HafenCity Hamburg: ECE and STRABAG Real Estate Celebrate Completion of “Intelligent Quarters” and New Neighborhood Square

Large neighborhood block party with Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher and light installation by Michael Batz

ECE and STRABAG Real Estate (SRE) celebrated the completion of the ensemble of buildings named “Intelligent Quarters” in Hamburg’s HafenCity district yesterday with a large neighborhood block party on the new square between HafenCity University, Überseeallee, the River Elbe, and the three buildings built by the two project partners: the two office buildings WATERMARK and SHIPYARD and the apartment building FREEPORT.

Around 700 invited guests and residents celebrated the completion of the “Intelligent Quarters” project and the construction of the new neighborhood square together with Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher, HafenCity University President Prof. Walter Pelka, ECE CEO Alexander Otto, and SRE CEO Rainer Maria Schäfer. Lotto King Karl und die 3 Richtigen, The Young ClassX soloist ensemble, numerous local musicians from Hamburg, as well as the stage designer and light artist Michael Batz, who developed an artistic light installation for the neighborhood, created the perfect atmosphere for the evening.

Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher had this to say: “The ensemble of buildings consisting of ‘Watermark,’ ‘Shipyard,’ and ‘Freeport,’ with a spacious neighborhood square in the center, is truly a special place in the HafenCity district. Open staircases and communal facilities on the ground floor create an urban atmosphere with a campus flair. The ‘Intelligent Quarters’ form a beautiful end to Magdeburger Hafen and extend Hamburg’s city center to the Elbe.”
High-quality architectural design and urban planning were a top priority for the project partners ECE and SRE when developing the new ensemble in the HafenCity district. The central neighborhood square with its grassy areas and trees, benches, and restaurants with patio seating invite residents and visitors to spend time outdoors and relax. A large open staircase provides direct access to the water. The centerpiece of the ensemble is the WATERMARK office tower, which stands about 70 meters high with an elegant white ceramic facade that makes the building shine in the light. But the SHIPYARD office building and the FREEPORT apartment building offer equally high-quality architecture for modern working and living in the heart of the HafenCity district. Hamburg-based architects Störmer Murphy and Partners were responsible for designing the buildings and the site’s overall layout. Their outstanding design proposals ultimately won an architectural competition that was open to all applicants.

“I am delighted that, despite the challenging circumstances at the beginning of the development project, which we launched in the middle of the international financial crisis, we have shown great perseverance, conviction, and commitment, and successfully completed the project together with the city of Hamburg,” said Alexander Otto, Chairman of the ECE Management Board. “The Intelligent Quarters is an urban location with an architectural highlight and one of the most beautiful places in the entire HafenCity district.”

“We are very happy with our contribution to the urban development of the Elbboulevard,” confirmed SRE CEO Rainer Maria Schäfer. “Everyone can take a leisurely stroll to experience the quality for themselves: starting at the Kehrwiederspitze, then past the Elbphilharmonie and the other attractions, right to our Intelligent Quarters.”

The neighborhood block party square marked the official completion of the “Intelligent Quarters” project – on schedule and within budget – after a good three years of construction. The project with an investment volume of around 150 million euros is almost fully leased to well-known companies such as Kühne+Nagel, Datev, RTL, Auretas, and Schüco. In addition, all but one of the condominiums has already been sold. All in all, the WATERMARK office tower has over 16,000 m² of gross floor area spread over 18 floors, the FREEPORT a total of 46 high-quality condominiums over a total of 4,600 m², and the SHIPYARD an additional 7,800 m² of office space. The buildings are well connected to public transportation, with the U4 subway stop right outside the door. Furthermore, the ensemble includes an underground parking garage with a total of 390 parking spaces.