Second Phase, Short- and Longlisted Entries
Frank Görge Architekt
Team: Carola Görge
Landscape planning: Gabriele Pütz gruppe F Landschaftsarchitekten
Sub-area 1 – ‘Building a City within a City: Westhafen’
Sub-area 2 – ‘Metropolitan-Region Network’
Sub-area 3 – ‘Regional Park and Ring of Garden Cities: Outskirts of Panketal’
In our contribution to the Urban Planning Competition for Berlin-Brandenburg 2020/2070, we would like to present three project-oriented strategies. These introduce central urban and spatial aspects into the discussion on the development of the Berlin-Brandenburg region into a metropolitan region. The proposal aims to demonstrate possible ways of defining existing regional and urban qualities, to further develop existing spatial structures, and to stop the current suburbanisation processes.Weiterlesen
By 2070, the region will have become a polycentric metropolitan region consisting of compact, interconnected cities. Our competition entry presents a metropolitan region that has moved beyond the prevailing centre-oriented structure to one that clearly differentiates between built-up areas and open landscapes. The region’s compact towns and cities will be an essential feature of an ecological and social urban-planning approach. The proposed projects have a common goal but can be implemented independently. This project-oriented tactic deliberately differs from the possible definition of a single design idea to be implemented for the entire region, finishing at a specific point in time. The projects can be adapted over the course of time and react to shifting constraints and requirements. The implementation can occur quickly or step-by-step.
Project One: Building a City within a City
The focus of the urban development of the metropolitan region will primarily be on the consolidation and strengthening of the existing structure of its compact cities. The restructuring and development of the city or town centres will help to avoid further suburbanisation of the landscape areas. The inner cities and their ‘inner peripheries’ provide exciting potential for official urban development. The Westhafen/Westhafen Canal project in Berlin aims to better integrate such an ‘inner periphery’ into the urban structure at various levels. Public open spaces along the canals and harbour basin make the water edges accessible to everyone. A promenade along the Westhafen Canal links the Charlottenburg Palace gardens with Volkspark Rehberge public park. Urban spaces with squares, mixed-use streets, and small parks populate the new quarters. The proposed buildings can accommodate a variety of uses on their ground floors, which occupy large contiguous areas for trade, logistics, leisure, and events – functions which otherwise tend to be located beyond city centres. This use, supplemented with public functions and housing, also reflects the traditional usage of the site and the neighbouring Moabit district.
Project Two: Metropolitan-Region Network
With the development of an efficient, high-speed rail network, the Berlin-Brandenburg region will become a polycentric metropolitan region made up of interconnected cities. The extended radial railway links are complemented by a ring system that includes two circular railway lines to form a network system. The network-like development facilitates rapid and flexible movement between the region’s towns and cities. The network can be realised by closing gaps, recommissioning lines, and adding a few new lines.
New mobility and service centres are planned at the intersections of ring and radial railways. They are also linked to the motorway and federal road networks. These new centres combine mixed uses in optimally developed locations that otherwise would most likely be located on the outskirts of cities. Commerce, logistics, and service hubs are linked to the transport system in one place. The mobility and service centres also take on additional functions within the radial garden cities and serve to relieve the functional burden normally placed on inner-city Berlin. In terms of urban planning, there is an opportunity to integrate the locations currently characterised by railway lines, motorways, and residual areas into the urban fabric. The planned large-scale buildings serve as landmarks situated at spatial gaps within a settlement artery (Panketal) or as a defining boundary of a green space (Grünauer Kreuz), or are designed as ‘building sculptures’ in a park-like landscape (Potsdam).
Project Three: Regional Park Berlin Brandenburg and Ring of Garden Cities
The new Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Park encircles Berlin and connects the natural and protected areas in the region. A coherent network of regional landscape spaces, these areas are interconnected via green corridors or ‘landscape bridges’. The regional park is made up of environmentally significant protected areas; agricultural areas, including urban farms; sustainable energy production sites; and areas for sport, leisure, and art. The existing development of the radial settlement arteries is understood as a ring of garden cities. The urban development of the settlement arteries is to proceed according to a coordinated strategy that considers the respective (Berlin) districts and (Brandenburg) communities. The idea of a coherent, star-shaped garden city shifts the focus from competition to cooperation. Existing recognisable boundaries between settlement and landscape are ‘frozen’. Along the edges of the settlement, a linear ring-like public ‘border park’ is created in the transition space between developed and protected areas or areas used for agriculture. Controlled additions, the filling in of gaps, and the clarification of the currently undefined spatial situations offer the opportunity to better define the transition between city and landscape. Specific urban structures, suitable building typologies, and site-specific open spaces create tangible and distinct urban areas and living environments ‘on the border’.
Considerations for the further discussion and planning process: in order to discuss questions about spatial developments in the region, to make decisions about individual projects, and to bring individual decisions together into a ‘whole’ it is necessary to define a common objective for the spatial development of a coherent metropolitan region. Additionally, the project should include the participation of public and private organisations and individuals who examine forms of cooperation, review decision-making structures, and organise public participation.
It makes sense to establish a forum, in which the ideas about the mission statement and future planning goals are discussed and defined. Various individuals from diverse disciplines should be integrated in the planning process to ensure that it is interdisciplinary. Possible discussion themes could be the connection of top-down and bottom-up strategies, the integration of visionary and strategic work, and the inclusion of a ‘design lab’ made up of planners from different disciplines. Additionally, a team should be established to deal with relevant issues and prepare concrete plans.
The main focuses of the forum, for example, could be:
- To analyse the competition results: What contribution can the urban planning ideas competition make to defining a goal? What are the most important and interesting ideas of the diverse competition entries? Which of these ideas can help to define a future model for the spatial development of the metropolitan region? What does the analysis mean with respect to the functional-programmatic, social, cultural, environmental, and economic aspects of the competition entries for spatial development?
- To consider future spatial systems: Which spatial qualities are important for which groups? What is the relationship between centres and peripheries? Is suburbanisation with spatial qualities possible or should the urbanisation of suburban settlements be pursued? What are the limits of urbanisation? Public urban space or public countryside? What is meant by density and diversity?
- To engage in the design process, including case studies and test designs as experiments: this includes researching designs from various disciplines for scholarly input; defining the importance of the design process for the future metropolitan region. Related topics could include public space, the relationship between city and country, the relationship between built-up space and nature, the connection between architecture and infrastructure, and so on.