Berlin-Brandenburg 2020 – 2070 – learning from the cities
Second Phase, Short- and Longlisted Entries
studio2020 Matzat Henkel GbR / von Ey Architektur PartG mbB / Ebbing
Landscape planning: Stephan Bracht
Sub-area 1 – ‘Schöneberger Südgelände’
Sub-area 2 – ‘Garden City Großziethen’
Sub-area 3 – ‘Lakeside City Königs Wusterhausen’
What is it that makes Berlin-Brandenburg so unusual and one of the greatest metropolises in the world? The diversity of its architecture and neighbourhoods, typified by the various eras in the history of urban development, comes to mind. The closed perimeter-block structure from the Hobrecht Plan, the modernist buildings, the socialist urban planning, the architecture according to the Critical Reconstruction approach, as well as the villages, expanses of countryside, endless pine forests, and lake landscape of Brandenburg, all contribute equally to the quality and unique character of this metropolitan region. We do not want to ignore or question this, and therefore reject both a tabula rasa outlook and utopian fictions for Berlin-Brandenburg in favour of a ‘learning from the cities’ approach. We are convinced that our strategy of appropriation and empirical form is ideally suited to demonstrate a more organic, sustainable, and liveable perspective for the development of the city and the entire region. The aim is to find proven solutions with which found typologies can be gently transformed and further developed.Weiterlesen
In line with our strategy, we have selected eight urban models that have demonstrated their durability and liveability with respect to their social, aesthetic, and ecological qualities and combined them to create a large-scale ‘Collage City’. This enables us to react appropriately to different urban contexts. The models we have selected are: Ebenezer Howard’s ideas for a garden city, which could counteract the region’s suburban sprawl and create green neighbourhoods with urban qualities; the organic perimeter block Eliel Saarinen suggested in his plans for Greater Helsinki, which would help to further develop Berlin’s successful urban texture; the large complexes by Fernand Pouillon, which provide a reference point for densification and urban upgrading of prefabricated and large housing developments on the outskirts of Berlin; Auguste Perret’s plans for the reconstruction of Le Havre, which demonstrate possible ways to create new sub-centres, albeit on a larger scale; the reinterpretation of the ideal design for a metropolis by Otto Wagner, with its gridded and hierarchised urban spaces, to create new medium-sized towns along the radial arteries; the industrial city of Tony Garnier, which has the potential to help develop less dense, green sub-centres in the Berlin area; the elongated perimeter blocks of Hendrik Petrus Berlage’s Plan Zuid for Amsterdam, which would create the natural connection to the closed perimeter block structure of Berlin while improving the quality of the flats; and the closed perimeter block development of Ildefonso Cerdà for Eixample, which is the inspiration for new, mixed-use districts in central Berlin – for example, along Tempelhofer Feld or Natur-Park Südgelände in Schöneberg. The new towns will be linked to the existing system of large radial arteries and will acquire spatial, functional, and transport links to Berlin’s centre.
Infrastructural Topics and Models – The Revival of the Street as a Passageway
The atmospheric nature of the inner city is characterised by the broad streets and block structure inherited from the Gründerzeit era. Both have remained adaptable to changing mobility requirements. We do not believe that the use of private vehicles has come to an end. Nevertheless, it will be increasingly characterised by automated and environmentally friendly vehicles that take up less space. To help combat climate change, the resulting freed-up areas will be used to add more green space to the city in the form of linear parks, a comprehensive network of bike paths, and improved pedestrian zones.
The City of Green Rings
Over the course of three major infrastructure projects, the city’s pre-existing rings and radials are transformed into urban landscaped promenades. The space under the elevated railways, for example at the intersection of Skalitzer Strasse and Schönhauser Allee, will now be used for private vehicles. Linear parks will replace the current traffic lanes, and an inner ring would ideally link all central districts for cyclists and public transport users.
As a second measure, the city’s ring road, which acts as a barrier to the urban space, will be transformed into an urban ring promenade. It will remain a main metropolitan artery but in a new form. The current width can be significantly reduced, as the new traffic it accommodates will be almost emission-free. The newly vacated areas will be used for the linear perimeter development of the current firewall areas. There is a potential for densification here, which far exceeds that of the perimeter development along Tempelhofer Feld proposed a few years ago. A circular railway concentrically connects the towns in the Brandenburg region and forms a strong, central identity-endowing network.
