I thought I would share a drawing done during a recent trip to Hamburg – showing the dividing line of the city between the historic harbourside and its rapidly regenerating neighbouring district Hafencity. I love exploring historic cities in search of the wonderful urban happenstance of messy jerry-built architectural accretion. Although one doesn’t usually find this in a large scale urban overhaul such as that happening in Hamburg, I was interested in the survival of this harbour cottage in amongst such increasing density, and how the overlap of these layers was an intriguing ‘super-sized’ version of that accretion of history to which I am drawn.
Perhaps there is little difference between removing some roof tiles in a historic building to add a new dormer window in order to capture an extraordinary view, and removing some former industrial buildings in a historic city centre to add a new harbourside leisure area, in order to reclaim an extraordinary waterfront. Scale increases but intent remains.