• Jugendherberge For Future

    As part of the CEWI-cooperation, Cityförster is developing an implementation concept that shows how the sustainable and careful renovation of real estate can be implemented in the DJH Landesverband Baden-Württemberg e.V.

    The mission for DJH Lochen is to be a flagship project for circularity, sustainability and sufficiency. This concept is translated to the offer of the youth hostel, and the architectural design and planning. Following the didactic focus of DJH Baden-Württemberg, the hostel should offer its guests an educational experience for sustainable awareness. This means programs with sustainability themes, active outdoor experiences, and workshops with local resources. These themes are also represented in the architectural concept. The main target groups are school groups, leisure (sports) groups, conference groups, and individual travelers like hikers, cyclists and retreat participants.

    The theme of sufficiency has guided the hostel to rethink its offer of rooms: smaller rooms to emphasize the outdoor experience, and the development of a summer house for the peak season. This summer house provides extra guest rooms in the warmer months, making a low-tech building without heating or cooling possible. The summer house transforms the old garage by extending it with a new floor on top. Upon arrival, the summer house is the eyecatcher of the circularity concept.

    The main goal of the renovation is to restructure the rooms and meet today's requirements. Because the exterior was renovated in 1982, the focus of the renovation is on the space plan and installations. This means a minimal renovation is sufficient. Where possible, building components are harvested on site or in the region, and repurposed in the summer house and the youth hostel. Where larger quantities of materials are needed, materials based on recycled resources and granulated raw materials are applied, for example recycled rubber, concrete and repurposed wood shingles.

    The beautiful location of DJH Lochen next tot the Lochenpass creates an inspiring natural environment in the forest on the hills. The existing outdoor facilities are upgraded, and new functionalities are added to extend the possibilities for outdoor activities. The new multifunctional outdoor spaces contribute to the sustainable outdoor experience of DJH Lochen.

    Balingen Lochen
  • Buna Delta

    The Buna river delta, situated in the southeast of Shkodra, Albania, is intricately connected to Lake Shkodra via the Buna, Drin, and Kir rivers, forming a complex hydrological network. This region boasts diverse ecosystems, drawing migratory birds and nature enthusiasts. However, it faces periodic flooding, attributed to factors like heavy rainfall, snowmelt, imbalanced reservoir management, and the mountainous terrain constraining water flow.

    We propose a vision for the future of the Buna Delta, developed in close collaboration with the Municipality of Shkodra, government agencies, international donors and local experts. In this vision, flood protection infrastructure is harmoniously combined with the development of ecotourism and circular economy, as well as the improvement of sustainable mobility between the Adriatic Sea and Shkodra.

    To achieve flood resilience, a combination of natural and technical solutions is recommended. A combination of natural and technical solutions is recommended to strengthen resilience to flooding. Among these solutions is the organic development of a green river connecting the Buna and Drinasa rivers. This green river acts as a natural strip of land to divert flood water while promoting attractive vegetation. This improves water quality, creates habitats for wildlife and promotes tourism.

    To further protect against flooding, improve biodiversity, develop tourism and promote sustainable land management, measures such as the inclusion of storage areas and buffer zones along the waterfront and a resilient mixed form of agriculture are also proposed.
    By implementing these strategies, the Buna Delta can thrive as a resilient and vibrant ecosystem, providing both environmental and economic benefits for the region.

  • Exhibition: How to build 10.000 extra houses in Arnhem

    The Dutch government aims to address housing shortages by creating 1 million extra houses by 2030. Ministerie van Maak organized an exhibition during the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, showcasing solutions for housing construction, energy transition, and climate change adaptation. The exhibition featured a large Dutch model designed by 100 architects and urban planners. CITYFÖRSTER was one of the selected studios to conduct research into the development of 10,000 climate-proof homes within their 2 x 2 km area.

    Our site is located in Arnhem, close to the Central Station and including a portion of the Nederrijn. The site is characterized by a large industrial area, that is divided from a residential area by a railyard leading to Central Station. The river on the other side appears as an unused potential, as well as many undefined areas, that could use more clarity and densification.

    How to add 10.000 houses in this area? Our proposal is based on two main strategies:
    Former industrial areas are the favourite location for inner city developments. The new housing developments would be realized close to existing roads and transport and urban sprawl can be prevented. We suggest smaller scale infill into industrial areas at underused spaces such as parking areas and expansion areas and to make new connections to the river's floodplains.

