New Port Promenade Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

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.

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.


client: LSBG, Hamburg


architect: Zaha Hadid Architects, London; Jan Hübener, Studio H2K, Hamburg


lighting designer: Schlotfeldt Licht, Hamburg


photographer: Martin Zitzlaff


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