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Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel
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Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District):
Housing for all – in the centre of Wilhelmsburg

  • Total area:

    32 ha

  • Housing units:

    approx. 1.600

  • Leafy and open space:

    approx. 12 ha

  • Industrial real estate:

    approx. 29,000 m²

The Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District) will be the new heart of the district containing the eponymous town hall and community centre of Wilhelmsburg, student flats, commercial spaces, sports facilities and new kindergartens. The district is characterised by its “Wettern” (water channels) and new landscape axis running from the Inselpark along the Rathauswettern to the Ernst-August-Kanal, offering space for cycling, going for walks and relaxing. Its location directly by the Inselpark (map) also provides particular leisure quality. The construction plots on the approx. 32-hectare area come in many different sizes and orientations. This will achieve great diversity in the architectural implementation and a very diverse range of residential opportunities for all target and age groups.


Christian Hinz

Project Coordinator

  • +49 040 226 227 0

The Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District) will be a lively, diverse district, principally residential but with workplaces too and offering plenty of space for play, sport and leisure.

The new district directly borders on the centre of Wilhelmsburg and the Wilhelmsburger Inselpark to the north. The eponymous Wilhelmsburger Rathaus is in the southern section; right opposite is the cultural and community centre of the Bürgerhaus Wilhelmsburg. The district is characterised by the three Wettern (water channels) that run through it from south-east to north-west. The Rathauswettern, bordering on the Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District) to the west, was made navigable for launches and connected to the Inselpark as part of the International Building Exhibition Hamburg 2006–2013.

The development is many-faceted and intends to produce a large number of different building typologies and residential qualities. Attached building blocks with a standard height of four to five storeys will be broken up in prominent places by higher elevations and by protrusions and recesses. A mix of multi-storey flats to townhouses, terraces and detached buildings are beeing built. The aim is to implement the Hamburg housing policy of the “three-way split” and to create housing for all of Hamburgs citizens. From classic multi-bedroom housing units for families to accommodation for senior citizens, students, people with low income, people with disabilities and other target groups. IBA Hamburg will also react to future living environments, with flexible floor plans or combinations of
living and work spaces. There will also be a large proportion of plots on offer for building cooperatives.

The open space is characterised by the Wettern and ditches. The structure of the built-up area emphasises the park landscape along the Rathauswettern. Not only the future inhabitants of the district, but all of Wilhelmsburg will thus profit from the particular quality of the waterways. From the south, green routes will run like fingers up to Neuenfelder Straße, beginning a green axis running to the Spreehafen. A large playground is located at the centre of the district. Several kindergartens and the secondary school (Stadtteilschule) in the nearby Elbinselquartier (Elbe Island District) ensure that young residents are looked after and educated. The lively district will also have plenty of shops and restaurants. Numerous ground-floor areas are intended for this.

The Dratelnstraße sports complex will be comprehensively modernised and extended, making an important contribution to the future sport opportunities on offer in the district. Directly next door, a student hall of residence will be built.

The basis for the development of the central Wilhelmsburg projects of the Elbinselquartier (Elbe Island District) and Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District) is the relocation of the Wilhelmsburger Reichsstraße, which currently cuts through the area from north to south. At the end of 2019, the new route along the railway lines that run to the east of the area was brought into operation and the current route was put out of service and dismantled. In this way, new residential districts and commercial areas will be developed by the IBA Hamburg GmbH over an area of around 80 hectares in the two project areas. In municipal areas here around 3,700 housing units will be built, alongside new commercial areas, kindergartens, a primary and secondary school (Stadtteilschule), while a landscape axis will also be created with allotments, sport, leisure and recreational facilities. The cycle path connections with their parallel pedestrian paths offer allow people to go for walks or cycle through the landscape axis.

In September 2015, the competition procedure “Housing for all – in the centre of Wilhelmsburg” began with a public design workshop. Subsequently, four teams of urban planners and landscape architects worked on the designs for a new residential district. On 9 December 2015, the high-ranking jury unanimously awarded the 1st prize to the design by De Zwarte Hond and RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten.

The IBA Hamburg GmbH had carried out this cooperative urban/open space planning project in agreement with the Ministry for Urban Development and Housing and the District office Hamburg-Mitte. It was distinguished by its special preceding participatory process in close cooperation with “Perspectives! Planning together for the Elbe Islands” and the Advisory Council for Urban Development Wilhelmsburg and by public design workshops in September and December. In this way it was possible to integrate the wishes of citizens into the prize-giving and the designs. The decision on the winner was not just unanimously made by the jury, it was also identical to the impression given by citizens already the day before.

Impressions and retrospections

  • The three areas of the Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District), Elbinselquartier (Elbe Island District) and Spreehafenviertel (Spreehafen District) (from south to north) and the Hamburger Hafen.

  • Town hall and community centre in the south of the new residential district

  • The Inselpark and swimming pool bordering on the Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel

  • Cyclists on the Aßmannkanal

  • Citizens were able to exchange ideas with specialists at the public design workshop.

  • Public design workshop as part of the urban/open space planning competition “Housing for all – in the centre of Wilhelmsburg”

What happens next?

The IBA Hamburg provides yearly information in a public project dialogue on the current state of planning and answers questions from citizens.

Currently, legal land use planning is being organised for the Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel under the leadership of the District office Hamburg-Mitte. Since early 2019, preparatory measures have been taking place for the Dratelnstraße sports complex. Since autumn 2019, the new Wilhelmsburger Reichsstraße has been in operation so that the dismantling of the old route can start provisionally from the end of 2020. Interested investors, housing associations and building cooperatives will find plots for sale on this page (only German), as soon as they are brought to market. No plots for single-family homes are intended. IBA Hamburg is not responsible for rental and sale of housing units.

To project process

At a glance:
District development in Wilhelmsburg

The three project areas of the Spreehafenviertel (Spreehafen District), Elbinselquartier (Elbe Island District) and Wilhelmsburger Rathausviertel (Wilhelmsburg Town Hall District) run from the north of the island to the Inselpark. The potential for residential construction here could provide around 4,800 new housing units. A particular feature is the green axis to be created by the developments.

With Georgswerder in the east of the island, a further 190 housing units and commercial spaces will be added.

Another approx. 800 housing units may be built in the Georg-Wilhelm-Höfe (Georg-Wilhelm Courtyards) and Inselparkquartier (Inselpark District). Here, legal land use planning procedures are currently being prepared or are up and running.

Find out more


Building cooperatives


Leafy and open space