Institut für Elebnispädagogik
Center for worldwide advancement of talent and peace
Ten Aspects
Which Derive from the Concept and
Which Must be Considered in the Selection of a Location
and in the Architectural Design
of the Project
General Remarks
Structural changes in the economy of harbours themselves — from transfer of individual packages and bulk goods to container logistics — change harbour cities worldwide. Hamburg intends to make use of the opportunity to open a new chapter in the city's long history. The harbour area south of the current downtown is to be converted into a new city district, "Harbour City", which is immediately connected to the historic storehouse area.
"Harbour City" ("HafenCity") is one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe. On a combined land and water area of 155 hectares, an urban mix of residences, cultural centres, recreational areas, work places, and tourism sights will be build within the next 25 years. Approximately 5,500 apartments and condominiums and more than 20,000 jobs in the areas of service, trade, and industry will be created. "Harbour City" will underline Hamburg's character as a world metropolis. Its inner city and also maritime atmosphere, its location on the water, its harbour-typical structures, the flair of the quays, sheds, cranes and ships lend it its unmistakable character.
The location is unique: "Harbour City" can be reached on foot within a few minutes from city hall and the main train station. The area will be developed in the best possible way and connected to the existing infrastructure. The attractiveness of "Harbour City" with its opportunity for a high quality of life will serve as an international model and will significantly increase property values.
"Harbour City" is the urban development answer to the economic and social challenges of the 21st Century. It is not a common urban development project, but rather it signals a political demand for a city centre with an identity. It should turn rather quickly into a magnet for inner city life: it offers a diverse and attractive location for growing economies and at the same time pays special attention to residential and recreational needs.
Project-related Conclusions
Based on consultation with and location suggestion by the "Gesellschaft für Hafen- und Standortentwicklung mbH", GHS (Society for Harbour and Location Studies), the following points can be made, which should guide future planning:
  1. Both institutions, the "H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Centre for the Advancement of Talent and Peace Worldwide" (the project's land station) and the sailing vessel "Nicolaus Copernicus" (the sea station), due to their common goals, can be considered an organisational unit. Therefore, a location emphasising the maritime character must be secured. Land station and ship moorings should be harmonised through adjacent construction.
    Both institutions primarily turn to those young people, who will be in charge of the future and who are already drawing attention to their talents: the young people in the Centre and on the ship will embark — in actuality but also in a figurative sense — on something new, conquer distant horizons, and responsibly prepare for the transition from student to professional. On top of that, they will be ready to take on additional responsibilities on a social, cultural, and political level. They can be recognised for their high degree of interest, intellectual curiosity, flexibility, sensibility, and motivation.
  2. Aside from promoting talents, the promotion of peace is equally important. The Centre is to primarily serve as a site for the exchange of opinions and ideas on interdisciplinary, intercultural, international, and intergenerational goals. The scientifically, culturally, and socially integrating programmes encourage students to interact and participate. Particularly important are the research results. An Internet library will collect the research results gained from the work on the ship ("swimming university") and the results of the sessions and meetings at the Centre in Hamburg. This Internet library will allow worldwide access to publications in multiple language.
    Sailing vessel and Centre symbolise movement. Movement, in the end, is bound to progress. Progress will be equally critically and pragmatically defined. Two principles share the same common denominator: a dynamic approach ("The path itself is the end…") and a pragmatic approach ("…but we also want to get there").
  3. Since the Centre is to be financed by the head of state of the United Arab Emirates, it must be considered a German-Arabic meeting place. Therefore, specific events must be offered in accordance with Arabic standards, topics, ideas, and culture. Cultural aspects in particular are to be identified according to Arabic customs. Interior design and restoration must be in accordance with these prerequisites.
    There is currently no comparable Centre in Hamburg, which will certainly quickly establish the "H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Centre" as a home for Arabs (guests, business people, and citizens) in Northern Germany.
    The exchange of ideas and opinions are central to the promotion of understanding, tolerance, and peace via the different programmes offered.
  4. The building will be a cultural and communication centre. Architecturally, therefore, it is important to ensure the greatest degree of transparency possible: grounds (e.g. garden / park, playgrounds, open-air theatre) and internal areas shall remain connected. On the interior, a lot of glass should provide visibility of the Centre's going-ons. At the same time, the different floors with their different functions should remain separate, but individually accessible and, also for security reasons, lockable. The entrances to each of the floors (e.g. exhibits, musical events, lectures, congresses and meetings, office and living spaces) should be made separately accessible.
