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The St. Pauli City Garden on the Bunker in Hamburg, Germany, integrates the neighbors in the planning process of a public roof-garden.

The Bunker in St. Pauli in Hamburg faces a make-over. The planned roof garden will be open to the public. (Visualisation: Planungsbüro Bunker)




The idea was born in the neighborhood: A green park on top of a grey massive bunker from World War II. It didn’t take long to convince the owner, Professor Thomas J. C. Matzen. The historic site in St. Pauli, Hamburg, Germany, is now to be redeveloped with a lush roof garden, free to anyone. The neighbors continue to play a big part in the planning process and for the years to come.

The garden on top of the bunker will be connected to the ground via a ramp, 300 meters (360 yards ) long and more than six meters (20 feet) wide, that will also contain trees and bushes. An elevator will guarantee a barrier-free access to the roof-top garden, where young and old will have the opportunity to do gardening.  Additional to the 8.000 square meters of greenery, there will be rooms for concerts, culture and media and guest apartments. The income generated from the rent ought to refinance a part of the private investment.

Neighbor-active process

The public is frequently informed on the project and its process by the Planungsteam Bunker, the executive planners under Robin Houcken. They are supported by the Hilldegarten Project, a group of volunteers, that organize workshops and meetings with neighbors and interested participants. The volunteers work in five groups: Garden and Landscape, Energy, Utilization, Museum and Public Interest.

The long-term building lease of the bunker was bought by Matzen in 1992. Since then he enforced a gentle development of the bunker, that is now a music- and media-realty, where bands practice and artists display their work.

St. Pauli City-Garden on the Bunker, Hamburg, Germany

Client: Prof. Thomas J. C. Matzen
Planners: Buero 51, WTM, Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, Argus, Lärmkontor, Sumbi Ingenieure, Metapol Studios, Landschaftsarchitektur L+
Area: 8.000 square meter park and garden, 9.500 square meter total floor area
Time Period: 2014-2017
Costs: 25 – 30 million Euro

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