Wilhelmsburg Mitte

At the Heart of the Largest River Island in Europe
Walking Tour through Wilhelmsburg Central, the IBA's Showcase Distric

The tour begins at Wilhelmsburg S-Bahn station. Directly opposite is the new building of the “State Ministry for Urban Development and Environment” (BSU). As the largest new structure on the site, its shape and colour scheme are striking, and it forms the backbone of the new district.

Cross the new pedestrian bridge towards the State Ministry building. Two blocks tower on the other side of Neuenfelder Strasse. On the corner is the “Medical Centre”, which is home to apartments and shops as well as medical practices. If you go through the passageway into the inner courtyard, you will come across the “Senior Citizens‘ Centre on Island Park”, which houses a teaching centre for carers and a day nursery.

After crossing the inner courtyard, turn right between the buildings, heading towards Kurt-Emmerich Platz. Here you will see the “InselAkademie Building”, run by a private educational provider with a focus on teaching sports. It lies directly alongside the two buildings belonging to the “WOOD 5 ¼” project.

Walk a few more metres through the square. You will find yourself in front of the main entrance to the Island Park. This is the site of the “Island Park Hall”: the front section of the building will be a basketball venue from 2014. The back part of the building houses the new Wilhelmsburg swimming pool.

To your left stands the “WÄLDERHAUS (Forest house)”, with a restaurant, an information centre on forestry, and a hotel.

Follow the Am Inselpark road around to the right. You will find yourself in the middle of the “Building Exhibition within the Building Exhibition”. To the left you can see the five “WaterHouses” – residential buildings erected within a rainwater basin.

To your right are the various “Smart Material Houses” and “Smart Price Houses” projects. The green façade of the “BIQ” building is particularly striking. It is the first building in the world to have a bioreactor façade, within which algae are grown, and later used to generate energy.

Left of the “BIQ” is the “Soft House”, with its flexible solar panels a prominent feature.

Turning into the cul-de-sac, you will spot the “WOODCUBE”, a modern residential building made of wood, on the left, along with the “Smart is Green” project with its smart phase change materials.

On the opposite side are the three “Smart Price Houses”. The “Case Study #1”, “CSH Case Study Hamburg” and “Basic Building and Do-It-Yourself” demonstrate how modern residential buildings can have a sophisticated design yet remain cost-effective, with projects ranging from a modern loft apartment building made of prefabricated elements to a self-assembled construction using “stacked” housing units.

Go back to the Am Inselpark road and continue on the right-hand side until you come to the end; you will pass the “Hybrid Houses” on your way. “Hybrid Development”, “Hybrid House” and the “igs Centre” show how living and working can be combined under the same roof, and how buildings can be adapted to the wishes of the residents.

Continue left along Mengestrasse, going under Wilhelmsburger Reichsstrasse. On your left is Wilhelmsburg’s old town hall, dating from 1903. Opposite are the community centre and the Ursula-Falke-Terrassen, which were built at the same time as the canals. Today you can catch a boat from the middle of Europe’s largest river island across the harbour to the St Pauli jetties.

Our tour of Wilhelmsburg Central ends here.