• Sponge City Hefei - Eco Shore

    Various naturally designed areas in the Hefei City Park form the eco-bank. For example, an existing dam wall is expanded to include a so-called eco-berm. Sealing mats, gravel and sediment as well as a layer of wood and larger stones are applied to the existing structure and thereby provide habitats for plants and animals.

    To protect the new habitats, they are only partially accessible to humans. The rich nature with birds, insects, fish and a large variety of grasses, shrubs and trees can be experienced from a respectful distance on guided boardwalks. A unique encounter of plants, animals and people and an exciting retreat in the city.

    An existing wood area in the east will be enriched with more trees and thus become a dense urban forest, which has a positive effect on the microclimate and biodiversity. In addition, a retention soil filter takes on hydrological functions. Rainwater is cleaned here and then fed into the lake.

    A new shallow water zone with bird islands and bird beaches will be reserved for nature. The panorama pier makes it possible for people to experience this part punctually and at the same time opens up the view over the lake. Through the wooden walkways, human activity is concentrated in selected connecting spaces. The shallow banks, overgrown with aquatic plants, give the lake room to expand during heavy rains without flooding the city. The aquatic plants also have a cleaning function and thus improve the water quality of the reservoir.

    under construction
    Hefei / Anhui
  • Sponge City Hefei - Floodplain park

    The floodplain park in the North of the city park plays a key role in the sponge city of Hefei. The green-blue corridor makes a virtue out of the threat of flooding: Instead of building grey, rigid infrastructure elements hidden under streets and blocks of houses, the park upgrades the required functions and thus creates a socially highly valuable place. It offers space for play, sports and recreation.

    A seating area with a view of the largest retention basin invites you to observe the changing water levels. The different states of the water become an experience by wrapping the park in a constantly changing robe. Also, there are numerous offers: a basketball field, a playground and a skating area, while the adjoining market hall is the starting point for the seating steps along the park.

    As an invitation to stroll, the Scenic Way meanders through the grounds, past meadows and densely planted groves. Numerous flower beds and small pavilions fill the path with small highlights. The dry stream, which carries water when it rains, runs parallel. Direct paths for cyclists and pedestrians connect the opposite parts of the city.

    In addition to the social needs of the city dwellers, the park fulfils another important task: the surface water from the surrounding districts is channelled here and cleaned by hydrophytes in rain gardens. Collected in retention basins, the rainwater can seep away and evaporate. The dry stream diverts any excess water into the wetland. The park is designed for a 50-year flood event.

    under construction
    Hefei / Anhui
  • Framework plan federal district of Bonn

    In recent years, the Bundesviertel in Bonn has transformed into a successful business location and headquarters of the United Nations. Today, the district in the former federal capital faces new challenges to remain and become attractive as a location for companies, politics, international institutions and congresses and at the same time as a 'piece of the city'. The aim of the framework plan is therefore to show an integrated approach for future development.

    One of the main goals of the structural concept is to preserve and strengthen the identity-creating areas and to develop the inner potential areas structurally and openly in a sustainable manner. With the increase from currently around 4,000 to around 15,957 inhabitants, new needs arise in terms of supply and socio-cultural infrastructure.

    The Bundesviertel of the future is urban mixed, offers affordable and attractive living and working space, is characterized by social and cultural, sports, leisure and supply offers as well as high-quality open spaces. Through more and a variety of living spaces, commuters become residents. As a sustainable location, the Bundesviertel is changing from a simple office location to a work landscape ('work-life blending'). A crisis-proof and innovation-promoting mix of industries offer employees an attractive working environment.

    The concept is rounded off by a high-performance transport infrastructure that guarantees quick accessibility and good internal networking: An important role model for the traffic turnaround: cycle paths and footpaths are being greatly expanded and public transport is being strengthened.

    53113 Bonn
  • Sponge City Hefei - Wetland

    The Wetland Park in the city park of the sponge city of Hefei creates an adventure space from the infrastructure needed to prevent flooding and to clean the drain water. The green-blue complexes will become visible and tangible core elements of the newly emerging city.

