Remembering Why I Came Here: Hamburg, Germany

After an insanely stressful week of classes, mainly due to my first urban design project being due, I honestly had myself questioning this whole study abroad thing. I wasn’t sure I made the right decision coming to Copenhagen, or studying abroad at all, I really wasn’t sure why I decided to try out this urban design program, and I was getting pretty homesick after being here for about a month.

Then, I got to go to Germany and the Netherlands for a week. Sure it didn’t fix everything. Sure it was technically a “study tour,” not a vacation. But it gave me exactly the mental break and fun experience that I needed to remind me why I am doing this. Over the next five posts I’ll be sharing my top experiences from the trip with you all!

1. Remembering Why I Came Here

The first half of our trip we were going through Germany by bus, starting with Hamburg. After several hours catching up on sleep on the bus and a relaxing ferry ride across the Baltic Sea, we arrived in Hamburg on a warm and sunny day. Although our first activity was more academic than I would have liked–a tour through Hamburg’s new urban development HafenCity–it was a good reminder of why I was into urban design in the first place. Basically, HafenCity is a giant plan to expand the city center by 40%, make use of what used to be industrial space for the shipping industry by the water,  and create tons of new cultural amenities for the city. I won’t bore you with the gory architectural details, but I will share some pictures!

Like Amsterdam (which we'll talk about later), Hamburg is a city full of canals. In fact, our leader told us that Hamburg actually has more bridges than Amsterdam. It was like a giant labyrinth!

Part of the HafenCity masterplan involves the creation of many new cultural spaces. The somewhat controversial music hall is still under construction, but I think it's stunning.

Materials were used consistently and elegantly throughout the whole project. I loved how the decorative bricks seemed to bring some of the old city into the new city (with a little flair).

My favorite part about the project was the number of public gathering spaces it created.

Actually, that was my second favorite part. My favorite part can be seen in the video below…

Keep and eye out for the rest of my trip in the upcoming posts! I’ve given you the titles below as a little teaser..

2. Spiritual Spaces

3. Design-gasm

4. The Day of Inspiring People

5. On Going Away and Coming Back


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