ul class="overview_list " id="projectList">
  • Kenniseiland

    DARE TO INNOVATE!

    As a part of a workshop procedure, Cityförster, together with Openfabric Landscape Architecture and Mijn WaterFabriek Systemen voor duurzam water, proposed an integral strategy for the Business & Science Park of the Kennispark in Enschede that tackles not only the challenges of extreme weather conditions but also the energy transition towards a CO2-free built environment by 2050. The concept is based on the construction of a blue buffer around the location that creates more space for rainwater, recreation and reinforces the identity of the location. Together with a network of smart rain barrels and 'The Hub' arises an inclusive system that celebrates conscious water and energy consumption within a green-blue-minded environment.

    CHALLENGES AROUND WATER MANAGEMENT
    The capacity of our current sewerage system is not designed for extreme downpours. If there is an overload, in a mixed system, the untreated wastewater is dumped into the surface water together with rainwater. That is why it is better to retain the rainwater locally. By temporarily retaining rainwater locally, damage can be limited. The peak of the discharge of rainwater towards the sewer is shifted in this way: the rainwater only flows slowly towards the sewer pipe when it is empty again. Rainwater can be retained by constructing wadis, ditches, above-ground water buffers, green roofs, rainwater ponds, underground storage facilities, water squares, or rainwater use installations. Where soil conditions allow, the rainwater can also be infiltrated directly by softening and greening as much as possible. However, to limit damage during heavy cloudbursts, this must always be combined with other water-retaining facilities, especially in places where infiltration is not possible due to high groundwater levels.

    On average, we use almost 135 liters of drinking water per day. Most of the drinking water is used for showering, flushing the toilet, and washing machines. Drinking is really just a little bit. A family pays an average of almost € 750 for the water supply: 30% of this is for the supply of drinking water, 26% for the sewage charge, and 44% for the purification and water system charges. Instead of disposing of clean rainwater with the sewer, you can also store and use it. Rainwater that falls on roofs is relatively clean. You can use it for the washing machine or the toilet, but also to water the garden. This way, it does not immediately disappear into the sewage system and it also saves drinking water. Furthermore, the consumption of water could be reduced by raised awareness among the citizens and businesses. It is also important to improve the efficiency use by e.g. installing water-saving showers and toilets. Greywater treated in wetland or through filters could also be reused.

    You can find a link to a reader (Dutch) with all the results of the workshop here.

    completed
    7511 AH Enschede
    Niederlande
  • Vlora Boulevard

    A scenic route that attracts locals and tourists.

    With the new Boulevard in Vlora, the second largest port city of Albania, we vitalized an important node of the city that was far from using its great potential of becoming the lively heart of Vlora. Here one can find everything the city needs; from bars, shops, and restaurants to theatres, mosques, the University and the stadium.

    The mission was to improve the public space that now is not only the biggest shopping street of Vlora but also acts as the spine of the urban structure connecting a variety of different programs with each other. The existing mix of regional and local functions and commercial and entertainment activities, that give the street a character with a high dynamic, has been strengthened.

    The boulevard used to be dominated by speedy car traffic and was characterized by palm trees that, unfortunately, were slowly dying due to a disease if not mostly dead already. The former noisy 4 lane street got downgraded into a 2 lane street to provide a 4 m wide free space for pedestrians to stroll and to promote the use of bicycles: A new service strip for terraces, furniture and all kinds of the local greenery.

    A lot of local greenery has been added to provide shade, reduce urban heat and improve the conditions and microclimate of the city. By using local materials and plants typical for the beautiful Albanian Riviera the design celebrates the identity of Vlora and emphasizes the genius local and topographical qualities and conditions. Sustainable and resilient materials for paving, using local planting and trees, define a public space that captures the characteristics of Vlora.

    completed
    2018
    Vlora
    Albania
  • Bar Center Fier

    Building on existing structures.

    The plot of Bar Center in Fier (Albania), located next to our projects Rinia Complex and Building Block on a central urban intersection and adjacent to an inner-city park, was occupied by an existing building from the late 1990s. This building – the plinth of an unfinished high-rise, which stood at three storeys high – was unassuming and unfitting for this prominent location; therefore, the owners approached us to extend the building and upgrade the existing floors. So we used the volume of the existing building as a starting point for the design.