Densification of the City Centre
The predicted population growth and the urgent need for living space require the re-evaluation of possible places for new living quarters besides the obvious but scarce solution of vacant lots. Above all, the use of the existing allotment gardens, as well as a partial development of the Tempelhof and Tegel airport brownfield sites, are possible answers.
Three Concrete Sub-areas
Schöneberger Südgelände: Construction of a New Railway Station District at Südkreuz
The Südgelände in Schöneberg has been an important topic in Berlin’s urban development discussion since the 1911 competition for it, which Bruno Möhring won with a typical Berlin closed perimeter block development.
The largest contiguous allotment garden in Berlin offers enormous potential for the development of a 3,037,245-square-metre urban district, even with the preservation of the Natur-Park Südgelände nature reserve. The redesign of Innsbrucker Platz and the alteration of the Schöneberg motorway interchange effortlessly weave the new district into the neighbouring districts of Friedenau, Tempelhof, and Schöneberg. The increased scale of the block structures is the only change in the urban footprint here. The Südkreuz railway station will have a proper urban forecourt and a direct connection to the new district. The urban ‘texture’ is derived from the organic perimeter block, as presented by Eliel Saarinen in his plans for Greater Helsinki and Tallinn. It allows for the further development of the Gründerzeit block structure and, with its smaller block profiles, avoids the problems of the Hobrecht Plan design with its narrow courtyards. We also propose a new eave height of 30 metres, which allows for densification. The high percentage of soil sealing is offset by green and usable flat roofs. For this we adapt the hanging gardens and the atmospheric appearance of the Novocientos and the Città animata in Milan, which, as a modern green city, provides rich inspiration for the design of a new quarter in the heart of Berlin.
Garden City Großziethen: A Mixed-use Residential Area on the Outskirts of the City
On Berlin’s southern border between Rudow and Lichtenrade, the city’s fabric is closed and strengthened by the partial redesigning of Schönefeld’s Großziethen district. The result is a new garden city occupying an area of over 16 square kilometres. In order to counter the suburban sprawl, urban densification is proposed. Ebenezer Howard’s ‘ward and centre’ principle is adapted and integrated into the urban layout. Existing road connections, such as Karl-Marx-Strasse, will be expanded and integrated into the urban plan. In contrast to the first garden cities, we choose a higher density, which decreases as one moves away from the ‘central park’, an area roughly a quarter of the size of New York’s Central Park, towards the more urban areas with connections to the city. The park is framed by 60-metre-high residential buildings, similar to those in the Hansaviertel, followed by a closed perimeter block development; this is based on the Röda Bergen housing development in Stockholm with respect to scale and design. The urban structure slowly shifts to an open perimeter block development based on an adaptation of the Baumgartner houses in Basel with a few standardised types. Beyond the green ring is an open perimeter block structure with multi-family townhouses, such as those in Striesen, Dresden. Unlike in the urban core, sloping roofs are proposed here; they emphasize the small-scale character and the more village-like atmosphere.
Lakeside City Königs Wusterhausen: Urban Expansion of Second-tier Cities
If we wish to provide living space for all, then large housing estates should no longer be unthinkable. An important requirement, however, is that such structures are built to high standards, both in terms of their architecture and open space. The impressive large housing estates of Fernand Pouillon are the reference here for densification and the upgrading of prefabricated tower blocks and large estates on the outskirts of Berlin. The loose yet clear and hierarchical arrangement of the large-scale buildings enables the organic integration of nature and topography, the existing lake, and the connection to the axis from the Königs Wusterhausen sub-centre with its prefabricated buildings. Considered interfaces between square and park become attractive places thanks to the diverse uses of the ground-floor spaces. One such identity-endowing place is the star-shaped complex with a central green park, which becomes an essential reference point. The new shape also contributes to the establishment of the area’s identity; new layers contribute to an improved quality of life.