• Innovation Valley Garzweiler

    Due to the planned coal phase-out by 2038 and thus the elimination of a complete industry with many jobs, strong visions of the future already need to be developed today. How can we reintegrate the gigantic areas that will soon be fallow again in a sustainable manner and make them usable?

    Located in the border triangle, our workshop was about developing a vision for the area in and around Garzweiler. The main goal here was to move away from the current linear to a circular economy. The starting point of the concept was the question of how we can draw a strong vision of the place that addresses its complex issues: What does innovation need? What will energy production look like in the future? How can we restore the immensely damaged ecosystem and reconnect the fragmented biotope network? And what do the municipalities and residents of the region need? How can all these aspects be thought of in a cycle and thus map a strong, sustainable system?

    To give answers to all of these questions, the concept provides for the creation of an innovation network from three well-developed commercial locations in Jüchen, Jackerath, and Frimmersdorf, which tie in with existing plans. The conversion of the Frimmersdorf power plant, which is otherwise to be demolished (planned paralysis in 2021), creates a supra-regional innovation hub and acts as a gateway to the region. Its huge pre-built areas serve as a playground for start-ups as well as established companies. The power plant is a visual reminder of the cultural heritage and the important past of the region, but on the other hand, shows the big step forward towards a sustainable future. The pioneering spirit that has prevailed for decades is being rethought and translated into 2035.

    Large contiguous recultivation areas for industrial agriculture feed electricity into the local grid through additional use for wind power and PV systems. We are creating ecological corridors (forestry recultivated, natural green structures), which in the future will span between the lakeshore and the forests of the Erft floodplain and, in addition to safeguarding the species network, also represent interesting areas for tourism. Thus the economic situation of the region is strengthened. They are lined with laboratory areas: small-scale fields and garden structures on which circular agriculture is researched, tested, and applied.

    Garzweiler is an attractive area, but how can villages be developed, and what offers need to be created? Resource-saving, water management, or new forms of mobility are just a selection of important topics and factors that need to be considered. We propose different lighthouse regions in which to settle. In this way, for example, the new town of Niers am See is created. With the inevitable flooding of the Garzweiler II opencast mine and the resulting lake the size of the Tegernsee, there is an extraordinary opportunity for the realization of a model city with decentralized rainwater management and close networking in the adjacent natural biotopes. As soon as the opencast mining is completed, the respective villages can grow to the edge of the former mine and then have their own waterfront promenades in the final state.

    The concept is rounded off by a cableway that links the various areas.

    in progress
    2020
    Jüchen, Rheinisches Revier
    Deutschland
  • Government district Peking

    Better Water - Better City!

    Together with Wasser Hannover and the Chinese Academy for Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) we have won one of three initial competitions for the new seat of government of the Chinese capital Beijing. As part of the planned amalgamation of Beijing with the cities of Tianjin and Hebei, the new government district will emerge in Tongzhou. The landscape-planning-based competition entry includes the integration of a holistic water and open-space system. The new government district's unique design features and identity were created based on its ecological and technical needs.

    Through the merging of Beijing with the cities of Tianjin and Hebei, China's new megacity of Jing-Jin-Ji will emerge, with 130 million inhabitants. To relieve the Beijing city core, this project involves moving the government district from the historical city centre to Tongzhou. The competition entry comprised the planning of a 600-hectare open space to complement the existing urban development masterplan. The varied open spaces will be used for sport, culture, commerce, and education, whereby the identity of each space will be considerably shaped by the proposed water concept.

    The proposal for a holistic water system fits into and improves the existing urban-development masterplan, and also considerably helps shape the natural and urban environment that was decisive for winning first place. In keeping with the slogan 'better water – better city', the specially developed sponge-city measures from flood protection to rainwater management all the way to blue-green infrastructure are integrated into the city. The ecologically and technically necessary rainwater canals, for example, are generally not run underground, but instead staged as a special city landscape element and made into an ecologically valuable identifying feature of the services, retail and residential quarters. In this way, different subspaces can be developed and special programs and functions can be offered through water design that will characterize the liveliness and atmosphere of the future government district.

    The combination of innovative water-cleaning technologies with a resource-saving grey-water use concept makes for a convincing overall design. We developed the required technical water-treatment facilities into an attractive place with character.

    Idea
    2017
    Beijing
    China
  • At the old freight yard

    In cooperation with the Dutch landscape architects Felixx, we created a design for the site of the old freight yard in Duisburg.