    The other large potential to add quality by densification is in the low-rise neighbourhoods. Built in the 60's and 70's these areas are at the end of their first lifecycle, often inhabited by empty-nesters. We can add a couple of apartment blocks, diversifying the housing stock and the existing rowhouses could easily be topped-up with an extra layer. This creates both more housing opportunities and diverse neighbourhoods and is also an investment opportunity creating wealth on a small scale.

    Both of our strategies use the 10.000 houses not as a problem that needs to be solved, but as a great opportunity to improve our existing city.

    The Netherlands
  • Max and Moritz

    The primary focus of our project entails the resilient and environmentally conscious transformation of two Plattenbau buildings situated on the outskirts of Erfurt, with the objective of establishing a model that can be universally applied throughout the entire neighborhood. The volumes of the two buildings are enveloped by a prefabricated modular grid system, thereby creating an aesthetically refined and low-maintenance design. This approach facilitates not only the seamless integration of novel features, such as entrances on the north side and more expansive balconies on the south side, but also fosters the customization of living spaces and engenders a vibrant sense of community. Additionally, a continuous base serves to integrate the building into the surrounding street context, thereby reinstating a harmonious relationship with the adjacent neighborhood.

    Our material choices prioritize economic and sustainable utilization. Easily replaceable wood is employed for planter cladding and facade, complemented by natural fiber insulation and plant charcoal to offset the CO2 emissions associated with the concrete structure. Concurrently, the primary load-bearing structure is composed of concrete, ensuring both fire safety and minimal maintenance costs. A pivotal aspect of our climate-resilient transformation involves the incorporation of greenery on the facades to positively influence the microclimate in the vicinity of the building. This is coupled with a comprehensive rainwater management system, incorporating storage for utilization and retention during intense rainfall events. As a contribution to biodiversity, an assortment of plant species is judiciously combined to provide a year-round supply of flowers and sustenance for insects and birds.

  • Life in Sandbachpark


    The competition area is the first step in the restructuring of the existing commercial area into a mixed-use residential quarter. Between the cultural axis with a new metro connection in the north and the Sandbach with the future development of a park in the south, the area offers potential for a lively quarter with added value for residents, nature and the neighborhood with open spaces, buildings and services that can be used in a variety of ways. The design is based on a compact urban development that conserves the valuable resource of land and offers space for nature, rainwater management and leisure uses. The unsealed surfaces enable lush vegetation that promotes biodiversity, generates a balanced microclimate and creates atmospherically strong places. To promote the local rainwater balance, rainwater is retained on site, infiltrated, evaporated or stored in cisterns to irrigate plants. A diverse mix of uses including living, working, supply and leisure facilities creates a lively, „complete" district and reduces the need for mobility. A multimodal mobility offer organized in the neighbourhood garage consisting of sharing and e-mo-bility offers, cargo bikes, bicycle trailers, etc. reduces the space required and enables the cost-effective use of current technologies. The sufficiency district approach also reduces individual ownership in favor of shared prosperity, thereby conserving the planet's resources. Flexible (timber)system construc-tion and compact building volumes enable cost-effective construction. The sustainable building materials used, such as wood, clay, straw, etc., are used so that they can be decomposed by type. The necessary energy is generated locally as far as possible - PV on roofs and some facades, as well as geothermal energy, are used.

    40878 Ratingen
  • Münster-Hiltrup Ost


    The design taps into the potential to create a green, climate-adapted and carfree district for Münster Hiltrup that blends harmoniously into the existing landscape and settlement structure. Four compact neighborhoods with a large contact area to the open space will be linked by diverse green corridors in the interior (Green Delta) as well as a close-knit network of cycle paths and footpaths and attractively connected to the outside. Motorized traffic is reduced to a minimum and parking spaces are bundled. Within the neighborhoods, the mobility hubs form everyday hubs. A small-scale, differentiated development structure with ground floor uses at the neighborhood squares, social functions and various, mixed typologies suggest a people-centered scale with a rural character. In conjunction with an innovative climate adaptation concept and high ecological and energy standards, a future-oriented neighborhood development is being created for Hiltrup.

    Rainwater management follows the principle of the sponge city with the aim of minimizing intervention in the natural water balance, achieving near-natural rainfall-runoff behaviour, ensuring sufficient purification of the surface runoff that occurs, preventing flooding in the settlement area and reducing the runoff peaks into the watercourses to a natural level. Implementation is carried out as far as possible using near-natural methods with a small proportion of technical structures. In addition to the purely water management aspects, ecological benefits such as increased biodiversity and heat reduction are achieved. At the same time, blue-green structures are created that allow residents to experience the element of water.

