Mix it like Berlin!

Central, connected, innovative, intelligent, lively _ The “Quartier Heidestraße”

Das Projekt – Berliner Mischung 2.0

The new "Quartier Heidestraße" development is beginning to take shape in the heart of the vibrant capital.

The location – connected city

Located in the north-western part of Berlin-Mitte, the “Quartier Heidestraße” offers ideal links to the city's transport network. The motorway can be reached by car in only 7 minutes, while Potsdamer Platz and the southern downtown area are just 5 minutes away via the Tiergarten tunnel. With the central train station within walking distance, intercity and international train connections are easily available, and from here, the future Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is only 30 minutes away. Many regional and metropolitan S-Bahn trains, as well as buses and trams also operate from here to all parts of the city. This attractive location makes the area ideal for living and working in Berlin.

The vision – a city quarter for the 21st century

A centrally located modern new centre for the German capital is beginning to take shape. The “Quartier Heidestraße” is taking up the challenge to transpose the various functional elements of democratic urbanism into the modern digital age. The combining of living, work and leisure will create an attractive urban area with high amenity value and high quality living style.

Use – urban diversity

In the “Quartier Heidestraße” the three functional areas – working, shopping and living – will be combined into a unified concept of use. Commercial, retail and residential use will determine which areas are zoned special, commercial or mixed use.

The commercial zone flanks the “Quartier Heidestraße” on the western edge of the railway lines and is characterised by a versatile and flexible use of office and commercial space. The special zone not only represents the topographical heart of the “Quartier Heidestraße”, but also the ‘Europacity’ as a whole. It will provide space for office, commercial and for residential use, as well as versatile spaces for retail. This vibrant mix is also a characteristic of the mixed use areas, so the development remains true to the motto: home, work, life – right in the centre of Berlin. Sophisticated and visionary.

The surroundings – part of the ‘Europacity’

The “Quartier Heidestraße's” surroundings are diverse and captivating. Buildings and facilities for culture, politics, tourism, business enterprises and health care can all be found here, along with others for leisure, sports, fitness and living. Most of these are currently being built or have been built over the past 10 years such as Berlin's central train station (2006), the Tour Total (2012), the Berlin headquarters of PwC at HumboldtHafenEins (2015), and the headquarters of the electricity grid operator 50Hertz (2016).

The adjacent quarters also have a great deal to offer: the sports park in Lehrter Strasse is a vast sports and wellness facility within walking distance; the Hamburger Bahnhof and Rieckhallen galleries both exhibit contemporary international art, and Wedding and Moabit have thriving scenes of alternative culture.

The history – back to the future

Like Phoenix in the ancient myth rising from the ashes, the “Quartier Heidestraße” rises up today from the sandy ground of Berlin. By 1862, a plan had already been put in place for the site. Drafted by the former government architect James Hobrecht, the vision was for an urban quarter where Heidestrasse would be widened into an attractive boulevard complete with a central ornamented city square. However, a few years later, with both the economic boom known as the Gründerzeit and the industrialisation of Berlin already in full swing, the site was urgently needed to expand the transport infrastructure of the dynamically growing city.

Building on the site was subsequently curtailed due to construction of the Lehrter railway line and its terminus station to the south of Invalidenstrasse. The line was opened for service in 1868. Directly behind the former Lehrter station, in the area now planned for the “Quartier Heidestraße”, extensive facilities were built for cargo handling and other railway operations. However, during the Second World War large parts of the infrastructure were reduced to ruins, and then following the building of the Wall in 1961, the site was all but relegated to the outskirts of West Berlin.

From transit zone to new city centre

Heidestrasse was eventually extended to the south by a bypass road through Tiergarten, becoming an important link between the northern and southern districts of West Berlin. In 1983 a container terminal was constructed on the land west of Heidestrasse and played an important role in railway logistics for the enclosed West Berlin.

After the fall of the Wall, the use of the container terminal initially intensified, but was closed at the end of 2003 after operations were relocated to a freight centre. Only with the opening of Berlin's new central train station in mid-2006 did the area around Heidestrasse become part of the city centre once again.

The current urban planning concept for the “Quartier Heidestraße” picks up from James Hobrecht's original idea, but in modified form. Adapted to the requirements of the 21st century, and in keeping with the concept of the 'Berlin mix', the quarter will be a distinctive blend of residential and commercial urban space. Then, just as it did in the early 19th century, Heidestrasse will again be a symbol of entrepreneurial spirit, prosperity, growth and the city's future.