    The wet biotope is varied. A variety of visual relationships mediate between the city and the park landscape. Flora and fauna are within reach over the circular footbridges in the middle of the city and, like the various terrace levels, invite you to linger and stroll. Small islands serve as vantage points from which the dynamic water levels can be observed particularly well. In addition, they provide important habitats for various animals and plants and thus promote biodiversity in Hefei.

    A sundeck is planned in the east of the wetland. Urbanity and publicity are lived under the wooden roof. Various levels descend towards the wet biotope, creating a variety of places with different qualities that differ in size, shape and activity.

    Pre-cleaned water from the northern Floodplain Park is further cleaned by plants close to the water before it is fed into the adjacent reservoir. In addition, the wetland biotope improves the city's sponge function: the absorption capacity of the wetland prevents too much water from being discharged directly into the lake, a concept that counteracts potential flooding scenarios. The transition to the lake is fluid while floating islands mediate between wetland and lake.

    under construction
    Hefei / Anhui
  • Water town Limmer - Individual living in a friendly neighbourhood

    The design for the JAWA forms an identity-creating neighbourhood that does justice to the self-imposed goals of socially and ecologically sustainable urban development. In terms of urban development and design, the ensemble fits into the Wasserstadt Limmer and, at the same time, enables a wide range of individual living and community wishes.

    The ensemble is open to the public, can be used in a variety of ways and is therefore lively due to an "open space shelf" with small and large balconies, loggias, planters, etc. Individual living requirements from small apartments with and without a patio to terraced houses or spacious family apartments come together as a clear volume and are characterized by a uniform design.

    The communal inner courtyard will be greened naturally. At its heart, there are a variety of community offerings: a large courtyard terrace for parties and events, an area for urban gardening with a barbecue area and a long table for eating together. There is also a spacious play area in the northern part of the courtyard. Sustainable construction protects the resources of future generations. Both the passive house standard and the Schottenbau grid optimized for timber construction contribute to this. In addition, the compact construction volume minimizes energy consumption.

    The maximum utilization of the possible construction volume guarantees an economical undertaking and reduces the community costs to be allocated. As a result, more apartments are created for people who can participate and contribute to the JAWA building community.

  • Time for Lausitz

    1 room | 2 engines | 3 fields

    With the cessation of coal mining and power generation, the region of the Lausitz is deprived of one of its central economic foundations. Many employees will lose their jobs as a result of the necessary climate and structural policy decisions. At the same time, the region is confronted with the ecological consequential damage caused by years of resource depletion.

    The crisis-ridden development shows that a sustainable economic, social and ecological development in the Lausitz can no longer be based on linear systems, but that a circular economy must be built up more and more and on various levels and standards. It is time to promote material cycles, energy cycles, the hybridization of infrastructure, the networking of sectors and value chains, to establish synergies and to generate meaning.

    The key to sustainable development in the Lausitz is a careful approach that is differentiated in terms of time and space. There are a handful of clearly identifiable development drivers that can add value to the region in the short- and medium-term. They form the drivers of regional development, so to speak, and also network the Lausitz nationwide. Promoting them in a targeted manner should be the first focus of the investment.

    With the conversion of the Lausitz into a model region for organic farming, sustainable forestry and resource-conserving timber management, it can not only open up new sources of income for the primary sector but also significantly increase the attractiveness of the region as a place to live, as a location and as a holiday resort/destination. The structural funding promised for the phase-out of coal should therefore also benefit the primary sector and thus strengthen sustainable value chains.

    Territory of Lusatia (Lausitz), southern Brandenburg and eastern Saxony
  • Holtenau-Ost

    New urban coastal landscapes

    With Holtenau-East, a new urban coastal landscape is being created on a former military site on the banks of the Kiel Fjord, which interweaves previously separate settlement structures and natural habitats. Holtenau East is defined by two impressive local scenes. On the one hand the Kiel Fjord with its maritime waterfront, on the other hand, the Endmoränen forest with its distinctive topography. They not only create the stage for the new development but are protagonists by representing the climatic, ecological and cultural context. The design further develops these two elements in terms of landscape and urban development and combines their spatial and atmospheric qualities to create a new urban coastal landscape. The result is three urban landscapes with a strong character.

