Idea Championship

JES_Europahafenkopf10@COBE Kopie

Client: Zechgroup / Gustav Zech Stiftung

Service: Co-Kreation

Duration: Octobre 2017 – February 2018

Collaboration: Ralf Harder, Arealisten / Torsten Wild, claussen-seggelke stadtplaner


Photos: COBE / JES / Florian Gehle

At the Europahafen in Bremen’s Überseestadt, the Zechgroup is building an ensemble of four buildings with a total area of approximately 100,000 square meters. They want to rise loft apartments, offices and public halls. In short: a new and vital part of the city!

However, the special feature of this project is not only its result, but its process: In a very short time a suitable design had to be found. The location was too important, the task too complex for a normal architectural competition. Client Kurt Zech and Senate Building Director Prof. Dr. med. Reuther agreed: A new solution was needed, a fresh process.

That’s where JES Co-Creation came into play: The Idea Championship. A specially designed format that brings all stakeholders to the table and in a short time provides certainty about what, where, how, when and with whom to build.

Idea championship


Instead of an anonymous competition, an open co-creative dialogue was invented. It began with a day of inspiration, where the owners, city administration, specialist planners, experts and local residents together with the six invited architecture firms (Barkow Leibinger Architects, Cobe Copenhagen, HPP Architects, KSP Jürgen Engel Architects, Msm Meyer Schmitz-Morkramer, Westphal Architects) explored the site. Thus, they get to know each other and the task at once.

The claim of the idea championship was based on questions related to urban planning and architecture as well as human needs in general: How can we create a social, vibrant city life?

In workshops, the architects presented answers and discussed their ideas under the direction of jury chairman Jörn Walter. There was an intensive exchange about building density, height, the possibility of uses and even the attitude of the buildings. Thus, all six design concepts contributed equally to reaching the best idea for the Europahafen in Bremen.

Copetition statt Competition!


Co-petition instead of Competition!
The winner of the idea championship was Cobe. The Copenhageners developed a particularly resourceful and site-specific plan that captured the ideas of cooperation as masterfully as the spirit of the Europahafen. The ensemble of four buildings refer to the Bremen Town Musicians: Four individuals with their own bodies, arms and legs, which together stand strong. Thus, creating a ground level public space in which street food markets, exhibition areas, bicycle stations and other public areas are housed. Open to all, with a vibrant hustle and bustle in the midst of the city! “Come with us to Bremen!”

The Bremer citizens are happy, the press writes: “We are all euphoric!”, and: “It is the death of the typical, anonymous competition.”Kreiszeitung
We agree! The JES Idea championship is a win for everyone!