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New free space qualities on Harburg Schloßinsel

Harburger Schloßinsel Park

Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein Bild: IBA Hamburg GmbH / Bernadette Grimmenstein




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New spaces for the city

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/fileadmin/Projekte/M52_Brueckenschlag/brueckenschlag.jpg New routes to the Harburg Schloßinsel

Creating a bridge to Harburg’s Schloßinsel

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/fileadmin/Projekte/M43_Marina_auf_der_Schlossinsel/marina_482x150.jpg Living in the Harburg Dock

Marina on the ‘Schloßinsel’

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/fileadmin/Projekte/M42_Quartier_am_Park/quartierampark.jpg Living in a unique location

Park Quarter

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Harburger Schlossinsel Park


The IBA's projects are giving Harburg's Schlossinsel an appealing new look. A star-shaped park is taking shape, covering an area of 1.5 hectares, at the very centre of the Schlossinsel, between the residential Park Quarter and Marina developments. This newly designed park offers a space for relaxation and is the largest continuous green area in the Harburg Inland Port. Once a grey zone dominated by industry, this location on the Schlossinsel is now an oasis for rest and recreation.

A Site with a History

The park is being created on a site with a turbulent 1000-year history. It was still being used as a military fortress in the early nineteenth century, as the Schlossinsel was fast becoming the centre of the industrial Harburg Upriver Port. However, following the construction of a major railway line and a highway at the southern end of the site, the Schlossinsel over time became a peripheral area, disconnected from the current centre of Hamburg's southernmost district. During this period the island became known primarily as a working area.

In 2006 the area finally became the target of planning, featuring a two-stage development concept. The aim was to transform this former harbour location into a residential and recreational district.

Due to its central position, the Schlossinsel Park plays a particularly important part in this plan. In autumn 2010 the Schlossinsel area was released from harbour development legislation, allowing projects such as the creation of the park to be carried out. Only one year before, the IBA had announced a landscape planning competition to structure the space, and in February 2012 a panel chose the winning design from among countless applications.

The Winning Design

First place went to the design by the landscape planners Hager Partner AG, from Zurich. Their idea places the remaining part of the old Harburg Castle at the centre of the park. According to the plan, four sections of the park lead off from this point to the water's edge, while another aims for the park entrance on Lotseplatz. Each of the park's sections has its own name and design theme. Only four of the sections are currently being constructed, including Windjammer ("Tall Ship") and Morgenlicht ("First Light"); the fifth will form part of the second stage of development.

Harburg Castle: the Centre of the Park

One of the important core features of the park's design is the historic Harburg Castle, located on a slight hill. By making this building, which is steeped in history, the centre of the park, the spotlight has been restored to the old nucleus of Harburg.

A large children's play park is being built right beside the historic castle. Children will have a choice between an area where they can run around freely, and a slide, climbing ropes, and hammocks. The play park is well protected by the surrounding trees and offers cool shade in the summer.

Water a Major Component of the Design

Along with the central position given to Harburg Castle, water also plays a very important role in the park's design. All of the lawns have been designed as clear, open spaces, so that visitors can enjoy unique, unobstructed views of the surrounding waters of the inland port.

Visitors and residents can make use of the three points of water access, enjoying the sunshine sitting on steps and jetties, or relaxing, dangling their legs, and watching the hustle and bustle on the water. Since the waters of the upriver port are not tidal, visitors to the park can sit right at the water's edge.

Trees and Shrubs

Around the park, flowerbeds with shrubs and groups of elms, alders, and willows create a transitional area between the park and the residential development, and thus screen the areas of public and private land from one another. In summer the trees cast refreshing shade, while in autumn they bathe the park in a lush yellow glow. Along the waterfront, shrubs are constantly in bloom, providing a clear demarcation between the park and the water.

For residents and visitors to the Schlossinsel, the park provides a fascinating blend of the historical and the modern - a mix that is set to define life on the island.

The design is being implemented by the Harburg District Authority's Urban Park Department.

Project Milestones

  • February 2009: decision to hold an international landscape planning competition 
  • From summer 2011: disposal of explosive ordnance and of waste 
  • From autumn 2011: beginning of construction work on the park
  • Late 2012: tree planting and completion of the park 

This project is sponsored by the Framework Programme for Integrated Urban Development (Rise).

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Size: 1.5 ha

Project costs: 2.9 Mio. Euro



Bezirksamt Harburg – Dezernat Wirtschaft, Bauen und Umwelt –Fachamt Management des öffentlichen Raumes – Abteilung Stadtgrün


Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg - Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt, Finanzbehörde Immobilienmanagement, Bezirksamt Harburg