The bunker’s turbulent history dates back to 1943, when it was constructed as a shelter for some 30,000 Hamburg residents during the war. In 1947 the British tried to demolish it but managed only to partially compromise its structural integrity. Last year city officials approved the beginning of restoration works on the 130-foot-tall structure, and now the once derelict eyesore will function as a monument and renewable energy power plant.
The massive building will use a combination of solar energy, biogas, wood chips, and waste heat from a nearby industrial plant to supply most of the Reiherstieg district with heat and will feed renewable power into the electricity grid. According to predictions, it will generate approximately 22,500 megawatt hours of heat and almost 3,000 megawatt hours of electricity.
Part of the 2013 International Building Exhibition Hamburg (IBA), the Energy Bunker will feature a permanent exhibition with a focus on its history and the former residents of the Reiherstieg district. Visitors can grab a drink at a café located on the rooftop and enjoy stunning views of the city from the viewing platform.