Each stone breathes history
Wherever you stand in the Gastwerk the architecture and conscientiously preserved traces tell stories of the hotel’s eventful history. Originally, it was used as coal storage for the gas plant; later, an animal feed factory moved into the majestic hall- a historic grinding room has been converted into the Denk.Mal Bar. The historic clock tower behind the reception is stopped still at five minutes to twelve, and carries the past into the future.
How it all happened:
The gas plant was built between 1892 and 1895 by the architect and civil engineer Schaar, it entered service in 1896, as a successor to the gas plant on the Große Elbstraße, and was extended between 1910 and 1928. In 1938, the generating facility was decommissioned. After the destruction caused by the war from 1945, up until the 1950s, it was used to store crude benzene from the other gas plants in Hamburg. The plant was used as a container and compressor station.
Since the 1950s, activists such as artists and dropouts increasingly discovered vacant industrial buildings and claimed these for themselves for use as studios, for residential purposes, or as auto repair shops and warehouses. The company Ramikal produced feed flour in the former coal hall, today's Gastwerk Hotel.
In the early 1990s, investors and architects have become aware of the factory buildings, with their typical brick facades, and founded the "Forum Altes Gaswerk".
The site was purchased in 1994 by the investor group HPV, with the idea of converting the former gas plant into a modern, stylish facility for commercial purposes, and a large, modern community centre with all its attendant facilities, while carefully preserving its originality.
The buildings of the area were registered in the monument protection list in 1996. The administration building, the watch house, the coal tower, four large halls and elevated track, a scale and a rotary stage for the railroad are all on the monument list.
The current name "Otto von Bahrenpark" comes from the legend of the knight Otto von Bahren, who has ruled lands in this area in the 13th Century. The districts of Ottensen and Bahrenfeld are also supposedly named after him.