Kaltehofe Waterworks, Hamburg

Wide open sky


As an industrial heritage site, the Elbe island Kaltehofe, with its waterworks, is a special location in Hamburg. Historical engineering craftsmanship, cultural history and picturesque, enchanting nature come together here in a unique way. In terms of context and design, both the master plan and the open space concept highlight the unique nature of the location, with its contrasting aspects of historical-cultural technology and romantic nature. The entire Elbe island Kaltehofe is perceived as one spatial-thematic entity. The calmness and simplicity of the design expresses a contemporary, holistic approach, in accordance with the existing building and the new, supplementary architecture. 

The visitor centre, with its historical administration villa and the new waterworks building is situated on the representative tableau of the plaza. Adjacent to the building is a clearly structured, connected open space, including an area of access at the front of the building, a café with terrace and a precisely-cut border with an open stairway leading down to the park situated slightly below.

Together with the villa, the restored, historic pathways form a contemporary-historical unity. By thinning out the existing trees, a wide range of generously-sized spaces will be transformed into a floor sculpture. The design of the former filtration basins is reserved. The water basins and their utilisation are the main protagonists on the Elbe island. In this way, tranquillity, wide open spaces, light and sky are preserved. 


Hamburg Wasser GmbH, Hamburg

Project period

2008 - 2011


154.000 m²




WES LandscapeArchitecture


Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers, Hamburg

Pictures of the project