Urban planning concept The district that is the location of the development, the Wilhelmsburg district, is situated within the city of Hamburg between two arms of the Elbe – the Norderelbe and the Süderelbe-Köhlbrand branch. The neighbourhood, which is in the south part of the Reihersteig quarter, is characterized by a traditional workers’ housing development consisting of red brick buildings dating from the 1930s: a three-storey terrace construction with red saddle roofs, which has also been modernised in connection with the IBA. The exceptionally high quality of the existing urban structure resulted in the basic elements of the existing architecture being retained; these were refined and reinterpreted by Gerber Architekten to produce the sculptural head-end structures. The use of a type of brick that harmonises with the existing infrastructure is particularly effective in emphasising and reinforcing the unity of the wider district. The so-called gate buildings represent the northern point of entry to the ‘Quarter of Nations‘, providing a logical conclusion to the block periphery. The alignments of the new building structures incorporate those of the existing development. The slightly recessed positioning of the U-building allowed a plaza location to be created on the Neuhöfer Strasse. Taken together with the projecting elements of the buildings, this plaza defines the starting point of the district in urban planning terms.
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