• TreeTop Trail Lagodekhi

    Lagodekhi Protected Areas (LPA) in the extreme north-eastern part of Georgia at the southern slopes of the Caucasus and with altitudes from 590 to 3500 m, is one of the world's best-preserved areas with diversity of natural landscapes. The project of developing a TreeTop Trail as a new touristic product is to attract more visitors and, considering the transboundary potential of the LPA, make it one of the most attractive destinations, to be included in future transboundary ecotourism products.

    The concept emphasizes the forest as the protagonist and proposes a minimalistic design, a circular shaped trail that gradually ascends towads the tree canopies. Additional program is added in order to enhance the experience of forest. This includes a watch tower, a dome, a large net, a cave, and multiple platforms.

    in progress
    building permission 2019
    15 კოსტავა ქ., Lagodekhi, Georgië
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • Revitalizing Peja's River-Kosovo's Green Corridor

    The entire program consists of roughly 4 components: The City Green Spine, The River Park, Natural Wetlands, and The Multi-purpose Lake.

    City Green Spine aims to provide blue-green solutions for the city of Peja surrounding the Lumbardhi river. The main feature is a green, gradually-stepped riverbank, allowing access to the river and a green space adjacent to the center of Peja.

    The River Park is the section between the city and the newly built wastewater treatment plant. More specifically, it connects with the new urban development area of Peja. The River Park has a twofold aim: (1) manage the river, and (2) provide a green, natural environment for residents and tourists.

    The Natural Wetlands is the section of the river from the wastewater treatment plant to the lake. It is an area that will be more natural than the River Park, which allows the river to move more freely.

    The Development of the Multi-purpose Lake is one of the prestige measures of the program. The current site is degraded due to illegal gravel extraction and pollution. The Multi-purpose Lake will revitalize both socio-economic and ecological values of the site, whilst attracting national and international visitors.

    Connectivity of the urban and rural landscape is essential for accessibility and use of the to-be-developed program components. Measures include hike paths and bike paths from the city centre to the Multi-Purpose Lake, via the River Park and the Natural Wetlands. Lastly, a shuttle service will be developed to ensure easy transit between the city centre and the lake.

  • 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
  • Carbon-Based Design – Steps to Zero

    The Netherlands needs 1 million new homes before 2030. How can we ensure that they put as little pressure as possible on the environment? How can we ensure that they meet the challenging climate targets? Even if all future homes are built according to the current agreements (Nearly Energy Neutral Building BENG, and 4% emission reduction in industry), the CO2 budget for construction will run out in 2026.

    This research is a continuation of the earlier report from 2021 ' Carbon-Based Design , research into the environmental impact of residential construction'. The focus is on the embodied carbon (the material-bound emissions from the production and construction process). Which components have the greatest impact on total emissions and how can we adjust our design and development strategy accordingly?

    This report goes one step further and quantifies the untapped potential for the reduction of environmental impact in buildings. With four cases, we aim to bring emissions as low as possible, or even to zero. The report compares three strategies: reuse, renovation, and biobased construction. We do this with the MPG method, which portrays the total environmental impact of a building over its entire life cycle, which is the current Dutch legal framework. Alternatively, with the Paris Proof method by the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) we test these results to see if they fit within the CO2 budget. Going beyond the legal framework, we also quantify the potential of Carbon storage in these three strategies.

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 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.