    The site is being freed from its island location and reclaimed as a piece of the city: The large Westpark acts as a magnet for all Duisburg residents and brings life to the quarter. An important component is the almost 14 hectares of open space that is used for a better climate, cleaner air, water management, biodiversity as well as sport, recreation, and community. In particular, local public transport and non-motorized traffic will be strengthened: five bridges (bike/foot) span the motorway and tracks and connect the largely car-free district with its neighborhoods.

    open space
    The Westpark is designed as a spacious landscape park and, with a size of almost 14 hectares, offers space for all Duisburgers. A 12m high wall with a tree filter shields the noise and pollutants from the motorway. Different habitats and areas of use are created from north to south: meadow park, cultural park, sports park, water park, forest park. A central axis - the mile - links the quarter with the city in the north and the park in the south. In addition, all east-west connections are linked to the mile.

    program
    The mixed-used quarter offers space for around 4,000 residents and 2,500 jobs thanks to various building types. The quiet residential areas each face the garden courtyard. In the north, there is the innovation quarter with offices, co-working, fab lab, start-up center, co-living, hotel, etc. Around the quarter square in the north, there are local suppliers, shops, cafes, market hall and market. An educational center is being built on Karl-Lehr-Straße with the "Karl 1", a house for movement + culture, as well as a library, VHS, music school, and elementary school with a daycare center at Westpark.

    Water, climate, energy
    The rainwater management works according to sponge city and cascade principles, in which rainwater is retained, temporarily stored, evaporated, and seeped away. The measures improve the microclimate (e.g. evaporative cooling, air purification), increase biodiversity, and the quality of urban space (recreational areas). Technical and near-natural measures of rainwater management are combined: These include blue-green roofs, infiltratable coverings, or various urban wetlands, i.e. retention and evaporation areas and plant-based cleaning systems. The energy system is organized on a decentralized basis and includes a heating, cooling, and electricity network, each of which is connected to the urban network. Roofs and facades are used to generate electricity and heat (photovoltaics).
    The west park is used to air-condition the quarter: Warm winds from the southwest (main wind direction) are cooled and filtered in the west park and guided into the depths of the quarter via the open east-west paths.

    Love Parade Memorial
    The Love Parade memorial is to be integrated into the quarter. A place that has its place in people's everyday life. The memorial will be part of the planned park, a place of tranquility, and will also be located in the heart of the new quarter. There is also a memorial grove between the mile and the memorial.

    We are very happy about the strong voting results of the public vote and the high level of support and acceptance from the people of Duisburg.

    Idea
    2021
    Duisburg
    Germany
  • Unusual living KIDS

    In Germany, 90% of all children live in cities - 60% in large and medium-sized cities alone.

    The concept study takes this as an opportunity to redesign the existing housing estate on Bürgermeister-Reuter-Straße in Bremen Vahr according to the principles of a child-friendly city. The settlement shows various potentials in open space as well as in the building stock. In addition to the location on Lake Vahr, the rich tree population and the generous open spaces, the sealed parking spaces, the repetitive, underused open spaces, and the missing center pose challenges.

    In phase 0, a footbridge will be built that connects the neighborhoods with each other and interweaves the settlement with the network of paths in the area. It creates a center for the entire quarter, creates an address on Kurt-Schumacher-Allee, invites you to the quarter, and leads to the water. This is where people play, romp, rest, chat, celebrate, cook - a meeting point and link between the neighborhoods.

    The redensification strategy is subordinate to the maintenance of the valuable tree population and is divided into measures of upgrading, increasing, and adding. New forms of living promote the social mix in the neighborhood and enable new, diverse family structures and forms of living together in the long term.

    A central neighborhood garage on the main street, supplemented with decentralized mobile stations, enables a car-free neighborhood - this increases security, which at the same time brings more space to play on the street.

    The open space is made usable in the form of private gardens, neighborhood islands, playgrounds, and the "children's wilderness". The footbridge offers various areas of play - also for informal play and nature experiences.

    In the climate-neutral quarter, the roofs are activated as blue-green solar roofs. The rainwater is collected, stored, and evaporated. Biodiversity is promoted and made visible through bee pastures, hedges, and orchards. The footbridge leads as a research path through the future-oriented quarter. There, children can play close to nature and explore relationships between themselves and their environment. Sustainable use of resources can be learned in childhood.

    Idea
    2020
    Bremen
    Germany
  • Seelze South, Landschaf(f)t Stadt

    Seelze Süd is characterized by strong references to open and clearly defined urban spaces. The quarter, which has been sustainably developed on the background of the climate crisis and resource scarcity, mediates between the existing settlement structure, trimodal western traffic axis, and open landscape. One of the outstanding features: 80% of the building blocks have a direct view on fields, forests, or areas of high quality in terms of nature conservation.

    In an exciting contrast to the wide landscape, the urban center stands as a mediating element to the existing settlement structure and as an entrance to the quarter. In direct contact with the water, there is a quarter square, retail, a health and a daycare center, a playground, co-working spaces, and student and assisted living.

