Growing Together – Landscape and City
Bernd Albers / Silvia Malcovati / Günther Vogt
Location: Berlin / Potsdam / Zurich
www.berndalbers.com /www.silviamalcovati.com / www.vogt-la.com/ www.arup.com/offices/germany/berlin
Team: M. A. Dan Dahari (project leader), B.A. Iveel Bold, Dipl.-Ing. Maren Brakebusch, Bess Laaring, Dr. Gereon Uerz,Dipl.-Ing. M. Arch Rudi Scheuermann, Ibrahem Alsalamh
Landscape architecture: VOGT LANDSCHAFT GMBH
Other specialist planning: Arup Deutschland GmbH
Sub-area 1: Tempelhof – Südkreuz
The area between Südkreuz and Tempelhofer Feld along the suburban railway line currently consists of abandoned commercial sites, railway facilities, allotment gardens, peripheral areas near the former Templehof Airport, and remaining areas surrounding the Südkreuz railway station. The A10 metropolitan motorway and the suburban railway ring dominate the urban situation. The design demonstrates how one can further develop these districts based on the existing nineteenth-century urban structure and clearly distinguishes it from the garden city of Neu-Tempelhof (also known as ‘Fliegersiedlung’ – ‘Aviation Settlement’). The buildings along the railway ring function as distinct urban borders. For the Aviation Settlement, the development proposal adheres to the proportions of the existing residential buildings in the sub-areas. The development along the railway line mixes housing, workplaces, and essential amenities. The additional buildings south of the airport building, like the building itself, accommodate cultural and research institutions. A group of three high-rise buildings marks the centre and forms a gateway to the south.
Sub-area 2: Bernau
There is great potential for urban development to the northwest and southeast of the Bernau railway station. Two conversion areas along the railway line, which penetrate into the surrounding landscape to the southwest, consist of settlements with transport infrastructure that are intended to initiate a new phase of mixed-use urban development. The proximity of the A10 and A11 junction and of inexpensive local, regional, and long-distance rail connections support the idea of urban expansion at this location. The concept foresees high densification here, in contrast to the existing districts. In the area surrounding the railway station, block structures have been developed that enclose the railway line and open to the north and south. To the northeast, the conversion area is lined with a series of U-shaped buildings that form a large-scale addition to Panke Park. The auxiliary functions in the southwest area are intended to support tourism and accommodate a wider range of recreational activities.
Sub-area 3: Schwedt an der Oder
The former royal seat of Schwedt an der Oder, which was badly destroyed in the Second World War, lies on the northeastern edge of the regional development plan. The town of Schwedt would benefit greatly from a rail connection along the existing Berlin–Stettin line. The design concept envisages establishing this connection and incorporating the central station area of Schwedt into a new urban mixed-use location. Gaps and remaining areas in the urban structure are filled, and new constellations are developed – based on the concept of critical reconstruction – to revive the historical city layout. A unique selling point is the landscape of the lower Oder Valley with its nature reserves and national park. Uniting the urban development more closely with the river landscape would not only strengthen the area around the Uckermark areal with the former royal palace but would also signify an upgrade for the entire city.
Growing Together: The Landscape City
Berlin and Brandenburg Will Grow Together
A future concept for the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region not only requires cooperative political processes but must also include a master plan for the city and the surrounding countryside. This plan is based on historical considerations and on the existing potential and characteristics of the Berlin-Brandenburg urban and natural landscape.
Towns in Berlin and Brandenburg will expand inwards. Berlin has great potential for internal growth, densification, and spatial optimisation. This potential can be realised through the use of vacant lots and brownfield sites and through the transformation of existing infrastructures. Berlin’s green character must also be preserved, as it embodies a matchless legacy of urban planning and will be increasingly important for the area’s climatic balance in the future. Towns in Brandenburg also have much capacity for growth within their borders. This inner growth can preserve and bolster the particular characteristics of the state’s more urban areas. Railways will ensure future mobility and transport. Against the backdrop of climate change and the energy transition, the expansion of the road and motorway network is not a satisfactory solution for the future. In contrast, railway transport allows for a more sustainable future driven by the digital revolution. The future growth of the city will take place near new railway lines.Weiterlesen
Berlin-Brandenburg and Europe
The global shift towards sustainable modes of transport and the expansion of railway and water transport are turning the Berlin-Brandenburg region into a hub of diverse cultural and trade corridors in the German and European context. Accordingly, this railway and waterway network is undergoing continuous optimisation. Growth takes place along the radial axes and connects the towns and city. The urban expansion areas follow the star-shaped railway lines between the protected natural landscape and cultural landscapes, thereby transforming the scattered settlement areas into more compact urban structures. In this way, buildable land for one million new residents is gained without radically altering the character of the urban structure or disturbing the harmonious natural areas.
The Countryside Comes to the Towns
The Berlin countryside is characterised by forests, lakes, and agricultural areas and harbours unique potential for the climatic and ecological regeneration of the region in the future. Strengthening the spatial connection between these areas and improving their incorporation into the growing and increasingly populous urban region is central to our concept. Natural and cultural landscapes will be boosted with the appropriate infrastructure and networks of paths for outdoor activities. Cultural landscapes reinforce the perception and appreciation of the region as an integrated entity and intensify the population’s connection with it, promoting empathy between the rural and urban residents.
