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The world's largest model ship collection is on display at the International Maritime Museum. H doCklANdS RENAiSSANCE amburg is fast becoming one of the most cosmopolitan cities in europe. The city is injecting a staggering sum of capital into an ambitious waterfront development called hafenCity (harbour City). Currently europe's largest urban renewal project, hafenCity will transform the rundown docklands district into a thriving hub of culture, leisure and commerce. Flanking the late 19th-century warehouse district known as speicherstadt, this new urban quarter occupies the banks of the River elbe, fusing the city's maritime heritage with its bright future as a trendsetting cultural metropolis. once complete, this 157-hectare development comprising residential buildings, commercial premises, bars, cafés, restaurants and myriad other projects will increase downtown hamburg's area by 40 per cent. 52 BLUE WINGS MARCH 2011 Three stunning cultural landmarks are already causing a stir worldwide. The first to open its doors was the International Maritime Museum, which occupies the oldest surviving port-storage building in the docklands area. Millionaire model ship collector Peter Tamm has been collecting maritime treasures for more than seven decades, and now his private collection ­ the world's largest ­ is on display across ten storeys and 11,000 square metres of exhibition space in this ingeniously refurbished former warehouse. The museum opened to the public in 2008. The most striking architectural statement in the docklands scheme is the 480-million-dollar elbphilharmonie (elbe Philharmonic hall) designed by swiss architects herzog & de Meuron. With its undulating glass-fronted crown straddling a former cocoa bean warehouse, this unique fusion of past and future will become a distinctive icon for hamburg, housing two concert auditoriums, a five-star hotel and more than 45 apartments. The space between the wave-like crown and the shell of the old warehouse is a public plaza providing superb views over the city. The concert hall will open in 2013. The third cultural landmark is the new science Centre designed by dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and associates. The design features a jagged upright loop opening both to the port and the city as a symbolic gateway to the world of knowledge. With funding now being finalised, construction is expected to commence shortly. The western end of the docklands development is already attracting a growing stream of visitors. When complete, hafenCity and its trio of landmarks are sure to draw worldwide attention and make Germany's second-largest city a culture hotspot no longer overshadowed by its larger cousin, berlin. ENG ELBE&FLUT; SoUrcE: HaFENciTy HamBUrg gmBH

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