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Fischbeker Heidbrook
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Fischbeker Heidbrook:
Living close to nature in the south of Hamburg

  • Total area:

    54 ha

  • Housing units:

    approx. 1,250

  • Leafy and open space:

    approx. 8 ha

The new residential area of Fischbeker Heidbrook is located in Neugraben-Fischbek in the borough district of Harburg (map). On the area of the former Röttiger Kaserne barracks, a very liveable district is being built in the direct proximity of the Fischbeker Heide nature reserve. Detached, semi-detached and townhouses alongside small-scale apartment buildings with fantastic views of the heathlands characterise the construction. An extensive stock of trees, which has largely been able to be retained, contributes to the distinctive, natural character of the district. The allocation of plots has been completed and many of the houses and building projects have already been finished. New neighbourhoods are developing in the district and the popular green and open spaces with playgrounds and sports areas are being actively used. The adjacent Uwe Seeler sports hall has been renovated. In 2022, the completion of the neighbourhood was celebrated with a large neighbourhood festival.


Philippa Dorow

Project Coordinator

  • +49 40 226 227 - 242


  • Apartment building in Fischbeker Heidbrook

  • A courtyard for residents designed collaboratively by neighbours

  • Detached house in Fischbeker Heidbrook

  • Supermarket, bakery, chemist’s and other facilities are directly at the entrance to the district.

  • Conversion of the existing buildings of the former Röttiger Kaserne to make accommodation for seniors

  • Natural playground

  • Sports grounds in the district

  • Reopening of the renovated Uwe-Seeler sports hall

  • Construction site event for neighbours, summer 2017

  • The Fischbeker Heide borders directly on the new residential district

The approx. 54-hectare Fischbeker Heidbrook, on the site of the former Röttiger Kaserne, is in the south-west of Hamburg, on the border with Lower Saxony. Here, in the direct proximity of the nature conservation area of Fischbeker Heide, detached, semi-detached and townhouses and apartment buildings have been built. The marketing of the plots began in 2015 and has been completed since around 2021. A supermarket, a chemist’s, a bakery and further small-scale retail outlets offer residents the most important things they need in day-to-day life right by their front doors. In addition, two kindergartens with approx. 250–300 places have been built. Accommodation for senior citizens are to be found in the converted and modernised existing buildings of the former barracks. For ease of transport, a public transport bus line is to be set up, connecting the district with the suburban railway station and the centre of Neugraben. The nearby Uwe-Seeler sports hall was renovated and completed at the end of 2018. Now it, including its newly designed exterior areas, is available to clubs, schools and the residents of Fischbeker Heidbrook. In the area, a large children’s playground and a games and hang-out area for young people have been built.

The special thing about the new residential district is its location on the edge of the heathlands. This residential area further establishes its connection to the natural surroundings by the extensive stock of trees which, through careful effort, have been retained as far as possible by IBA Hamburg.

For Fischbeker Heidbrook (as for Vogelkamp Neugraben) the IBA Hamburg has developed the brand “Living close to nature”, derived from the area’s proximity to two large nature conservation areas. More than just a slogan, it also reflects an attitude, intending to stimulate the appropriate treatment of nature and the formation of neighbourhoods. This is why educational offers and neighbourhood activities were promoted from the outset. Of course, living close to nature also plays a role in the overall development of the district in many areas (housing, open space, mobility, energy efficiency).

Here are a few examples:

Cooperation with the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU):

  • Informative event on nature-promoting garden design together with the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) – from insect-friendly plant selection to swallow nesting boxes on the bike shed (yearly)
  • Welcome package with NABU information material on topics related to nature

Education and information offers:

  • Information event on rainwater management and near-surface drainage on private plots (yearly)
  • Regular information on selected themes in the newsletter

Living close to nature in district development

The following requirements and regulations have been determined for both districts in order to achieve the goal of a sustainable residential district of lasting value:

  • Near-surface drainage with troughs and channels offering habitats for plants and animals and strengthening the natural water cycle
  • As little land sealing as possible on private plots and public space
  • Energy standard of all new-builds is at KfW 55 or better.
  • Connection of all new-builds to a heating network with cogeneration/waste heat
  • Offers for electric carsharing
  • Native plants as hedging to enclose the plots, offering habitats for animals
  • Securing the stock of trees by a variety of measures
  • New tree planting on all plots, public spaces and streets

To ensure the quality of district development in the detached housing sector as well, supporting stable neighbourhoods and at the same time creating a harmonious and well-designed overall district, the acquisition of a plot in Fischbeker Heidbrook was linked to the implementation of a design from the “Our suggestions for living close to nature” catalogue of houses. The house catalogue lists houses that are offered ready for occupancy from pre-fabricated house suppliers while at the same time meeting the quality and design requirements for the district development. All designs comply with the energy standard KfW 55 or better. The offers were selected by a high-calibre selection committee consisting of the representatives of various authorities and architects. Alongside the implementation of one of these houses, there was also the option of submitting another architectural design. A Design Advisory Board, also occupied by the representatives of various authorities and architects, watched over the quality of designs and decides whether they may be implemented in the district.

Through quality control, the IBA Hamburg ensures the implementation of the design requirements both in detached houses and apartment buildings.

Living close to nature

  • Episode 1: living with and in nature (only german)

  • Episode 2: Designing a neighbourhood together - The Wohnhof Workshop (only german)

  • Episode 3: Good architecture for a neighbourhood worth living in (only german)

What happens next?

In recent years, the remaining plots for townhouses and a few plots for apartment buildings have been brought to market. Some construction projects are still in the process of completion. The final construction of the streets has been completed. In 2022, IBA Hamburg celebrated the completion of the district with a large neighbourhood festival in the presence of 1st Mayor Peter Tschentscher.

To project progress

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Leafy and open space


Neighbourhood and Community