What do you do with a virtually indestructible, 130-foot-tall flak bunker that was built to protect German citizens from Allied bombs? In the Hamburg district of Wilhelmsburg, local authorities are planning to convert an enormous World War II-era bunker into renewable energy power plant that will supply power to 3,000 nearby households.
By 2013, the roof and south face of the bunker will be fitted with solar panels.
Using solar and biomass power, the 70-year-old bunker is expected to supply 3,000 nearby households with power.
Today, the 130-foot-tall concrete bunker looms over the neighboring park and nearby homes.
During World War II, as many as 30,000 Hamburg residents took shelter from Allied bombs in the bunker.
In 1947, the British army attempted to demolish the bunker with dynamite, but the explosions only destroyed the interior.
The bunker is located in the Hamburg district of Wilhelmsburg, an area mostly populated by immigrants that hasn't seen much investment from the city.
The flak bunker on Neuhöfer Strasse in Wilhelmsburg was constructed in 1942, and during the war, up to 30,000 people crammed into the massive structure while Allied bombs rained down on the city. After the war ended in 1947, the British army filled the bunker with dynamite in an attempt to demolish it, but the explosions only destroyed the interior, leaving the main structure intact. Now, instead of spending more energy and money attempting to bring the 70-year-old relic down, the city of Hamburg plans to convert it into an energy bunker.
The exterior of the bunker will remain largely untouched.
The walls of the bunker are 3.5 meters thick.
The top floor of the bunker will be an information center about the bunker's history that will be open to the public.
At the top of the bunker, German flak gunners defended the city from attacking aircraft.
A model of the planned energy bunker in Hamburg's Wilhelmsburg district.
IBA Hamburg also plans to use part of the bunker's interior for cultural events.