• 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Drymades Promenade

    Strolling in vivid nature!

    Located in between the high mountains and the Ionian Sea in the South of Albania, the new 2 km long Drymades promenade wants to emphasize this duality by creating an impression of being immersed in nature and the greenery while having the beach feeling at the same time. By using organic shapes instead of straight lines, we create a green boulevard with different scenarios, points of view and vibes.

    The division in different zones helps on creating diversity and reflects the varieties and characteristics the area presents. The promenade aims to be an experience in itself with more quiet and natural zones on the side and a vivid part, the hotspot area, in the middle. Here you can find an underground bar which also serves as an elevated plaza or also a pier on the water with different functions on it. The project is unified by common elements, materials and concepts along the promenade such as stone walls, sand-coloured concrete paving and cut out stone or furniture in corten steel.

    One of the key elements of the project is the planting in random dispersion. It serves as shading but also helps at shaping the promenade and giving different scenarios and points of view.

    The kiosks, which are always located in the planters, provide the necessary services needed on the promenade. While the fixed bottom part is made of stone walls, the upper part is made from wood and is thought of as a flexible element that can adapt to the different functions and needs. The biggest kiosk serves as a bar and eating place, the smaller ones as newspaper or ice cream shops, and the smallest ones as public toilets and changing rooms. The roof made of corten steel makes the structure a sustainable one. It is slightly elevated from the main structures to allow the air to pass through and cool the structure underneath. It also collects the rainwater and with the proper inclination, brings it to the planter on the back.

    under construction
    2020
    Drymades
    Albania
  • New Tirana City Hall

    Designing the New City Hall for Tirana offers a unique opportunity to shape the home of the current and future community, and to represent the values of the people of Tirana. The building should introduce a typology that reflects and outlines the features of Tirana as a diverse, inclusive, human and connected European capital. A manifesto for a City Hall 2.0, open to all. The goal is to provide a space for a genuine encounter between civil society, administrators and politicians, to encourage debates.

    The building comprises an efficient ring with offices that surrounds a collective atrium, which is composed of extroverted and interconnected volumes that provide space for a dynamic set of functions for both the city administration and the public. The City Hall is fronted by a civic square, a new public space which is conceived as an open-air community centre that houses many different functions for every type of use and age. Minimized energy consumption, the use of natural and efficient technologies and local renewable energy generation makes the New City Hall the first zero carbon emission building in Albania. The main structural parts of the ring office are made of locally available, sustainable wood, with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral building even in construction.

    Idea
    2020
    Tirana
    Albania