• WHO comes together

    How can you upgrade an existing district, create new living space and create a meeting place at the same time?

    The Tübingen district of Waldhäuser-Ost (WHO) emerged as a satellite town in the 1970s and never really became part of the city. Rather, references to urban development projects from the same period in other cities can be seen: a separation of functions or even a slight reference to the local context characterize urban planning at that time. Similar problems can still be seen today: Inadequate orientation options, unclear and poorly usable footpaths and cycle paths, few or no lively places, little usable open spaces, or even a general island character - isolated from the rest of the city. To counteract this, we have developed three key strategies that create a sustainable WHO.

    1. The barrier-free access belt
    A new hierarchical system of paths works as a connecting band with instead of against the topography. This creates a consistently barrier-free and programmatic network. Additional shortcuts ensure quick routes through the area. The band connects to central locations and stops of the local public transport and thus supports the car-free mobility offers.

    2. Three identity-forming landscapes
    Three landscapes surrounding the WHO hold special qualities. Until now, however, these have not been reflected in the structural and open space structure. Individual features from the landscapes are identified and strategically reflected in the WHO. In addition to vegetation structures and tree species, this also includes materiality and the use of open spaces that create unique places in the WHO and ensure orientation in the area. Enrich productive open spaces, offer room for communal gardening and meeting.

    3. Urban confetti creates density and liveliness
    New sources of inspiration are being strategically placed: a striking building for student accommodation defines the new entrance to the district and enlivens the new district square with a new supply center, school, swimming pool, and public transport stop. The Social-HUB in the geographical center of the district forms an anchor of the social community and spatial orientation. Like urban confetti, different open spaces and building uses are scattered over the area.

    Integrated planning
    The interaction of the three strategies creates a WHO worth living in - designed for people. The access belt leads through three landscapes, through places with different atmospheres and identities, and to different uses. No place in the WHO is like the other. A dense network of meeting places also promotes the community. The synthesis of the three strategies results in new centralities at key locations.

    completed
    Tübingen
    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
  • circUlar Hall - Green Ring

    The existing U-Hall is the heart of the BUGA. A green ring floats above it as a landmark visible from afar.
    It is a living sculpture that stands for sustainable recycling management, the willingness to experiment and a spirit of optimism.

    This circularly conceived tree hall, brought into the vertical, is not only part of the exhibition, but also a break in the tour and a place for the best views over the entire site. The tree house, built from recycled building materials, provides a habitat for flora and fauna, exhibition opportunities for field research and allows views of the solar power plant on the U-hall. Thus the ring is the central location of the U-Hall. This is where the tours and guided tours start, where people meet and where smaller and larger events take place.

    Idea
    2020
    Spinelli-Barracks 1536
    68259 Mannheim
    Deutschland
  • Tannenberg Quartier

    The Tannenberg quarter is characterised by a distinct build framework that forms a clear centre and protects the quarter from traffic noise. An independent ensemble.

    The entrances and views of the quarter integrate into the existing context. The network of paths creates several links to the allotment gardens and the neighbourhood to the west: The Gumbinnenweg with its prominent row of trees becomes the main link for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Private gardens and surrounding garden paths form connecting transitions to the private gardens of the neighbouring residential buildings and the allotment gardens (Klönschnack am Zaun).

    The generous open spaces with dense tree population ("grove") and the various garden areas have a significant influence on the character of the quarter: this is where you live "garden green".

    Idea
    2020
    Bremen