  • Masterplan Nové Dolíky, Slany

    How can we create a modern suburban environment suitable for pedestrians in a 15-minute neighborhood - a new district with its own urban character that can withstand the ever-increasing pace of changes in human society?

    This is achieved by creating a car-free district that emphasizes pedestrian and cycling transportation, designing compact development that forms both a clearly defined public space and an attractive living environment for future residents.
    The concept of approaching public spaces stems from the fundamental idea of relocating cars to the outer edges of the development. The majority of parking spaces are condensed into three mobility hubs on the corners of the site. The implementation of blue-green infrastructure and the provision of quality public space for the residents of Slaný form a better connection between an agricultural park in the west to the city center in the east. With all amenities within reach and accessible recreational areas, the neighborhood will ensure a healthy and sustainable living environment.

    Part of this design is the establishment of a central green axis, functioning as a retention valley and providing space for trees and biodiversity. It directs the outer landscape and waterflows into the new neighborhood and results in the
    creation of a vibrant blue and green boulevard featuring diverse private and public spaces.

    The urban structure that forms this proposal has been carefully crafted to create compact development with a diversity of typologies and financing models. It is also based on simplicity and elegance for sustainable and prospective construction methods, along with a reliable approach grounded in a connection to nature.

    Slany, Czech Republic
  • Biotech Archipelago Mainz

    The Bio-Tech Archipelago is a great opportunity for the city of Mainz to build on its global reputation in the biotechnology sector and at the same time develop a city for everybody. Here, optimal conditions for research and development are combined with housing, leisure facilities and a vibrant landscape for people and nature. The design focuses on favoring cooling wind currents, networking local biotopes and preserving the expansive landscape and thus fullfill the requirements of the sensitive urban location and the associated responsibility for our environment.

    Located as a gateway to the city on Saarstrasse, it communicates structurally, spatially and programmatically between the cultural landscapes of the outskirts of Mainz and the biotech axis. It is both the entrance and keystone of the westward expansion of the city and generates a variety of added urban ecological values and offers for the local environment and the city as a whole. The urban figure opens up to the open landscape in spacious corridors. The building mass is divided into four sub-areas that unite to form a flowing archipelago-like urban landscape around a common open space.

  • Marienburger Strasse

    The focus of our project is, on one hand, the careful urban integration of approximately 43,000 m2 GFA (realization part) and 10,000 m2 GFA (conceptual part) of dense housing into the existing morphological and ecological context, taking into account imposed restrictions and desires. On the other hand, the identity of our project arises from intense coordination and integration of urban planning, architecture, ecology, and landscape design.

    Characteristic of the existing urban structure of the broader surroundings of the competition area is the loose construction with small and medium-sized structures. In contrast to this morphology, the future urban fabric east of the railway track is planned as an urban densified perimeter block structure (Munich Northeast Ideas Competition). Our project establishes a context-related connection to these two different spatial conditions while simultaneously creating its own strong local identity.

    To achieve this, our design is structured into overlapping levels of order, creating differentiated and precise spatial relationships: The construction structure is divided into four typologies. In the west along Marienburger Strasse, the existing structure of rowed, rhythmically offset, small-scale buildings is appropriately complemented to ensure spatial permeability. This is followed by a loose sequence running north-south of individual building volumes (urban villas) increasing in mass and height, set in a landscape park-like arrangement. A third row consists of elongated structures on the east and north sides, which are more monolithic and taller in the northern part, gradually transitioning to a sequence of architectural individual units towards the south.

    Munich, Germany
  • The Brandenbusch-Eck

    A new entrée to the Villa Hügel

    Based on the design principle "Landschaf(f)Stadt", the new Brandenbusch-Eck is a forward-looking and iden-tity-creating entrance to the Brandenbusch neighbourhood and the Villa Hügel in Essen. A neighbourhood that is being developed sustainably and serves as a centre of life for a broad range of residents. A small-scale and diverse density creates a lively place, uses resources sparingly, utilises infrastructure efficiently and relies on the mobility of the future - eco-mobility.
    Building on the strong scenic framing of the Brandenbusch neighbourhood by the Kruppwald forest and the preservation of valuable biotopes and existing trees, the "green carpet" completes the new entrance to a closed biotope network. This public green space is designed as an inviting gesture to the Hügelpark and the Villa Hügel itself.
    Brandenbusch-Platz, as a publicly effective square and protected new centre, links the new neighbourhood with the existing listed estate and promotes interaction. A new connection is created at the usage level: the social and cultural facilities in the neighbourhood are placed in a new context by the design. The connection between the church and the school is created by the Brandenbusch corner.