The radial settlement arteries complement one another along the railway lines with their adjacent cultural landscapes. They reinforce Berlin’s star-shaped settlement structure and result in a coherent structure with complementary qualities: city, cultural landscape, and agricultural land. The third ring connects the radial arteries. We are adding a new third ring to the first and second rings to accelerate the connection routes between the towns on the outskirts of Berlin, thereby avoiding detours through Berlin. Because of the density and proximity of many towns in the north, east, and south, the third ring will also link these places; and the third ring will join the second ring to the west of Potsdam. This bypass optimises the internal dynamics of the second and third rings. The area inside Berlin’s first railway ring becomes the geometric centre of Berlin’s series of concentric transport rings. The third ring significantly increases mobility in the areas surrounding Berlin and reduces their dependence on the city. This ring will be realised in phases. The first segment will be built in the northeast, since the greatest added value is expected there, in coordination with the growth of Brandenburg’s centres. One can ensure the desired network optimisation, even when building the third ring in stages, by connecting it to the radial transport axes.
Urban centres, composed of housing, commercial spaces, and social infrastructures, which will in turn benefit from optimal transport infrastructure, will emerge near the intersections of the rings and radial axes. Thus, Brandenburg’s growth areas near the third ring will see more opportunities to develop and connect with one other independently of Berlin.
The Third Ring as an Elevated Railway
The third ring is conceived as an elevated railway in order to protect the cultural landscape, agriculture, and wildlife. This also simplifies intersections between roads, motorways, and rivers. Lightweight construction fosters a harmonious relationship with nature and agriculture. The elevated trains provide a pleasing view of the surrounding countryside, and the suburban train stations in the towns become attractive centres.
We have selected three locations to illustrate the master plan. We analyse each location in terms of mobility, history, growth, and landscape. Two of the locations (Tempelhof-Südkreuz and Bernau) are situated at the intersection of radials and rings; the third location (Schwedt) is situated along a radial. Using these locations as examples, we demonstrate the characteristic features of the Berlin-Brandenburg region. These include: urban areas with contradicting histories; industries; diverse natural areas; good railway networks; and strong growth potential.
Tempelhof-Südkreuz has always been an exceptional area as it has remained undeveloped and is characterised by railways, meadows, barracks, and training areas. Today, the neighbouring intersections of the first ring and railway radials (Südkreuz) and of the B96 motorway, the underground, and the urban motorway (Tempelhof) offer unique potential for urban development.
Tempelhofer Feld is important as a recreation site and cold-air production area for the city centre. The optimal transport connections near Tempelhofer Damm make it ideal for large cultural projects in Berlin-Brandenburg. The former airport site could house a new state library, university campuses, and research centres. The areas along the railway will be mixed-use districts. The three prominent high-rise buildings at the junction of the B96 motorway, underground railway, and urban motorway make it an ideal location for a regional centre. The railway line is accompanied by a bike path, which enables fast journeys between the railway station and airfield. The urban motorway is ideal for future bicycle use. No longer isolated, Tempelhof-Südkreuz is now integrated into the urban landscape and fulfils an important function in Berlin.
Bernau bei Berlin is a great example of a Brandenburg town with a colourful architectural history. The structure of the medieval wall and rampart continues to shape Bernau today. Socialist modernisation policies established in 1975 damaged but did not eradicate the fabric of the city centre. The railway runs from Berlin to the northeast, towards Szczecin and the Baltic Sea. The two military facilities testify to the importance of railway connections for the city. The construction of the third ring – and of the intersection with the north–south radial – will transform Bernau into a transport hub, which will promote the development of the areas near the railway station and the old town. The repurposed military complexes could accommodate new homes and research facilities. The renaturalisation of the Panke River and Panke Park nearby will allow residents to live surrounded by nature and enjoy optimal connections to other locations in the region. For regional tourism, the district of Barnim, starting from Bernau, offers an ideal point of departure, not least for tourists on bicycles.
Three city models characterise Schwedt an der Oder: the medieval city (1265), the baroque city palace (1685) with its magnificent landscaped axis leading to the Mon Plaisir summer palace, and the model socialist city (Selmanagic 1960, Paulick 1962) built for the workers of the crude oil processing plant. Under the socialists, the city palace was destroyed in 1962 and replaced with the Palace of Culture. All three city models are in a fragmentary state today. Beyond the Oder lies a meadow landscape with one of more important bridges across the river. A railway line connects Schwedt, via Angermünde, to the radial axis running through Berlin, Stettin, and the Baltic Sea. We wish to optimise this connection, so that the radial axis will include a high-speed train from Berlin to Szczecin via Schwedt. This high-speed train will then continue along the Oder to the Baltic Sea. Appropriate city planning measures in Schwedt can bring together mobility, urban history, and nature to form a complementary and symbiotic relationship. It is possible to reanimate the three city models: by restoring the old town; by building around the castle near the theatre; by revitalising the green axis and the Mon Plaisir park; and by completing the town centre based on the socialist city model, with new buildings for research and tourist facilities. The new significance of the railway station will lead to urban densification and better transport connections. Former prefab building complexes will be renatured, and the alluvial landscape will be protected against development. These interventions and the growing regional tourism along the Oder, with its new port, municipal swimming complex, and national park, open up the best prospects for Schwedt, located on the railway line between the Baltic Sea and Berlin.