A proposal to make Alsterdorf the most accessible suburb of Hamburg

Civic Life Hamburg

Urban strategy to strengthen the identity of a Hamburg suburb through improved accessibility

David Kohn Architects was invited by the City of Hamburg to participate in its 'Housing What Else?' initiative. Architects from across Europe were tasked with reimagining parts of the city to both provide more housing but also to address long-term urban issues.

'CIVIC LIFE: The Future Social Life of Alsterdorf in Perspective’ is David Kohn Architect’s proposal for the City of Hamburg to enrich Alsterdorf through a series of strategic interventions.

Alsterdorf is a suburb that has historically been home to several healthcare facilities. It is characterised by low housing density, car dominance and disconnected open spaces. The result is a fragmented urban experience, particularly for the many residents with disabilities.

CIVIC LIFE brings a joyful identity to Alsterdorf by reconnecting all the parts to a central public square. New residential, public and commercial buildings are introduced around the square’s perimeter to create a more consistent urban context. New vertical circulation cores for all existing buildings provide generous step-free access and connection to the outdoors.

CIVIC LIFE seeks to celebrate the history of Alsterdorf as a place of healing by championing accessibility and making the area genuinely welcoming to all. It can make Alsterdorf a destination within Hamburg with its own unique identity.

Urban regeneration and housing densification

Hamburg, Germany

City of Hamburg

Completed 2019

  • Design Team
  • David Kohn, Julia Cramer
Historic aerial photograph of Alsterdorf as a village on outskirts of Hamburg
Through a stronger identity, Alsterdorf becomes better connected
Combining urban paradigms: Fourier's Phalenstere meets San Gimignano
A new ground that connects all residential units and public amenities redefines Alsterdorf
Existing civic buildings and housing are given new roles to play in a revitalised public realm