Interview with Viktor Eskioglou: “Building on the waterfront is a great challenge”.

Interview with Viktor Eskioglou: “Building on the waterfront is a great challenge”. 1920 1080 Südliches Überseequartier

The maritime flair of Hamburg’s HafenCity is unique: In the immediate vicinity to the Elbe, visitors of the former port site can enjoy the hustle and bustle on the waterway and in the harbor and stroll along the waterfront promenade. However, it is precisely this location that also makes the implementation of construction projects highly complex. In the southern Überseequartier, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier will be built by fall 2023 with a total area of 419,000 square meters. Viktor Eskioglou, Senior Construction Manager Germany at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), is part of the team, which is responsible for implementing the building design and coordinating the tenders of the involved construction companies. In our interview series, he talks about the special requirements of the exposed waterfront location, the current status of the project and the neighborly relations with HafenCity residents.

 Watch the full interview here

Ambitious project with unique flair

In the heart of HafenCity, in direct extension of the traditional city center, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is an integrated, lively quarter with a diverse and future-oriented mix of uses. But it is precisely this spatial proximity to the water, which is so extraordinary in terms of atmosphere, that Viktor Eskioglou’s team must continuously take into account during project development. “The construction site is protected from a very high storm tide of plus 6.70 meters above normal height,” Eskioglou explains the special protective measures. Additionally, it is also necessary to take into consideration that the subway structure running across the construction site, which ensures public transport connections for visitors and residents. “We have a very complex dewatering system in use. Thanks to the latest technologies and close coordination with Hochbahn, we always know very precisely when and where we have to react. This interaction serves as an alarm system for us, enabling us to identify potential hazardous situations at an early stage and avoid accidents.”

Around 400 construction workers, 21 cranes and sixty thousand square meters of floor slab, with a thickness of between one and a half to four meters: these figures alone give an idea of the size of the new city quarter. “In the southern construction area, the third basement level has been completed, as well as 90 percent of the second already,” Eskioglou informs about the current construction progress. The buildings being constructed there will include stores, restaurants, a wide range of leisure facilities, such as the cinema, part of the apartments, the cruise terminal and the three hotels. In the northern construction area, additional apartments and retail space are under construction. In this way, the project combines living, working and leisure experiences, and will in future form the urban, cosmopolitan heart of Hamburg’s HafenCity.

An open ear for the concerns and needs of the neighborhood

URW also places a special focus on good relations with HafenCity residents – especially in view of the current construction work. “We take comments and remarks very seriously,” explains Eskioglou. For example, regular events, currently in virtual form, such as the neighborhood meeting, ensure a lively exchange with neighbors. An informative visit to the showroom of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier, which is currently closed to the public due to the current pandemic situation, will hopefully be possible again soon.