On early Wednesday morning, 15 July, a new pedestrian bridge was erected over the Kehrwieder canal in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt historical warehouse district. The bridge creates a direct connection between the Miniatur Wunderland’s existing model railway exhibition space in Warehouse D and the future expansion area across the canal in Warehouse L. Building owner and customer is the Real Estate segment of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), which is responsible for the management and development of Hamburg’s Speicherstadt historical warehouse district.
Positioning the 36-tonne pedestrian bridge was a true feat of strength – a low loader transported the 25-metre bridge to the Speicherstadt district overnight from 12–13 July. The spectacular placement of the bridge began on Wednesday, 15 July, at 5 a.m, with the help of a 750-tonne mobile crane. In order to place the bridge between the warehouse blocks, the crane lifted the bridge over the 28-metre high Warehouse D. The operation took about three hours, and the wider area was blocked off for the duration.
Today’s lifting-in marks approximately ten years since deciding to build the bridge and going through the first planning stages. The local monument preservation office has been closely involved in the planning since the preliminary enquiry in 2009. After thorough examination, the execution and technical implementation of the bridge’s delicate, subdued design was carried out in coordination with the local monument preservation office.
“This is truly an amazing moment. When you have been working on a project like this for so long, it’s rather special to finally see this structure in the place where it belongs,” says Rainer Schluff, technical managing director of HHLA Real Estate. For him, the bridge is more than just a canal crossing. “With this, we are setting the stage for the expansion and further development of one of the most popular tourist magnets in Hamburg, Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway.” Schluff is convinced that the bridge will lead to further revival of the district in the direction of Sandtorkai.
The new bridge is a unique structure. To provide a direct, weather-proof crossing for Miniatur Wunderland visitors between Blocks D and L, the steel structure is fully glassed-in and anti-reflective along the walkway, providing a view into the Kehrwieder canal on both sides. As there is a difference in the height of the two buildings, the bridge runs at a slight decline from Block D to Warehouse L.
Fans of the world’s largest model railway have to wait a little while, however, until the bridge is open to the public. The historic Warehouse L is currently undergoing extensive renovation through HHLA Real Estate. After handing over the additional exhibition space of approximately 3,500 square metres to Miniatur Wunderland, the model railway enthusiasts will begin their expansion. According to their statements, the plan is to construct a miniature of the South American continent. A railway line will also be laid across the new canal bridge.
As part of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, HHLA Real Estate is responsible for building management and district development. Founded in 1885 for the construction of Hamburg’s Speicherstadt historical warehouse district, the segment manages the historically unique collection of clinker-brick buildings. It has also expanded its portfolio to include the Hamburg Fish Market areal and a number of commercial and logistics properties around the port. The focus in the Speicherstadt is on careful structural change and the sustainable further development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. HHLA’s intelligent management of the Speicherstadt has transformed it from what was once the biggest warehouse complex in the world into a vibrant urban district.
You can find further information on the new canal bridge for Miniatur Wunderland and structural change in the Speicherstadt at hhla.de/en/speicherstadt.
The new pedestrian bridge across the Kehrwieder canal connects Miniatur Wunderland’s exhibition area in Block D3 (approx. 6,400 m²) and the expansion area in Warehouse Block L33 (approx. 3,500 m²). The project was planned in close coordination with the local monument preservation office. Requirements included transparency, a subdued design and a delicate steel construction. In addition, the bridge has been laid across the canal without supports, so that it now rests on twelve deep foundation piles with a length of up to 18 metres.
|Bridge length||25 metres|
|Weight||36 tonnes (on single lift)|
|Bridge height above the canal||approx. 16 metres (depending on water level)|
|Building owner/customer||HHLA Real Estate/HHLA 2. Speicherstadt Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG|
|Tenant/user||Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg GmbH|
|Structural design||Panta Ingenieure GmbH|
|Technical planning||planwerk elbe GmbH|
|Main builder/steel construction||Lamparter GmbH & Co. KG|
|Preliminary enquiry||November 2009|
|Start of planning||2016|
|Approval to build||2017|
|Foundation work||July 2019–May 2020|
|Bridge completion||February–May 2020|
|Bridge lifting-in||15 July 2020|
|Bridge finishes||August–November 2020|