The site of the former rail freight station Rothenburgsort is located not far from the bridges across the Norderelbe, two kilometres east of Hamburg’s old town and Hafencity. The railway tracks which run north to south and the wide stretch of the Billhorner Brückenstraße in the west, act as urban development boundaries which make the area an island-like piece of land in the city. The City of Hamburg plans to develop the area close to the town-centre for commercial use.
The concept sees this project as an opportunity to lure manufacturing, crafts and cultural production back into the inner city. Therefore a variety of uses is envisaged for the area, with industrial production, commerce, creative production, production-oriented services as well as complementary social infrastructure facilities. The concept foresees the new Huckepackbahnhof (piggy-back station) evolving as an area of opportunity for smaller and medium-sized companies with newly developed, highly compact commercial clusters in which the modern working world interacts with the qualities of a city.
Robust architectural structures specify a minimum of individual activities and uses for “premium rough”. Buildings with a loft character and consistently used materials draw on the traditions of Hamburg’s Speicherstadt (historic warehouse district). With the planned closure of the Alster-Elbe green belt gap, these site qualities will be underpinned by attractive open spaces and connections to the neighbouring quarters. The site is easily accessible from all sides for pedestrians and cyclists while access by lorries is restricted to a few ring-shaped thoroughfares around the main site along the railway tracks at the back of the building. Thus an east-west tree-flanked thoroughfare can be developed at a higher level where diversity of use can be experienced. Only a few car parking spaces are planned for this area. The building lots along the southern route and at the Billhorner Brückenstraße in the west are categorised as a commercial area. A structural highpoint is being developed at the crossing point of both traffic routes. A trapezoidal construction block for mixed use is planned for the middle of the area with a connection to the opera workshops which are likely to be the first to move onto the site of the New Huckepackbahnhof in 2018.