A walk through Europacity
Europacity, in the centre of the capital, is convenient to reach, and ideal for exploring on foot. Come, join us on a walk through this emerging district just north of the main station! On our journey, we'll pass along green river banks, explore historic buildings and sites, and witness some of the best in contemporary architecture.
Our first stop is also a highlight of the tour – the cube berlin on Washingtonplatz, next to the main station. Designed by 3XN Architects, the cube-shaped building has become a popular attraction due to the spectacular faceted reflections created by its glass facade – particularly in the evening light. It is also the new headquarters for one of the Europacity developers, CA Immo. Not only is cube berlin visual stunning – it's also smart! Intelligent technology is integrated into the building, creating a dynamic environment, responsive to the occupants' needs, for better efficiency and comfort.
The cube-shaped building has become a popular attraction due to the spectacular faceted reflections created by its glass facade
Crossing now to the northern side of Invalidenstrasse via Humboldthafen, we walk along the Berlin-Spandau Shipping Canal. As we continue down the path, across the water, we see the Hamburger Bahnhof, one of the most important museums for contemporary art in Europe.
Here, the canal marks the former border between East and West Berlin, with the eastern bank forming a section of the famous Berlin Wall Trail. Soon we arrive at the tranquil and enchanting Invalids' Cemetery from the 18th century. It's a reminder not only of German-Prussian military history but also of the Prussian Wars of Liberation of 1813-15. Part of the Berlin Wall is preserved here. During the German Democratic Republic (GDR) era, the Wall ran right across the cemetery, where some 230 historic gravestones can still be seen today.
With the cemetery now behind us, we pass by a former GDR watchtower. It's now a memorial, and commemorates the first person shot and killed at the Wall, trying to escape the GDR in August 1961.
Continuing north, over on the other the bank, we see the red brick facade of the former grain testing facility from the 19th century. As the name suggests, for many years it was a grain store, as well as a scientific facility researching grain storage. At present, it's undergoing renovation by the Adler Real Estate Group. And though partly covered in red plastic sheeting due to work being carried out, it remains, still, a unique attraction on our walk.
Crossing the canal to the west on the pedestrian bridge, the Kieler Brücke, we stop halfway and take in the waterway from a different perspective. Looking south, you can see the entire Europacity waterfront, starting from Wasserstadt Mitte, just over the bridge to our right. In this quarter, which is owned by the Adler Group, you can already see that many tenants have already moved in. Behind us, to the north, is the historic Nordhafen. Both sides of this former inland harbour now have landscaped promenades for anyone looking for a pleasant stroll.
Crossing the Kieler Brücke, we continue through Wasserstadt Mitte towards Quartier Heidestrasse. This large building site west of Heidestrasse is an example of how a massive complex of buildings can evolve and coalesce within a limited space. Currently, four buildings here are in the construction phase. QH Core is already complete. Its scaffolding has been pulled down, and it will be ready for occupancy at the end of the year. Looking at the excavation works for QH Track, the structural engineering for the foundation of the 550-metre-long office complex, which runs along the railway tracks, seems truly impressive. Indeed, it's possibly one of the most impressive building foundation pits in Berlin!
We are now almost at the end of our short tour. In ten minutes, we will be back at our starting point on Heidestrasse (provided you start your walk from the west). But before we do that, and then head back to the main station, we'll first make a stop between the two towers that form the distinctive entrance to Europacity: the headquarters of two companies, 50Hertz and Total. Both of these buildings, with their respective elegant facades, attract a great deal of attention and are often surrounded by admiring architecture enthusiasts. They stand in testimony to the exceptional quality of urban life emerging here – and all well worth a closer look!