This studio will be about working with the contradictions - taking them as a challenge and chance to develop parts of a new city-quarter in the tension between transforming rural context, suburban structures and increasingly growing city.

Hamburg Oberbillwerder

Hamburg‘s second largest urban development project is currently being planned in Hamburg Oberbillwerder. 7.000 apartments, 3 schools, 14 day-care centers, 14 social institutions and 4.000 to 5.000 new jobs are to be created here onapprox. 120 hectares. The master plan was drawn up on the basis of the winning competition design by Studio Adept and Karres + Brands in 2018 and 2019.


120 hectares of new city quarter - in the midst of agricultural meadows and suburban urban structure, near the old town center of a small town that has long been incorporated into Hamburg. In this contradicting initial situation, the city quarter is touted as „Hamburgs brave new world” on the website of the city of Hamburg. But what is the „brave new world“?

In particular the last two years have changed our everyday life enormously all over the globe. Some things will be blurred, but a lot will remain and some will leave their mark also in our built environment. Despite all the individual and local isolation, we have become more globally networked and more present everywhere at all times.

The question that arises is how architecture can react to the contradictions between city, rural and suburban context - and between the future-oriented development of a new district in an increasingly globally networked world on the one side and a location-based development on the other side.

Are we already living in Utopia?

Aldous Huxley begins his novel „Brave New World“ with the quote of the russian philosopher Nicolas Berdiaeff (translated version): „Utopias appear much more realizable than formerly was believed. And we are currently faced with another anguishing question: How to avoid their final production? . . . Utopias are feasible. Life goes towards utopias. And perhaps a new century will start it, a century when the intellectuals and the cultivated classes will dream about the means of avoiding utopias and about returning to a non-utopian society, less perfect and more free“. That quote seems very timely these days.

How utopian do we have to think? Or do we need more grounding? In the tension of those two questions we will develop individual city-buiding-blocks along the central axis of the new district Oberbillwerder. The building blocks will be selected in the studio.

The studio will be accompanied by an input lecture and guest reviews by Tanja Jauernig, project manager Oberbillwerder, Studio Adept.