  5. Various areas of functionality must be integrated on the following structural levels:
    Adjacent construction to the ship's moorings in order to make possible the direct, covered supplying of the ship and crew from the Centre;
    Workshop / offices for maintenance personnel;
    Storeroom for the ship's equipment;
    Cold storage room for food supplies;
    Bathroom and shower facilities (e.g. for crew, artists, actors, athletes).
    Living Areas:
    Apartment for the janitor (ground floor);
    Apartment for one managerial employee (upper floor);
    Representative guest area (four guestrooms on the upper floor).
    Areas for Events, Exhibits, and Meetings:
    Rooms of different sizes (on one level), including toilet facilities, wardrobe, and kitchenette;
    Circular-shaped conference hall with chairs all around and modern audio-visual communications equipment (on one level with exits onto a generously sized patio area).
    Administrative Area:
    Secretarial and managerial area;
    Reception, switchboard, and communications centre;
    Communications centre for the ship;
    Data processing centre;
    Office for translation services;
    Office for the management of the Internet library;
    Offices for coordinators (e.g. event planning, exhibits, musical and theatrical events, lectures).
    Special Consular Area (Separate Pavilion but Physically Connected to the Centre):
    Basement (e.g. for files and equipment);
    Apartment for a technical employee (basement area);
    Consular office on one level;
    Apartment for the person in charge (upper floor).
  6. Grounds:
    Gardens (e.g. shaded paths, fountain, sculptures, and patios with seating areas);
    Open-air areas for theatre and musical performances;
    Recreational areas (e.g. table tennis, volleyball, and chess);
    Parking garages (underground and connected to the facilities).
  7. Ecological Aspects:
    In accordance with the environmentally concerned visions of the head of state of the United Arab Emirates, the Centre will do justice to special ecological requirements. Water, air, heating and cooling, lighting, and kitchen use must function on the technologically highest level. Just like the Emirates turned into garden cities, the Centre in Hamburg will be connected with nature.
  8. With their pavilions at EXPO 2000 and iga 2002, the United Arab Emirates set the international standard for garden design and architecture. The selection process of architects and engineers, therefore, must apply these same standards. Conceivable is an expressly Arab construction.
    Regarding its architectural aesthetics and considering its scientific nature, the Centre should be a signal. The building complex must be understood as a "wonder" and a "sculpture" of space — a work of art then of unmistakable character, a structure equally imparting a sense of "down-to-earthness" and ease, static and dynamic, steadfastness and departure. From this perspective, hope itself is intertwined with the building and will be understood as a symbol for the goal to pay attention and lend weight to the advancement of talent and peace worldwide.
    Ideally, an international team of young architects would take up this challenge.
  9. The Centre and the ship are to be a gift to the youth of the world, who ultimately give reason for new hope and mediate values internationally and interculturally. More attention needs to be paid to a harmonious life on our planet. To have made a substantial contribution of a challenging nature will forever be associated with the President of the United Arab Emirates, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. The President is hereby asked, with full recognition of his lifetime achievements and with all due respect, to give this project his approval.
  10. The implementation of the project will effectively build a bridge between two worlds, which are dependent on one another and which complement and can enrich one another in fantastic ways: this link between Abu Dhabi and Hamburg would further strengthen the already friendly relations between the United Arab Emirates and Germany. Attention for the youth of the world from both regions serves as a symbol for all those, who currently remain among the sceptics and with their reservations stand in the way of the international peace process.
All considerations regarding project planning and architectural design are preceded by thanks to the head of state of the United Arab Emirates, in whose honour the international youth project is to be founded. Concluding, it is therefore considered important to emphasise the forged link between the German project initiators and the head of state, after whom the Centre is to be named. Without the head of state of the United Arab Emirates' financial support neither the "swimming university" nor the "Centre for the Advancement of Talent and Peace Worldwide" would be possible:
The vision of the President of the United Arab Emirates, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, sparks the fire, which will gradually spread knowledge and truth worldwide.
The young generation in particular, on which all our hope rests, awaits this signal!