    Development
    A settlement structure that is closely interlinked with the landscape is central to the new quarter. The building structure is consistently aligned with the open landscape and thus pulls it deep into the inside. In order to conserve the valuable resource soil, the areas to be built on are kept small and provided with a relatively high density. Economic development is thus guaranteed. If the roof surfaces are not used as terraces or gardens, they are used to generate energy and are intensely greened to promote biodiversity, microclimate, and rainwater retention.

    Free spaces
    Three large landscape pockets are programmed in a variety of ways: from an idyllic butterfly meadow to a small lake with a sandy beach to a BMX track, there is nothing left to be desired. At the entrance, there is also the important quarter square as a meeting point.

    Noise protection
    In order to provide protection from the 65 dB (A) expected in the north-eastern area at night, a largely closed development is used in the north and east. The chosen U-shape enables the creation of well-protected inner courtyards, which are intended for outdoor living areas. In addition, the general arrangement of the buildings enables additional noise shielding.

    Idea
    30926 Seelze
    Deutschland
  • Landscape design Hefei airport city: Five landscapes - one park.

    When a park becomes an adventure.

    Building on the master plan for the Airport City in Hefei, we next looked at one of its four large parks. The resulting profile should serve as a sample plan for the remaining zones.

    In the center of the park, which is divided into five different areas, is the river, which is integrated as a characteristic element of the Sponge City and is of central importance. It acts as a catch basin for precipitation and floods of all kinds and thus contributes to sustainable urban development.

    Depending on the weather and the season, the park looks different and seems to be reinventing itself again and again. If the water coming from both sides of the city causes the river to swell, the park becomes, for example, standing water.

    The many plants and trees that form an entire forest in some areas are a central element of the park itself. In some parts, the existing vegetation is even integrated and made tangible. In addition to the resulting shade donating places and high natural biodiversity, there is another climate-active aspect: The trees store the water at night, which they release into the air in droplets during the day, thereby helping to lower the temperature.

    While on the one hand areas are designed for meetings and events with large sunroofs for a market, for example, there are several leisure options along the spacious boulevard of the urban waterfront. There happen to be boat moorings, an amphitheater in the water, a variety of cafes, or a specially planned swimming pool. The wetland, however, represents a completely different type of landscape design. In addition to areas with retention basins that function in a similar way, the water slowly seeps away, thereby relieving the sewage system.

    In order to make the use of a bicycle instead of the car more palatable, a cycle expressway from north to south was planned and cross-paths ensure that the eastern and western residential areas are connected.

    The variety of designed different areas answers every aspect and every question that public space can fulfill.

    For more information, we highly recommend our video about the project on CFTV.

    in progress
    Hefei / Anhui, China
    China
  • Airport City Hefei

    What does sustainable urban development with a special focus on the sponge city principle in China look like?

    The flagship project Airport City Hefei relies entirely on decentralized drainage, which should lead to an answer to the flood problem and the extreme weather events that will become increasingly stronger in the future. Our focus was on the planned parks as central and profiling elements of the city, which will become the "green living room" of future residents.

    With low-threshold and barrier-free access, the offers of the residential neighborhoods are supplemented here and the informal meeting, which is so far untypical for China, is promoted. This is achieved through the targeted use of, for example, generous seat edges, freely movable furniture, and picnic areas.

    With the aim of creating a metropolis with a low climatic footprint and a small impact on local ecosystems, four large parks with large unsealed areas are being created. The special sponge city principle provides for working with instead of against the water and implementing it as a characteristic element of Hefei. This helps the green-blue city to regulate the climate - especially in the very hot summer months. In addition to the climatic advantages mentioned, our argumentation of integrating the local river, which was originally supposed to be led around the city, creates a number of added values ​​for Hefei.

    The four emerging parks will each have their own characteristics, depending on the respective demarcation area. For example, the ground in the west with many adjoining office buildings serves primarily as a place to relax during work breaks on the one hand and as an extended conference room with options for flexible work on the other.

    The project, besides providing spatial qualities and creating urban spaces that promote
    social interaction in cultural life aims to serve as an innovative hydrological system to protect the city in the event of more extreme weather occurrences and to ensure sustainable urban development.

    As a result of all the interlocking concepts, Hefei forms a richly linked city with different biotopes and parks that work together with the social infrastructure and create a high-quality living space for the new China.

    Take a look at how we continued by planning the first park here.

    in progress
    Hefei / Anhui
    China
  • Closed loop quarters. Between Frankfurt and Taunus

    CITYFÖRSTER has been unanimously selected for the design for the "Stadtteil der Quartiere" (district of the quarters)" in Frankfurt am Main, Germany with a concept that combines urban growth with circularity.

