The proposal for the City of Hamm, located along the river Lippe, laces up the historic inner city with the new and proposed canal front quarter: a strong and tangible connection between the city center and the river that consists of a generous green public recreational space, a residential area with the distinct quality of living beside the riverbank and an inviting and representative cityscape along the shores of the Lippe.

A sequence of attractive places leads from the historical inner city to the canal. A direct visual connection is established through the careful removal of sight obstructions and the sensible positioning of new structures and paths. So-called ‘memory-slabs’ are the concrete elements that mark the route from the marketplace in front of the old church, to the water front park. These elements are inscribed with historic narratives of the city of Hamm and highlight valuable historic layers and remains along the route to the Lippe. Forming a lace from the old to the new part of the town, this infrastructure makes Hamm’s past tangible.

Upon leaving the old town one will soon be able to see, between the trees of the Nordring Park, the pitched roofs of the new ‘Kanalquartier’, that is situated somewhat higher up. The small tower of the hotel serves as a beacon that leads to the quarter’s central square that opens up towards to river.


The urban plan clearly distinguishes itself in three distinct conditions: the historical inner city, the city park and the canal front. From the inner city to the river, the first intervention in our proposal is to place the missing puzzle piece in the urban fabric adjacent to Hans-Böckler-Platz. In this way the historic urban fabric is reinstalled and the city edge completed. The transition from the old city to the park hereby becomes clearly structured and brings back the original city plan. Reorienting the city hall towards the park, it can open up to the newly defined urban square. The subtile adjustment in the entrance ramp to the park, the path laid out right through the existing playground and the aligned steps at the Adenauerallee towards the Canalquarter construct a clear axis that connects the two areas of central Hamm. The square at the Canalquarter is the last pendant along the lace before arriving at the shore of the Lippe, where walks along the river and water sport recreation can take place.

The setback of the buildings from the river Lippe allows a generous shore park to be situated along the water. Here one can find attractive and comfortable seating areas and playground objects. This new public area is an extension of the existing historic urban public space. Temporary events can take place in this park as it offers the city of Hamm a flexible zone for a multitude of activities.


The big central square at the canalquarter, with its spacious set-up and openness towards the Lippe, offers both a view over the river and the dike beyond and of the old city with the tower of the Pauluskirche, visible at the end of the cleared axis through the park. The proposed buildings respond to the scale that can be found in the building blocks in the historic urban fabric. All buildings along the square and riverfront  contain a lively and active ground floor program, such as the hotel lobby, bar and restaurant, but also a bakery and some shops. The planned hotel is oriented towards the river. Multiple courts offer noise-free facades for the guest rooms. The descent from the square to the riverfront takes form in a large staircase with an integrated ramp for optimal accessibility. Close to the water is a viewpoint with an integrated kiosk.

The scale, height and shape of the buildings refer to the historic urban fabric. The varying roof heights respond to the roofs of the old city and resonate the characteristic roofscape. The roofs are oriented in the same direction as the new connection; from the new to the old city. The north-south orientation of the buildings simultaneously allow the private gardens to be west oriented. The green atmosphere within the residential area, the collective green and private gardens, mediate between the riverfront park and the Nordringpark towards the city.


Design: MEESVISSER and Bureau B+B Stedenbouw en Landschapsarchitectuur

Year: 2017

Status: competition

Client: City of Hamm

Renderings: MEESVISSER and Bureau B+B

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