Phase 2
Phase 2

Archipelago Lab:
An Atlas of Urban Islands for Berlin

5th Prize


Pedro Pitarch
Location: Madrid
Pedro Pitarch, Gonzalo Rojas, Maria Escudero
Landscape planning: Pedro Pitarch
Other specialist planning: Rafael Zarza (Graphics)

Sub-area 1: ‘Neu Südkreuz’

As a major infrastructural hub, the Südkreuz railway station serves the region but also understands itself as a gateway to the world; the area is both local and global. The station district is currently dominated by transport routes that do not represent a ‘transit-oriented community’. The remaining areas and brownfield sites exhibit no prevailing structure. The development plan provides the railway station with multifunctional spaces, breathing new life into it. The freed-up urban space is spatially defined by structural additions, such as adjoining residential districts and experimental building types with potential for densification. The area around the station becomes a designed square. A place with this variety of functions requires several levels that also consider automated, individual transport systems (flying taxis, monorail systems, cable cars).

Sub-area 2: TXL – ‘Urban Tech Republic’

An airport’s exterior space is akin to an ‘island’ – a place that has not been opened up to all residents. Here, the area’s development is not based on traditional, but rather informal planning approaches, such as ‘protocols’ that define temporary projects. The design uses futuristic objects and unites them into spatial conglomerates that represent a new Industry 4.0 site. Nevertheless, the logistical order of the airport is maintained by the spatial structure of the runway as the site of production facilities. The three-dimensional image of the TXL site has not been developed as a fixed structural entity for the next 50 years. Rather, the plan represents ‘informal forms of urbanism based on the fleeting nature of events’. An experimental field for urban planning is to be created here.

Sub-area 3: ‘Königs Wusterhausen’ (KW)

The town has become popular as a residential and commuter town in recent years. Local public transport is good and well connected to the suburban and regional railways. The connections via the A10 motorway to Berlin and the A13 to Dresden and Cottbus favour private vehicles. The landscape offers excellent leisure activities with the lakes around Müggelsee in the north and the Heidesee landscape in the south. The urban area is divided into the districts around the palace, the railway station district, and the residential area between Cottbuser Stasse and Luckenwalder Strasse. Its proximity to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport gives it another an advantage that cannot be found elsewhere in the city. The design focuses on the densification of the prefabricated housing estate with an emphasis on ‘living and working’, the spatial connection between the three areas, and the creation of public spaces along with municipal facilities. The interventions use architectural measures to place the urban character in a relationship with public and private spaces. As it grows, Königs Wusterhausen will gain a distinctive identity.

Entrant‘s description

Archipelago Lab: An Atlas of Urban Islands for Berlin
The contemporary city is no longer defined by plans. Planning has ceased to be an effective discipline in the production of urbanism and of cities. It has ceased to provide instruments and urban models that are adapted to the needs of societies undergoing constant change. The archipelago offers a new design, a new city model for the European metropolis. The archipelago identifies fragments of a city, the urban islands, which result from the often-strained relationship between a context and the surrounding urban mass. The islands are prototypes of the city in the city. They are defined by a series of latent but emerging urban conditions in our cities that have not yet been properly incorporated into the planning process. Every part, every setting, every island behaves like a laboratory. We are establishing a laboratory situation in the city as an archipelago. This project proposes a reinterpretation of urban planning that is based on the quantitative management of the urban area and on defining connections and relational networks between urban characteristics.