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New Port Promenade
Hamburg, Germany

  • project New Port Promenade Hamburg
  • client LSBG ,Hamburg
  • architect Zaha Hadid Architects, London; Jan Hübener, Studio H2K, Hamburg
  • lighting designer Schlotfeldt Licht, Hamburg
  • photographer Martin Zitzlaff

The Port of Hamburg has a new promenade in a prominent location – the Inland Port/Lower Port flood protection facility between the landing bridges in St. Pauli and the Old Warehouse District. The promenade’s distinctive architecture stems from the London office of Zaha Hadid and is brought to life at night by light from a technical solution designed by Schlotfeldt Licht using LED technology by Selux.

The floodwater protection facilities in the Port of Hamburg are gradually being renewed, creating urban planning opportunities in defining locations for the urban landscape – like at the floodwater protection facility for Hamburg’s Inland Port /Lower Port. Here one of the Port of Hamburg‘s most important promenades forms a connection between the landing bridges in St. Pauli and the historical port buildings of the Old Warehouse District, which were recently included on UNESCO‘s list of world heritage sites. The building section starts at „Baumwall“ in the direct vicinity of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

Tenders were invited to meet special urban planning requirements and the award-winning design was submitted by the London office of the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects. The extraordinary architecture of the staircases shown in the design, each connected to the promenade in varying dimensions, ensures a high-quality visitor experience and aesthetic appeal. To enable the lighting effect and light mood to effectively compliment such architectural sophistication, Schlotfeldt Licht proposed a lighting solution that was not based on standard luminaires.

The light planning for the floodwater protection facility with its
promenade and staircases is clearly subordinated to the strictness of the architecture. The staircases, whose appearance is inspired by wash-outs in the sand, are emphasised by direct light, while the upper promenade is lit using reserved light. In order to realise the lighting concept, light planners worked closely with all involved parties, the customer LSBG, BSU, Vattenfall (now Hamburg Verkehrsanlagen) and Selux. „The technical support we received from Selux was a defining factor in the successful completion of this extraordinary project,“ explained Volker Augener from LSBG.

Based on the specifications in the design by Schlotfeldt Licht, Selux developed a project-specific LED pole luminaire. Poles are mounted at intervals of between 18 and 40m at heights of 6.5 m or 8.5m, with each pole assigned to a staircase, to which it is tilted at an incline of around 15°. All poles for a single staircase system have a uniform height and each pole bears six pivoting LED luminaire heads, three with batwing light distribution and three with flood optics, enabling various areas, shapes and distances to be illuminated differently. Each LED luminaire head is equipped with its own, DALI-capable driver, enabling a wide variety of light scenes to be programmed via the relevant controller.

The highly compact luminaire heads are recessed into depressions in the poles, which are tapered organically towards the top end; their surface corresponding in colour with the dark ground below. The design language for the light poles is based on maritime associations such as ships‘ masts, cranes or the stalks of reeds.

The way in which the staircases intersect alternately in the promenade calls to mind small amphitheatres. „Uniform illumination would have resulted in a stadium effect, which we wanted to avoid in the interest of creating a high quality visitor experience,“ explained Light Planner Tom Schlotfeldt. For this reason the light poles were arranged so that they create both bright and darker zones. The pole luminaires have already been installed in the first section “Baumwall” and the luminaire heads provisionally aligned.

„The feedback so far both from residents of Hamburg and tourists has been overwhelmingly positive. With its seating areas, the promenade has been accepted as a key new visitor attraction, to an extent that (according to initial estimations) is even beyond the scope of our expectations,“ reports Tom Schlotfeldt. This is doubtless also due to the light mood and the high quality technical realisation of the project, the result of which project participants are most certainly highly satisfied with.

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