthof Jaffestraße and Haffe12) in the «Puhsthöfe» implanted in the area. In line with this, the proposal calls for multi-purpose commercial and work spaces (workshops, studios and offices) that are easily adaptable to different uses, either by grouping several units or by compartmentalising them.

The location of a compact infrastructure connecting vertical circulations, humid areas (bathrooms, kitchens, etc.) and storage spaces enables maximum spatial liberation. With one or more floors, with greater proximity to the customer or as an exclusive space only for work, with private car parks (exterior or interior) or without them, with more or less storage space, with connections to special facilities (high-voltage current as well as for aeration plants and fire-protection) the proposal offers a collection of spaces that can be used multi-functionally, facilitating occupancy by a wide range of users.

From more traditional work spaces such as carpentry workshops, metalworking, perfumeries, watchmaking, shoemaking to newer disciplines employing the latest cutting edge technology (digital printing, 3d machining, laser), from logistic spaces or laboratories (food, cleaning, etc.) with special storage and transport needs to small ateliers and private artist and creative studios, the raised structure allows the greatest possible versatility of uses by prioritizing its contact with the street or at least with large terraces facilitating the loading and unloading of stockage.

This idea of an equipped central core extends to residential usage in each of the proposed typologies (duplex, simplex, corridor, double facade etc.) so that many times the work and residential space can be interchangeable and even overlap. The “growth” system enabled for commercial use is also transferred to the housing, allowing for the possibility of joining adjacent units. The housing units, structured on various facility cores offer a wide amount of possibilities and a large variety of options for a wide range of possible users. These cores, both in residences and in work spaces will be prefabricated facilitating their implementation in the whole complex.

credits

architects: CUAC, Álvaro Castellano Pulido  |  team: CUAC (Tomás García Píriz); Álvaro Castellano Pulido  |  collaborator: Graziano Testa, Martina Vismara, Miriam Pistocchi, José Antonio Herrera García, José Antonio Sánchez Fuentes, Luis Miguel Ruiz Avilés, María del Pilar Becerra García  |  client: Europan  |  status: Competition (2017)  |  clasification: finalist  |  location: Hamburg, Germany (53.5087978,10.0010482)  |  climate: Continental, Temperate  |  material: undefined  |  environment: Industrial  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: large  |  types: housing, residential  |  views: 3.321