Kraftwerk Bille, a factory complex from the late 19th century, is located in Hammerbrook, a mostly industrial area East of Hamburg. The area has been undergoing a transformation to become a part of Hamburg’s inner city once again. The proximity to the city center, the attractive waterfront location and plenty of nearby green spaces make the former power plant a space with plenty of potential and possibilities.
Team Hamburg saw this space as a way to fulfill an important need in their city. Even though Hamburg is well known for its world-class cultural offerings, such as the iconic new Elbphilarmonie, the city still lacks affordable spaces for non-commercial, cultural, public use. Urban development fails to incorporate citizen collaboration and engagement, and social segregation is evident in its neighborhoods.
In responding to these challenges, Team Hamburg set out to create a public space within the privately owned Bille power plant, using it to facilitate encounters of people with different backgrounds and perspectives through art and culture, and to spark people’s interest in urban development and active citizenship.
Their goal: to run a long-term, cultural, public project as part of Kraftwerk Bille’s redevelopment.
Making previously inaccessible spaces open to urban residents, they’ll create a center for active and interested people to shape the power plant and the surrounding neighborhoods together.
The team plans open workshops and events such as photography workshops, discussions and performances, as well as an ongoing café that is open every week in 2018, especially welcoming refugees living close-by as guests or in the team. Artistic and academic residencies will collect knowledge about the specific place and present strategies to deal with its conversion.
In addition, the team will use the 2018 edition of “Hallo Festspiele,” an arts and music festival that attracts a lot of young people from across the city, to start creating public access to the river Bille on the power plant’s waterfront.