Foundation stone for a desideratum

Foundation stone for a desideratum 1024 683 Südliches Überseequartier

Although Hamburg’s weather was chilly, windy and rainy, the main protagonists and guests were ardent in their enthusiasm as the foundation stone for southern Überseequartier was laid. “Unique” was the term most frequently used at the ceremony on 22 May 2019 for what is being created in HafenCity’s largest building pit, the Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier –a unique concept, a unique combination of different buildings and uses, a unique cooperation between many participants and the city, a unique atmosphere, a unique platform for urban life, a unique opportunity for Hamburg.

Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, emphasised the architecture, the skilful combination of many individual buildings, which will see a large real estate project become a diverse urban quarter. The Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is the only newly developed neighbourhood to have an integrated cruise terminal. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and the City of Hamburg would be working hand in hand to ensure that this building adventure, as Dr Tschentscher put it in view of the huge construction site, became a vibrant Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier. Considering the complexity of the project and the internationality of the people involved in construction, a real challenge is being mastered here.

Christophe Cuvillier, Group CEO of investor Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, addressed around 200 guests from the worlds of business, politics, society and local government as well as 150 construction workers in German: The unbelievable, ambitious project would bring new momentum and a breath of fresh air to Hamburg – this was already evident as the foundation stone was laid. The Westfield flagship destination would help shape the future of the city and redefine the way we lived, worked, shopped, enjoyed ourselves and relaxed.

Andreas Hohlmann, CEO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in Germany, stressed that Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier represented Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s vision like no other project: Nothing less than a lively urban quarter was emerging, equipped with the latest trends, concepts and innovations, with a networked, digital infrastructure, modern traffic and mobility solutions, a wide range of services – in short: a comprehensive multi-channel platform for living, working and leisure.

Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, long-time CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (the father of HafenCity as the charming presenter Khadra Sufi put it), said the Westfield Hamburg Überseequartier was a “desideratum for Hamburg”: something missing and urgently needed, it would add a special element to the city. Apart from that, the tourists would not harm Hamburg by shopping here and perhaps staying overnight. Incidentally, Hamburg could also do with the increased tax revenues generated by Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier.

The Senator for Building, Urban Development and Housing, Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, sealed documents from 22 May 2019 in a time capsule: the day’s editions of Hamburger Abendblatt and Le Monde, a current aerial photograph of the construction site, the construction plans, visualisations plus French and German 1 euro coins. Together with the First Mayor, Cuvillier, Hohlmann and Prof. Bruns-Berentelg, she built the capsule into the foundation stone, which will later be set into the foundation.

The ceremony was moderated by Khadra Sufi, a presenter and bestselling author with a special relationship to southern Überseequartier – she lives in HafenCity and walks past the construction site every day: “I can hardly wait for the quarter to open in 2022. It will make HafenCity more colourful and vibrant.”

Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt (left), Senator for Building, Urban Development and Housing in Hamburg and Khadra Sufi (right), Presenter (Photo: URW)
Laying of the foundation stone of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier on 22 May 2019
L to R: Andreas Hohlmann, CEO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in Germany, Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Senator for Building, Urban Development and Housing in Hamburg, Christophe Cuvillier, Group-CEO Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (Photo: URW)

The construction site of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier on 21 and 22 May 2019 with set-up and dismantling of the tents for the foundation stone laying.