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Architects Develop Flood Protection Barrier

Thursday, August 29, 2019

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Work was recently completed on Zaha Hadid Architects’ Niederhafen River Promenade, in Hamburg, Germany, which needed an upgrade to its flood prevention system in light of storm surges that destroyed the homes of 60,000 residents in the early 1960s.

The 2,050-foot-long promenade, which runs along the Elbe River, replaced the previous promenade that was found to be dilapidated.

Niederhafen River Promenade Project          

According to Curbed, though the previous river promenade stood up to 23.6 feet above sea level, another 2.6 feet of height would be needed in order to protect the city from future extreme weather events, including winter storm surges. The new promenade is made of dark granite.

The promenade doubles as both protection for the city and a way for tourists and residents to interact with the waterfront: The design features staircases that are reminiscent of an amphitheater, which allow for seating, a three-story restaurant and street-level shops. (The staircases run down both sides of the promenade, with the street-facing side running down to meet the level of the street. The opposite side provides access down to the water.) Ramps for wheelchair accessibility and service vehicles were also implemented in the design.

The design, which is only roughly 33 feet wide at its narrowest points, is divided into two sections: The western end stands roughly 30 feet above sea level with the eastern end standing roughly 28 feet above sea level. The latter section is intended to provide an intimate space for visitors to interact with the marina. There is also established space for passersby, street performers and food stalls, according to Dezeen.

Zaha Hadid won a competition for the work in 2006, and construction on the 40 million-euro project (around $44.3 million) took place from 2012 to this year. The client was Freie Hansestadt Hamburg, Landesbetrieb Straßen, Brücken und Gewässer (Authority for Urban Development and Environmental Affairs, LSBG).

"With construction of all phases now complete, the redevelopment of the flood protection barrier reconnects Hamburg's river promenade with the surrounding urban fabric of the city," said the architects.

In total, Hamburg’s flood protection infrastructure includes roughly 48 miles of dykes, tidal gates and pumping stations, along with six storm-surge barriers.


Tagged categories: Completed projects; EU; Europe; Infrastructure; Marine; Program/Project Management; Project Management

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