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Huge bunker might go green

Hamburg Parliament to decide on Hamburg's biggest urban garden in Heiligengeistfeld

A huge World War II bunker called “Flakbunker” that juts out of Heiligengeistfeld in Hamburg’s St. Pauli may soon turn green, according to a press release by Renewable Energy Hamburg last Thursday. Planning approval for a social area focusing on culture and forward-looking issues has come within reach after two-year talks with residents, activists and local politicians and a thorough examination by authorities and various experts. The pilot project, which is subject to the approval of the Hamburg Parliament, foresees a natural area above Hamburg for experimenting with alternative forms of urban greenery, energy production and food production.

Cultural centre and memorial

In early 2014, the steering group “Planungsbüro Bunker” backed by Metapol Architecture, convinced the leaseholder Prof. Dr. Thomas Matzen of an entirely new kind of urban naturalness. Their idea was to transform the bunker’s idle roof space by adding a pyramid-like structure and a surrounding green ramp for access. This would create 7,700 square metres of public parking spaces, community gardens, urban units and a memorial documenting the area’s history and commemorating the forced labourers who built the bunker in only 300 days in 1942.

Public use of garden

The leaseholder would come up with the investment and maintenance costs which would be refinanced from rental areas inside the green structure. An urban development contract would secure free, public use of the green hill for the entirety of the leasehold. The sponsoring Hilldegarden e.V. association would be responsible for the design and future use of the public garden.

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