In contrast to other cities, when modernising its harbour, Düsseldorf didn't just attempt to wipe the slate clean, but decided to treat each lot individually and adapt it to its future users. Which meant that its docklands weren't forced into a uniform corset. Instead such internationally famous architects as Frank O. Gehry, David Chipperfield, Joe Coenen, Steven Holl and Claude Vasconi were given an empty canvas to make their creative contribution to the skyline. Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus offers exciting tours through the MedienHafen.
Listed and protected warehouses were equipped with modern high-tech media, old rooms were given new outfits. But in spite of all the modernisation work, the area still retains the ambience of a harbour. The commercial harbour with its quay walls, stairways, cast-iron bollards, wrought-iron railings and rail tracks with cranes laid along the old loading road have been protected as historical monuments.
Many companies in the MedienHafen provide high-quality services and know-how. Around 700 companies are now located where just ten years ago a waste ground dominated by depressing derelict warehouses only existed. These businesses now enjoy the unique working conditions that proximity to the river offers and benefit from the MedienHafen's image. Its reputation as an "architectural mile" and innovative office location has spread: 76% of the companies located here have their headquarters in the MedienHafen.
The MedienHafen also plays in the premier league of culinary experiences: from the exquisite "Berens am Kai" with Michelin star through the "most golden" curry sausage in Düsseldorf to a cosy cocktail in the evening – the owners of the bars and restaurants have learnt to cater to a heterogeneous clientele which during the day comprises business customers and in the evening is made up of fashionable in-crowds. They all meet up later to party at the futuristic Club 3001 with its strange and weird 3D visuals.