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Europacity: A new quarter comes into being.
Located directly next to the Berlin main train station, the project area for the new urban quarter Europacity at the Heidestrasse stretches north and covers an area of approximately 40 hectares. The "Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart" (Museum of the Contemporary in the former Hamburger train station) and the adjacent "Kunst-Campus" (arts campus) - initiated by Vivico - form the southern starting point and cultural centre of the quarter. The quarter Europacity is confined on the north side by the Perleberger Bridge, on the west side by the train tracks and by the Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal (Spandauer shipping canal) on the east side. The Heidestrasse cuts through the quarter and forms the central thoroughfare. The intention is to turn this into an attractive boulevard during the course of the quarter's development.
The major owners of the project area are Vivico (approx. 20 hectares), the Deutsche Bahn (approx. 10 hectares) and the state of Berlin (approx. 6 hectares). Within the scope of an agency agreement, the Deutsche Bahn AG commissioned Vivico with the development of its area in Autumn 2007. The objective of the development is a mixed quarter with unmistakable, high quality urban space in the direct vicinity of the Charitée, the government offices, the main train station, the "Lehrter Stadtquartier" and the Hamburger Bahnhof cultural centre. A new "piece of Berlin" should emerge at this location with its own future-proof, urbanistic image which contributes to sustainable city development through the use of new building typologies, new technologies and new forms of urban living. The living, work, culture and leisure time functional areas should - with the Heidestrasse forming the central point - be linked to form a lively urban quarter. A pedestrian friendly network of footpaths and streets as well as attractive public areas and open spaces should help to connect the area with the surrounding urban space.
To further promote the development area Europacity, Vivico, in cooperation with the Deutsche Bahn AG and the state of Berlin, organised a town planning competition in January 2008. The competition ended on 11 April 2008. The team of KCAP/ASTOC and Studio Urban Catalyst created the winning design. This design now forms the foundation for the development of a master plan, the objective of which is the creation of a legally binding land-use plan. The project partners assume that this should be ready by the year 2010/2011. The realisation of the quarter can then be started. The Heidestrasse project area is still strongly influenced by the old container terminal on the west side and by the old warehouses and storage areas on the east side. The area is still used extensively by logistics companies for the storage of products.
Although large parts of Europacity still do not meet the requirements for an integrated quarter, the Museum für Gegenwart in the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Flick Collection, in the so-called Rieckhalle, have formed a cultural centre on the southern border of the area (on Invalidenstrasse) which is having a positive effect on the entire project. Vivico has seized upon this idea and is transforming the area into an arts campus (Kunst-Campus). Vivico has therefore rented out another old warehouse nearby ("Halle am Wasser") which is to house 8 Berlin art galleries. To this end, the hall was completed renovated and received a new façade. The planned completion date is the end of April 2008.
Gross surface area The designs presented during the town planning competition have shown that a total gross surface area, above ground, of between 540,000 sqm and 650,000 sqm is possible. This key data will be detailed further during the course of the master plan project.
Living Using a base calculation of 100 sqm per accommodation unit, approx. 800 - 1200 units could be created. Based on 2 residents / household, this would mean approx. 1600 - 2400 residents for the quarter.
Work Depending on the final gross surface area which is determined, approx 10,000 - 14,000 jobs could be created in the office, service provision, retail trade, catering and other sectors.
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