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Henning Larsen unveils design for Wolfsburg Connect masterplan in Wolfsburg, Germany
Germany Architecture News - Nov 04, 2020 - 16:44 7628 views
Henning Larsen has unveiled design for a new masterplan with a mixed-use program in Volkswagen's home city, Wolfsburg in Germany, which will set the standard for a more connected and livable European city.
The new masterplan for Wolfsburg’s Nordkopf district, proposes more connected, livable and active urban infrastructure.
The proposal, named Wolfsburg Connect, was selected by client and developer SIGNA, and with input from Stadt Wolfsburg, and Wolfsburg AG, Henning Larsen’s design for the 13.6 hectare masterplan (just over 1.5 times the size of Berlin’s famed Museuminsel) will create "a prototype for small-scale urbanism", an increasingly crucial typology as the world’s population continues to move towards cities.
"We are designing an inclusive city on human terms – an approach that means putting emphasis on social life and accessibility," said Louis Becker, Henning Larsen Design Principal.
"Together with Volkswagen, there is the opportunity to create a city that is the testing ground for the most cutting edge mobility technology in the world – but what underpins the design is the goal to create a place that people want to be in and stay in."
Located between Hannover, Hamburg, and Berlin, Wolfsburg sits slightly in the shadow of its larger, more cosmopolitan neighbors. For Volkswagen, whose agenda-setting mobility technology research will be conducted will be in Wolfsburg, luring top talent means not just offering the best workplace, but the most attractive city. It means creating the framework for a city as diverse as the talents and minds it hopes to attract.
Wolfsburg Connect hones in on this by prioritizing connection, mobility, diversity, and choice. The masterplan is located within the center of the city, a long, triangular site bordered by rail lines and a major boulevard. Included within its bounds are Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof and an existing bus station, both of which are to be expanded in the new plan.
This mobility hub, is geographically and conceptually central to the project, linking people within the city and across the region. From there, visitors are presented with numerous mobility options: bus, taxi, city bicycles, and walking paths all fan out from this hub.
Henning Larsen creates "layered livability"
"The range of mobility options results in a layered city fabric, tied more to the scale of the person than the scale of the car," said the studio.
On the ground level, there will be retail, tech, and creative workshops woven together with greenery and outdoor amenities creating an active public realm throughout the day.
The design clusters activity around major public spaces, creating ripples of activity that cross and overlap each other.
The architects created courtyards between blocks which will be open public thoroughfares and create an inside-out urban experience that rewards pedestrians and cyclists.
A few levels up, offices and residential program spread throughout the district and are crowned by roof gardens, decks, restaurants, and bars.
The diverse mix of program (which includes office, resi- dential, hotel, retail, F+B, and leisure spaces) creates a city that is alive throughout the day - even after commuters have left the cafes and innovation hubs, locals will fill the district’s public plazas and restaurants.
"Layered livability is a key concept to Wolfsburg Connect and it is a truly mixed-use district. There are no single purpose structures," added Henning Larsen.
"Sustainability and quality of life are at the core of Henning Larsen Architects' work – this approach was very compelling for realizing our vision [for Wolfsburg Nordkopf,]" said Timo Herzberg, CEO of SIGNA Real Estate Germany.
"We see Wolfsburg Connect as a standard bearer for what sustainable urbanism must be in the future: not just green but connected, social, and diverse," added Louis Becker.
"It is a privilege to share this vision and collaborate with such engaged and open-minded partners."
Wolfsburg Connect will be the latest addition to – and connective tissue linking - a long line of urban and architectural gems for the city, among them the Phaeno Science Center by Zaha Hadid, the Wolfsburg Theatre by Hans Scharoun (designer of the Berliner Philharmonic), The Heilig Geist Kirche and Kulturhaus by Alvar Aalto, and the famed AutoTurme by Henn.
First phase of the masterplan is expected to reach completion by 2023.
All images courtesy of Henning Larsen.
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