    The addition activates the upper floors and makes them directly accessible from the new main square of Fier, to which the building now prominently orientates. The result is a stepped five-storey volume enclosed in a geometrical, rasterized façade. This geometrical façade, in turn, is partially clad in semi-transparent golden shading sheets, which function as a screen against the sunlight. Additionally, they bring more unity to the building's appearance. The volume, whose two newly added floors contain a publicly accessible rooftop bar with views over Fier, offers an urban topography that serves the city as a whole.

    completed
    Fier
    Albania
  • Carbon-Based Design

    How can we ensure that the 1,000,000 new homes that are needed in the Netherlands before 2030 exert as little pressure as possible on the already difficult-to-achieve climate targets? Even if all future homes are built according to the current agreements (BENG [nearly energy-neutral building], and 4% emission reduction in the industry), the CO2 budget for construction (under a 1.5-degree warming scenario) will be used in 2026 already.

    As the construction sector, we are currently responsible for 38 % of all greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is definitely gaining momentum in the debate; however, the focus within our professional community seems mainly to be on single methods or materials - whereas the solution lies in an integral approach.

    Carbon-Based Design is this approach. It provides insight into the CO2 cycle and what role the construction sector and the circular construction economy play in it. The focus is on embodied carbon (or material-related emissions during the production and construction process) in residential construction. By gaining insight into the construction process and which parts of it have the most impact on the total emissions, we can adjust our design and development strategy accordingly. The aim is clear: to design and realize buildings with the lowest possible CO2 emissions, or ideally even CO2 storage.

    With a focus on the emissions of production and construction and the ratio of operational and embedded energy, we found solutions for the way from carbon exploitation to carbon sequestration.

    You can download a full-resolution online version of the Carbon-Based Design report here.

    completed
    2021
    Rotterdam
    The Netherlands
  • Marconiplein

    How to raise a dike in an innercity environment?

    Nexus, from the Latin 'nectere', means a "connection or series of connections linking two or more things". Marconiplein is, indeed, at the crossroad of different flows: not only mobility but ecology, water protection, development.

    Our vision is rooted in the understanding of this space as a complex node, where traditionally, absolute priority has been given to transport. Our proposal aims to invert the paradigm of Marconiplein as a space - a sum of several leftover spaces- defined by infrastructures, but rather, addressing high-quality public spaces first, where infrastructural strategy follows. The design of the new square will be led by the principle of unveiling. If in history, infrastructures - considered as a major source of disruption - have been buried, hidden and elevated, technological progress and accurate urban solutions, offer now the opportunity of reconnecting to infrastructures.

    Specific solutions will range from sloping squares, new vertical cross-views, increased number of entrances, fostering the square as a seamless public space, where infrastructure is no more perceived as separated from the city.

    completed
    2021
    Rotterdam
    The Netherlands
  • Branch in the Landscape

    "Branch in the Landscape" presents a holistic concept that includes both the planned cycle and footpath connection across the Neckar and its relationship with the surrounding urban landscape. The focus is on providing residents and visitors with attractive incentives to switch to environmentally-friendly mobility. Urban planning, traffic, and design aspects are being developed into a uniform green infrastructure as a catalyst for new uses of the adjacent public spaces.

    Not only the residents will benefit from the new connections, but also the future users of the cycle expressway between Mannheim and Heidelberg. The infrastructure is deliberately compact and reserved in space and the cityscape. The functional path connection is supplemented at certain points by programmatic balconies, each of which enables a view of different landscapes and thus creates several places to come together and linger.

    Purposefully positioned buildings under the bridge structure (with potential uses such as a café and bicycle workshop) not only create a local path through the treetops but also create a new urban edge. Together with the bridge structure, this edge forms a new city gate in the west of Heidelberg and at the same time offers noise protection for the newly created Gneisenaupark.

    "Branch in the Landscape" creates a variety of spaces through the contrast between linear infrastructure and soft landscape, which also strengthens existing biotopes, creates new ones, strengthens the Heidelberg cityscape and helps previously separate neighbourhoods to create new synergies.

    completed
    2019
    Heidelberg
    Germany
  • Pavillion Days Korça

    Upside Down, Downside Up!

    For the 8th sculpture Symposium (2017), Korça Municipality invited a selected group of architects, together with sculptors, to create temporary pavilions triggering the revitalisation of public spaces.

