A view from the inside

A view from the inside

When walking along the new paths, the individual projects come together to form an
organic whole.

Until recently, visitors to Europacity could only view the rapidly growing development from
the central thoroughfare Heidestrasse, and with restricted views due to construction site fencing. Now, to the east of Heidestrasse, many barriers have been removed, allowing visitors an interior view, to get an entirely new impression of Europacity. These new quiet streets and cobbled paths that connect the buildings and different quarters to Heidestrasse are perfect
for taking a stroll, and a great way to experience what was once a mere sketch of a plan, as a tangible statement on a human scale. While wandering along the new streets and paths, past houses, cars, and the first green spaces, you can see the individual building projects now form a collective whole. And in that moment, you also become part of the collective memory of the new district!

New destination – couriers and messengers

A leisurely walking tour starts on the eastern side of the Spandau Shipping Canal from the pedestrian bridge the Kieler Brücke (1). Crossing over you get a view of the inland harbour, Nordhafen, then head to the new residential area, Wasserstadt Mitte (2), which completes Europacity in the north. Here, you’ll find everyday life has already settled into the quarter: on a quiet cobbled street with its relaxed atmosphere, residents are walking their dogs, sometimes meeting their neighbours and stopping for a chat, and couriers scoot about getting more familiar with their new destination every day. From here, it’s a two-minute walk south to the central square in Europacity, Otto-Weidt-Platz (3). Both the square and a new promenade along the canal are still under construction. However, with the promenade running the entire length of the eastern edge of Europacity, it’s clear this will not only be a delightful place to visit but may well become a landmark for the whole district.

A long flight of stone steps that allow the square to open onto the waterfront. The Golda-Meir-Steg. An essential link from the eastern side of the canal to Otto-Weidt-Platz
A long flight of stone steps that allow the square to open onto the waterfront. The Golda-Meir-Steg. An essential link from the eastern side of the canal to Otto-Weidt-Platz

The generous dimensions of the
central quarter square is already indicated

Onto the waterfront

Though construction of Otto-Weidt-Platz is still to be completed, the new footpath around it with its small, coloured paving stones, already gives you a sense of the size and spaciousness of the new square.Residents wheeling bicycles back to their apartments are already making use of it, as are the visitors strolling around it for the first time. At the end of the quarter square on Heidestrasse, the Weidt Park Corner office building (4) is growing. With its elegant tower and gastronomy on the outdoor terrace, it will be an eye-catcher on the square. A new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, named Golda-Meir-Steg, will also create an essential link from the eastern side of the canal to Otto-Weidt-Platz. On the bank, where the span of this light, delicate structure adjoins the square, you will see a long flight of stone steps (5) that will allow the square to open onto the waterfront. And from the opposite bank of the canal, joggers and walkers can see the scope of the new steps as they descend to the water’s edge. The next stop on our walk from Nordhafen to the main train station is an apartment complex notable
its distinctive facade types called, BUWOG THE ONE. Residents here enjoy a view of the new square. In the inner courtyard, we meet a resident who chats to us from his balcony. He’s an IT specialist who has recently moved in with his wife and children. He also mentions the fact the complex has plenty of space in the courtyard for the little ones to play. “We can relax when we’re here,” he says, “because we don’t have to keep an eye on the children all the time. It makes life much easier.”

Shortcuts through quarters

Our path continues through a mixed quarter of office and residential buildings via a publicly accessible inner courtyard, then further south to a small tranquil oasis of lawns and young birch trees between the KunstCampus apartment building (6), and the Hamburger Bahnhof Rieckhallen exhibition halls. Passing the distinctive-looking 50 Hertz building (7), we finally come to Invalidenstrasse and the new harbour quarter, Humboldthafen (8), next to the main train station. Due to the ongoing construction, it will be a little while longer until you can return to Nordhafen on the back streets which border the other side of Heidestrasse, through the western part of Europacity. Though, with Quartier Heidestrasse clearly nearing completion, you will soon be able to reach your destination here via the newly laid out streets and paths. From the southern entrance to Quartier Heidestrasse at QH Spring, George-Stephenson-Straße (9) will run north between the 550-metre-long office building QH Track and the other buildings facing Heidestrasse. It will enable employees of local businesses and Europacity residents to enjoy a walk from the contemporary triangular square, Dreiecksplatz (10), in the south, up to the landscaped public green area near Nordhafen (11), which completes Quartier Heidestrasse in the north.

A quiet space to relax: square in front of the KunstCampus
A quiet space to relax: square in front of the KunstCampus

The new subway connection to the
eastern part of Berlin opens in December

New bridge, new underground connection – arriving in Europacity

Just as crucial as the pedestrian connections between the individual quarters of Europacity is its connection to the city’s transport network. The network’s hub, of course, is the main train station next to Europacity. At present, only long-distance and suburban trains stop here. But from December this year, a new extension to the underground network will connect the main station to the U5 line. Commuters in eastern city centres like Mitte, Friedrichshain, Lichtenberg and Hellersdorf, will then have a direct underground connection to Europacity. Several trams and buses also stop at the southern end of Europacity. Two of these bus lines, the M85 and M41 originate in the city’s south and are established lines that are well-known to Berliners. For anyone coming from the north or further east of the city, there are several similar transport options from which they can choose. Europacity will also be easy to access via three new bridges that will span the Spandau Shipping Canal, as well as the bridge over Nordhafen in the very north for motor vehicles. The U8 underground stations of Wedding, Reinickendorfer Strasse and Schwarzkopfstrasse are also only a few minutes’ walking distance from the bridges.

May 2021 | Magazine #8

Die neue Ausgabe ist da

Three architects from three very different buildings in europacity talk about the neighbourhood and their projects. Other topics in the issue: With a new bridge, Otto-Weidt-Platz is starting to take shape, and new life is stirring south of the main train station. Continue reading

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