• 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
    Lagodekhi
    Georgia
  • 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.

    Idea
    2023
    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.

    completed
    2023
    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.

    Idea
    2022-2023
    Peja
    Kosovo
  • 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.
    You can download a full-resolution online version of the Steps to Zero report here.

    completed
    2022
    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.

    completed
    2022
    Adjara
    Georgia
  • 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
  • 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
  • CLG Training Institute

    A very special project in our portfolio is the Chalimbana Local Government (CLG) Training Institute in Chalimbana, Zambia as it can be seen as a good example of a passive and self-sufficient city. The aim of the masterplan was to increase the quality of life of both students and academic staff of the Institute, to structure the campus for the long term, and to provide the grounds with a clear, recognizable identity.

Low-tech in construction but high-tech in designing, we created a plan that included everything needed for an autarchic project. In a very sustainable manner, we used the excavated soil to press it into bricks contributing to the buildings being passively cooled and heated. To achieve that we mainly used the sun energy. From a special angle and material of the roofs to the orientation of all buildings to strictly East-West, with the main facades (North & South) avoiding the low angles of the sun, CLG Training Institute became an eco-friendly vision made into reality. Also, we made sure that the rainwater and the cleaned sewage can drain into the groundwater locally, granting a precise water cycle.

    The existing road provides access to the campus by car. Simultaneously, a new main route for pedestrian connections is established as the new 'heart' of the campus. It runs between the mostly residential area on the North and the educational program on the South side of the grounds. These two clusters - housing and education - at the two opposite ends of the campus are surrounded by the lecturers' houses, and by leisure activities. By closing off some of the student housing blocks, small neighbourhoods are created, with inner gardens and courtyards providing atmospheric living quarters.

    completed
    2021
    Lusaka
    10101 Chalimbana
    Zambia
  • 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