    By inverting an abstract tree, Shu-Wei Chang, the sculptor, worked with the concept of 'roots-seeking'. The branches now grow towards the underground, recollecting the past, possibly finding some sort of lost identity. The proposition of this pavilion plays with this concept. A mirror that "returns" the sculpture to the "natural position" resulting in the viewer being inverted in relation to the surroundings. The structure, a form of a house, is stripped to its fundamentals. The materials choice (lumber and scrap wood) was intended to create a sustainable low-cost proposition while withstanding the time and made use of the limited availability of materials locally. Exploring further the 'back to the roots' concept, a traditional hanged Albanian carpet became the "soil" in which the tree seeks aliment. The pans (used to cook Korça typical meatballs) were positioned like flowers on a prairie. In conclusion, we aim to provoke a reflection of traditions as our identity ground in contemporary life.

    completed
    2017
    Korça
    Albania
  • TVET campus extension Mazar

    The TVET Campus Balkh consists of three different technical and vocational schools (an Agriculture and Veterinarian Institute, a Technical Teacher Training & an Engineering College) as well as student housing. The master plan for the campus extension aims to connect these three schools through common indoor and outdoor areas, to facilitate students' interaction and communication.

    The local climate was one of the main drivers behind the design. Both the placement of the buildings, the design of the facades, the implementation of shading and cooling elements and the water management of the campus have been customized to the local climate conditions to create pleasant indoor and outdoor spaces.

    A central square and the addition of trees link all main functions of the campus and create high quality outside areas. A multi-purpose hall provides the students with a facility for sports, social activities and events, while the kindergarten in the centre of the campus offers a safe environment for children to learn and play. For this kindergarten, the existing buildings of a historical caravanserai were converted. These new functions, together with the re-designed outside areas, contribute to the inclusiveness of the campus for different users.

    completed
    Mazar-i-Sharif
    Afghanistan
  • Blue Eye

    As one of Albania's most important natural sites, the area of ​​the water spring of "Blue Eye" (Albanian: Syri i Kaltër) has been endangered by tourism for years. Our master plan is the attempt to manage "Blue Eye" sustainably and to prepare it for the expected increase in tourism. The integral strategy protects the natural monument while at the same time releasing its full socio-economic potential. This is achieved through various interwoven strategies, such as diversifying the local offering.

    The immediate area of this rare, almost unreal place is a natural monument characterized by sycamore and oak trees. With the ambitions to improve the local infrastructure for sustainable yet more intensive tourism, we developed an integral strategy for spreading the load of visitors during peak season throughout the year by providing yearly services and activities. By introducing new ways of accessing the Blue Eye Monument, we create different scenarios, points of view and vibes (hiking trails, boat trips and a family path). The program is rounded off with a visitor centre, local product shop, camping facilities and a newly developed cultural and social agenda, proposing the possibility of organizing festivals and local markets close but not right next to the Blue Eye. All of that to stimulate the unique character and potential of the area while keeping the nature intact. 

    The result is a natural phenomenon, unique on a global scale and protected for future generations.

    completed
    2020
    Sarandë
    Albania
  • Mtirala National Park

    Mtirala National Park is considered one of the most important protected areas in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in Georgia. The name Mtirala (meaning „to cry") is derived from the 4,500 mm of annual rainfall, making it one of the wettest areas of the former Soviet Union.

    The Integrated Masterplan for Mtirala National Park and Korolistavi Village aims to strengthen both wildlife and ecosystem protection as well as local economic development through eco-tourism. CITYFÖRSTER in collaboration with a variety of experts, from business consultancy to mountain bike trail development, developed a masterplan by formulating a 20-year vision for the region, containing 25+ possible interventions promoting and making accessible the "wettest place of Europe" a subtropical European rainforest, as well as a detailed 3-year action plan, eco-tourism and marketing and promotion strategy.

    CITYFÖRSTER organized three workshops with the community of Korolistavi village and three stakeholder's workshops, identifying their goals and vision for Mtirala National Park and Korolistavi village.

    Regarding the Architectural interventions, we were greatly inspired by the extremely peculiar natural situation of the park. Our aim was to design an architecture that doesn't distort but rather amplifies the peculiarities. This was achieved by designing extremely light, compact, and delicate objects.The function of these objects is not to draw attention to themselves but to be used as devices for understanding their natural surroundings.

    completed
    2022
    Adjara
    Georgia