How this man wants to generate energy in Hamburg with a bunker

Once an old man came by. A concrete builder who helped build the bunker at the end of World War II. “He still remembered how the walls shook when bombs hit,” says Marcus Flatten, 54. The bunker on Schomburgstraße (Altona) has long been a symbol of fear and destruction, and is now a place of community and climate protection. Here, the association “Kultur Energie Bunker Altona Projekt” (KEBAP) has created an idyll in the big city between multi-storey properties. Heat to the neighborhood will soon be generated from here.

It stands almost inconspicuously on the outskirts of St. Pauli. The 50 meter long, twelve meter wide and almost 19 meter high giant is hard to get around. – Nevertheless, passers-by who have never before noticed the heavily painted bunker, says Marcus. It was the same with him. His jogging route led past the block. At one point, he noticed the people in the garden in front of the bunker and asked what they were actually doing there. Marcus immediately set to work. His communications agency in Bahrenfeld did well. The two children were out of the woods. And the studied biologist, who had long been active in environmental protection, was still looking for a sensible balance.

This is how the “Cultural Energy Bunker Altona Project” came about.

At first, Marcus Flatten dug only in the garden. Really just the sidewalk running along the front of the bunker. Several raised beds are lined up to the left and right of the path. Brightly painted wooden signs ask you to leave the vegetables where they are. The locals grow all kinds of food. From strawberries and chard to beans, cucumbers and spinach to herbs. Twice a week we have gardens together, once a week we cook together. There are also readings, workshops and open meetings.

Just look, do not touch – it works! Only very rarely does it happen that someone in the garden just helps themselves.

The project arose as a result of a protest in 2011. Residents had resisted the district heating line, which was to run from the Moorburg coal-fired power plant through Walter-Möller-Park, which borders the empty bunker. But the protesters would not only be against something, but also for something. They founded the association “Kultur Energie Bunker Altona Projekt” and started to build the garden. First without permission. But the city found the engagement good and tolerated bustle.


But it should not only be dug and planted. The members also wanted to generate energy in the bunker. “Kultur Energie Genossenschaft Altona” (KEGA) was founded by the association in 2015, of which Marcus is currently a board member. “Above all, we want to produce heat. So far, the subject has been neglected in the energy transition. Heat is a large part of our CO emissions in the residential area. ” The double high-rise bunker is divided in the middle. The cultural and district offerings should take place on the right side. Heat production is planned on the left.

garden model
Garden model: On the bunker, a publicly accessible roof garden with event area will be built.

“Energy from the district – to the district. That is our goal. ” The heat must be generated directly in the bunker by means of air heat pumps, groundwater heat pumps and a block-shaped thermal power plant. Those interested can buy shares in the cooperative. “So that the profits are not skimmed off by any shareholders, but remain in the district and people benefit from it,” explains Marcus.

The plans for the “Cultural Energy Bunker Altona Project”

As of 2025, KEGA and an energy utility plan to supply about 10 gigawatt hours per year to the district heating network. 60 percent will be used to supply a swimming pool and a school. The rest will be used to supply about 1,000 households with climate-friendly heat and hot water. Exactly who to connect is still under negotiation. And a lot is also going to happen on the “cultural side” of the bunker. A large event room is planned for readings, concerts and neighbor meetings. Rehearsal rooms, workshops, communal kitchen and recording studio. The start of the construction work, however, means the end of the sidewalk garden. But there are already concrete plans for that. A publicly accessible roof garden with event space.

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For Marcus, as one of the four board members, there is a lot of planning and many official meetings. Sometimes he misses digging in the garden. But above all, what counts for him is the feeling of not being powerless surrendered to the current developments. “We can change something ourselves. It takes perseverance to make the world a little better. But there is freedom that you can and should use. ”

Profile of Marcus Flatten (54)

Honorary board member of “Kultur Energie Genossenschaft Altona” (KEGA)

car or bicycle? Bike. I haven’t had a car in a year because it just sat.

beer or wine? Depends on the apartment. Wine for dinner, beer for party.

Schnitzel or veggie burger? I rarely eat meat and am aware of where it comes from. But not dogmatic. So dear veggie burger.

child or pet? When I was a kid we had dogs. Now we have children.

The North Sea or New York? I rarely fly, so the North Sea. But most of all the Baltic Sea.

Kiez Club or Elphi? But those are also questions. puha I like Elphi and Kiez-Club. Both. I can not decide.

Heavy metal or classic? Definitely classic. Heavy metal has never been something for me.

Yoga or gym? Yoga. I did that for a long time. I have to do it again.

A cargo bike for devices and campaigns

Haspa is funding the request for the cultural energy bunker

Good things deserve support. With the campaign “Die Bessermacher” we will not only show committed people. The projects also receive financial assistance and long-term support.

The association “KEBAP” would like a cargo bike to be able to transport the garden tools and also use it as a pop-up stand for campaigns and recruiting members. Haspa provides the funding with a grant from “Haspa LotterieSparen”.

Haspa Altona supports the association as a department sponsor. “The energy bunker does a good job and is an important source of inspiration for Altona,” says department head Marcel Dieckmann. “Of course, climate-friendly campaigns must have climate-friendly logistics. We are happy to support that. “

You can find out how the project progressed using Haspa in the Bessermacher recall. MOPO follows and reports!

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