Henning Larsen has released images of their proposed urban development for the historic Imperial Shipyard at Gdansk, Poland. The 400,000-square-metre development seeks to transform the 1844 shipyard into a thriving mixed-use development that brings life to the waterfront.
The old industrial site has played a central role in the economic development of both Gdansk and Poland, serving as a key shipbuilding hub on the Baltic Coast. Through creating spines of public life centred around pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets, Henning Larsen seeks to maintain the shipyard’s strong presence through waterfront living, work, and recreation.
“It was important for us to pay tribute to the unique history of The Imperial Shipyard, still visible in the remaining historical buildings,” explained Henning Larsen partner, Jacob Kurek. “Also, having been at the heart of the workers’ movement, many families still feel a very personal connection to the site. Opening up the waterfront to be publicly accessed, as well as creating a pedestrian and bicycle friendly connection to the city centre, will give the Imperial Shipyard back to the people.”
Henning Larsen’s proposal is anchored by three key urban spaces: The Plaza, The Park, and The Dock. The Plaza will host market days, ice skating and concerts, situated close to where the signing of the 1980 Gdansk Agreement brought fundamental changes to the Communist political structure.
The Park offers views across the river and city and provides a “lush urban forest” for visitors and residents alike. The Dock forms the heart of the new development, connecting the Imperial Shipyard to the city centre through broad sidewalks, a large wooden seating element that doubles as a flood barrier, and an urban beach and marina.
The proposal will see the creation of 3500 residential units, taking the form of several typologies, including a larger typology derived from the classic residential Gdansk block. The residential aspect will also feature green community courtyards and rooftops, acting as social spaces and safe play areas for children.
For the scheme’s development, Henning Larsen has worked in collaboration with A2P2 Architecture and Planning, BBGK Architekci, and Belgian developers Revive and Alides.
Henning Larsen has described the development as the transformation of a "Powerful financial and social engine building into a thriving, mixed-use, inner-city neighbourhood by the waterfront, that is alive around the clock”.