    Together they form a closely networked and circular district landscape developed from the site. The three quarters provide strong, site-specific answers to future living, work and leisure needs. They differ in their use of water through adapted and integrated flood and sponge city concepts that strengthen the local ecosystems. Diverse structural and open space uses close to the water ensure a high quality of living. At the same time, they improve the range of jobs, supply, cultural and leisure offers for Holtenau and the surrounding communities.

    The rainwater is collected decentrally on green roofs and retention areas and feeds a central wetland, which reduces the rainwater load on the drainage system during peaks of precipitation. The wetland saves supply costs and complements the public space with atmospheric elements. It also offers a habitat for birds and butterflies, offers potential for nature-educational offers and protects the area from flooding.

  • ecovillage - Tiny Living

    Sufficiency means shared luxury.

    The "Tiny Living" building is part of our project ecovillage in Hanover. It is located at the transition between the centre and the Green Ring and forms the interface between the intimate neighbourhood and communal space with a high degree of publicity.

    The L-shaped building consists of two stepped structures, which are accessed and connected via a generously usable arcade. On the one hand, the arcade enables a diverse exchange between the residents and, on the other hand, a very high degree of flexibility in the use of the building. Based on a grid, a wide variety of apartment sizes and forms of living can be offered and the living space can be adapted to future changing needs.

    The main focus in the development of "Tiny Living" is residential use. This is supplemented by a shared bicycle and storage room, two laundry rooms, a common room and an experiment room for water use and food cultivation operated by the entire ecovillage with access to the adjacent aquaponics greenhouse.

    Responsible use of building materials makes a significant contribution to the sustainability of the property. As early as the construction of the building, the conservation of natural resources is included through a design that is suitable for recycling. Through the targeted choice of materials and the possibility of a clean separation of the elements used, the amount of waste is reduced and the rate of reuse and recyclability increases. The greatest possible use of the renewable building material wood not only minimizes the CO2 emissions during the construction of the building but also serves as important CO2 storage.

    With the development of our ecovillage project in Hanover, there is a great opportunity to make an important contribution to future-oriented urban development with a balanced triad of social, ecological and economic sustainability. Find out more here.

    in progress
  • Integrated Comprehensive School Langenhagen

    With the new building respectively renovation, IGS (Integrated Comprehensive School) Langenhagen is changing from a school location with many buildings and addresses, separate uses and not barrier-free routes to an inclusive landscape of shared learning in close contact with the city and nature. Learning clusters with classrooms, differentiation areas and mixed-use recreation areas are organized around a central common centre and thus offer a variety of places to learn, linger, communicate and relax.

    The new school building is located at an urban node. While the south is characterized by loose and urban development and large-scale centre functions, the north is a green recreational area with old trees, green meadows and biotopes close to the water. The new structure mediates between these two worlds and creates a clear, urban address in the south as well as a central schoolyard in the north, which turns into a landscape park.

    Together with the existing cafeteria, the school building takes up a clear and public space. This is the place to arrive and linger for students, teachers and visitors. Supported by the large terrace of the cafeteria, this creates a lively space. The square is in close spatial connection with the newly designed bus stop, the bicycle parking spaces and the town hall square on the opposite side of the street. In the north, the structure interlocks carefully with the school park. Between the new building and the refurbished creative pavilion, there is a lively, enclosed, green break room, which connects the existing buildings (sports halls and creative pavilion) in an east-west direction. The compact building cubature maximizes the preservation of the existing trees and minimizes surface sealing.

    The building is designed as a wood-concrete hybrid construction. Optimal sun and glare protection while maximizing the use of daylight is guaranteed by blinds that align automatically depending on the amount of sunlight.

    Langenhagen (Hanover)
  • 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.

    The Netherlands