    The central challenge was how to create up to 10,000 apartments and 8,000 new jobs in an agricultural area on the northwest outskirts of Frankfurt, without losing the scenic qualities of this area. At the same time, the design also had to take into account various challenges; for example, like many peripheral metropolitan areas, the region is intersected by infrastructure - of which the six-lane Autobahn A5, which effectively divides the study area in two, has the greatest impact. A situation that is by no means exclusive to Frankfurt or even Germany, but can be found in most cities.

    One of the most remarkable choices was to keep 75 percent of the study area undeveloped, thus preserving the landscape and the connection to the Taunus. The design, which is based on the "Landschaf(f)tStadt" principle, consistently takes the possibilities offered by the landscape and the open space as a starting point.

    In order to protect as much of the landscape as possible, the development was kept in compact areas. This means, for example, the abandonment of single-family houses and the planning of mostly apartment complexes of five to six floors, occasionally even higher buildings. The underground and city railways form the backbone of the new districts; the expansion area "Steinbach-Ost" is directly connected to the existing S-Bahn line, and in the districts east of the Autobahn the metro network is being expanded. A number of the neighborhoods will be car-free.

    The aim is to create circularly organized neighborhoods - neighborhoods as part of a cycle, in which they make an important contribution to water management, energy, and food supply, that promote environmentally friendly mobility, that regulate the climate and that enhance biodiversity - while naturally offering space for social exchange, providing a home to the community.

    All facts at a glance:

    4 new residential areas
    up to 10,000 apartments
    up to 8,000 new jobs
    5 schools
    20 nurseries
    47 hectares of public green within the neighborhoods
    425 hectares of study area
    75% of the study area remains undeveloped

    in progress
    2020
    Frankfurt-Nordwest
    60439 Frankfurt a.M.
    Germany
  • Kronsberg South A.2

    The city block is structured by two cuts towards the public street. In this way, a community courtyard with neighboring pathways is created. The perimeter block development consists of six residential units and twelve townhouses on the east side. The street-facing brick facades are representative and respond to the importance of the entrance to the quarter. The spacious inner courtyard is zoned into a communal green center, surrounding paths and the private gardens lining the first floor apartments. All building entrances are barrier-free and all apartments are planned to be barrier-free. Each apartment has an outdoor sitting area and a small storage room. The underground parking garage is located in an L-shape under the northern block and is accessible from all staircases of the apartment buildings. There are also 145 bicycle parking spaces, some of which are equipped with charging stations.

    Idea
    2020
    Kattenbrookstrift
    30539 Hanover
    Germany
  • ecovillage Hanover

    With the development of the ecovillage in Hanover, there is a great chance to make an important contribution to future-oriented urban development. One of the most specific features of the ecovillage, and its guiding principle, is sufficiency. To possess more by sharing more: a highly flexible approach that, here, is not only preached but also practiced. In addition to a co-working space and several workshops, ecovillage also offers common rooms in the buildings and gardens that belong to and can be used by everyone, and there is even a special guest house for visitors to stay the night.

    The nucleus of the urban design is the lively village square, that is surrounded and framed by the commons. This is the green heart of ecovillage; where water is being managed, food is being produced and the spirit of community is being lived.

    One of the drivers for the development was the ambition to become a CO2-neutral settlement. Everything is built from wood, and the sealing of the surfaces is being minimized as well. Biodiversity is promoted and gray- and rainwater are treated and cleaned with the help of a plant-based sewage treatment system. After being directed into a biotope-like lake, it seeps away and evaporates, or serves the residents to water their gardens.

    The mobility concept also sets high goals with regard to future viability: it focuses entirely on local mobility. (local public transport, as well as pedestrian and bike path traffic). In concrete terms, this means only 0.2 parking spaces per residential unit are provided. In return, however, there are generous areas for bicycles, rental stations, handcarts, etc. A direct connection to the light rail system rounds off this concept.

    The neighbourhoods, which are connected to each other and to the centre by the commons, consist of differently sized clusters. These clusters comprise various building typologies, which in turn provide space for a wide range of apartment forms. This 'democratic' housing mix promotes social integration and creates strong neighbourhoods.

    ecovillage can be regarded as a pioneer in a long-overdue discussion of principles in which frugality is pursued as a philosophy.

    All facts

    500 residential units
    900 inhabitants
    5 hectares total area
    2 hectares of garden land
    3100 m² of commercial space
    2500 m² communal facilities
    Start of construction in 2021
    Completion in 2026
    More information: ecovillage-hannover.de

    in progress
    2020
    30539 Hanover
    Germany