In the course of a densification in Idstein, the room modules for residential construction projects developed jointly by planquadrat and the Lechner Group and honoured by the GdW, is being used for the first time in the state of Hesse. The company Kommunaler Wohnungsbau (kwb) is building a three-storey apartment building with 9 residential units from these room modules. The facade is broken up through the change from plaster to clinker facade, through various projections and recesses and through extended balconies. Thanks to the increase in efficiency through the modular design, a very short construction period of only 8 weeks can be achieved. This represents an essential advantage for the existing complemented real estate for all residents.
The 21 hectare site in Wiesbaden's district of Nordenstadt, for which planquadrat developed a master and zoning plan after a successful competition, is arousing a great deal of interest with property developers. Even at the start of construction almost all sites had been sold. The building work is planned to start iI´n the second quarter of 2019.
The demolition of the existing buildings along Kattreinstraße is almost completed now and the district has been almost completely cleared. The first construction phase is about to commence. Two-storey rows of houses with high quality apartment will be built here.
planquadrat has been involved in the renovation and the conversion of the Darmstadt Residential Palace for around three years. The conversion of the baroque palace wing of library rooms facing the market square into spacious and bright offices thereby forms the focus of activity at planquadrat.
Renovation and conversion have been making rapid progress in the meantime and the initial impressions have become tangible.
We have expanded once again and are very pleased to have recruited new employees at our Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Berlin locations. Welcome!
A new district with 46 apartments, several commercial units (including a large-scale food supplier) and an underground car park is being built on an inner-city plot. For this purpose planquadrat drew up the project-related zoning plan. The ordinance resolution for the zoning plan was passed on 13th December 2018 and has been legally binding since 15th December 2018, meaning the building law is in place for the planned new buildings. The demolition of the existing buildings and start of construction is planned for the first half of 2019.
Going by the motto "Berlin – so far and yet so near“ planquadrat celebrated the opening of its Berlin location together with long-standing and new business partners on Thursday, 29th November. Looking back on 24 years of international planquadrat history, this was an opportunity to intensify existing relationships and to make new contacts. Good luck to our Berlin colleagues as well who are with immediate effect competently strengthening our Rhine-Main locations! We would like to thank our guests for the wonderful evening and now look forward to the future in our Berlin office and completing projects with them!
Upon laying the foundation stone for the first new building project "Rosenpark“ our Jena residential quarter Atrium 105 is taking shape. Together with the investors Ellen and Frank Herrmann planquadrat is planning a new residential quarter with a total of 350 residential units that will close the gap between the districts Löbstedt and Zwätzen in terms of urban development. In the coming year the building work on the next of a total of four quarters will begin.
On time for 1st November our Berlin location is opening. Jasmin Winter and her team have unpacked the moving boxes and set up their workplaces. The whole team at planquadrat wishes them a good start!
After the end of the demolition work on the former site of the daily newspaper "Darmstädter Echo“ the construction of the new residential quarter is now beginning. It comprises eight apartment buildings with 252 one to four room apartments, underground car park and multi-storey car park. The former Echo publishing house is being maintained, renovated and converted. 66 micro apartments are being built here.
Together with planquadrat the city of Ingelheim am Rhein consistently developed a city centre in recent years and was consequently awarded the ULI Award for Excellence this year.
In a talk Herbert Elfers initially reported on the urban plans and developments in the city and presented the architectural projects in Ingelheim that were realised by planquadrat. Subsequently the entire urban project was viewed during a tour.
Many thanks to all Werkbund members who helped towards making it an exciting evening with their interests and their contributions.
We look back on a successful EXPO REAL 2018 in Munich. Until next year!
At this year's annual conference of the German Academy for Urban Design and Regional Planning in Mainz, Herbert Elfers explained the history of Mainz Town Hall. The conference dealt with the everyday life of German cities and regions in the age of world-wide migrations and turned out to be an extremely successful event thanks to the committed speakers and participants.
This year we are delighted to have achieved 8th place in the competition line ranking 2018. This means that planquadrat has again been distinguished in the category of urban planners and this year also also counts among the offices with most competition successes in German and abroad.
Offenbach's former industrial harbour has developed into a lively urban quarter in recent years. In the framework of the internal office architectural walks, planquadrat visited this new Offenbach quarter. Julia Goldschmidt and Johannes Treibert provided information on the genesis of the project and highlighted the urban planning and selected building construction projects in detail. After the architectural walks in Frankfurt's Römerstadt and to the quarters around Frankfurt's eastern, the focus of our 3rd architectural walk was the development of new, urban city quarters on former industrial space in the conurbation of Rhine-Main. We are already looking forward to the next architectural walk next year.
Initiated by our client Schimpel und Winter Hausbau GmbH, a fantastic celebration took place on 18th September to lay the foundation stone for the building project WINGS and [studiomuc] in Frankfurt. We would like to express our thanks for the great celebration!
The new building project is being constructed in the direct vicinity of the listed "Adler" works and the residential complex in Weilburger Strasse in Frankfurt's Gallus district, likewise planned by planquadrat.
Link to the project
Supported by modern VR glasses, planquadrat takes its clients along to virtual inspections through planned architecture. In this way our clients are already able to experience their projects in advance in a three-dimensional space and obtain a real impression of the concrete spatial situations.
We look forward to other interesting virtual tours through your buildings, lively discussions about plans and ensure that we will continue to constantly develop the work for you with this medium.
In Frankfurt's Saonestraße planquadrat was commissioned by Fox 1 GmbH with buildoing a highly modern, eight-storey residential building with a mix of various forms of living, a Kindergarten, retail space, catering, communal areas, an underground car park and attractive exterior space. The new building is characterised by a high-quality facade that creates relief-like forms through changes in material and projections and forms a clear orientation to the newly designed city square. With this planquadrat makes a modern contribution to the development of the new residential quarter in Frankfurt. The completion is planned for 2021.
This year too planquadrat will again be present as a stand partner of the City of Darmstadt at the international trade fair for real estate and investments. During the whole three days the management will be in attendance and looks forward to exciting and successful talks with you. You can find us in Hall C1.331.
As of 1st November planquadrat will be opening a further subsidiary in Berlin. Besides the headquarters of planquadrat in Darmstadt and the subsidiary in Frankfurt, the company will now have a presence in three German cities. "Being constantly present in the Berlin area we will be able to supervise our projects there more effectively and have closer contact with our clients,“ said Jasmin Winter. Jasmin Winter has been working for planquadrat for years and will be taking over the management of the subsidiary. We are delighted about this!
This year's outing saw us walking from Dörscheid to Kaub past breathtaking scenic vantage points where we were able to taste the local wine. After a relaxing lunch break we boarded a ship in the direction of Rüdesheim. We enjoyed the rest of the evening together in good old tradition.
During this year's Day of Architecture planquadrat presented the service building and the media library in Ingelheim. We were pleased about the many interested visitors and the positive feedback about our architecture.
planquadrat has grown even further in the last 6 months. We are delighted to have employed over 20 new employees for our Darmstadt and Frankfurt locations. Welcome!
In the framework of the "Week of Building Culture“ the Mainz Chamber Group, Mainz-Bingen of the Chamber of Architecture Rhineland-Palatinate, presented an exhibition on the new Mainz districts. Herbert Elfers gave a works speech at the opening of the exhibition on 19th June. During this speech Herbert Elfers made a link from the first projects carried out by planquadrat in Mainz to large, international and national projects that deal with current social demands up to the current developments in Mainz, in which planquadrat, for example, is directly involved with Dock1 Mainz. An outlook to the demographic, ecological and social developments led on to lively discussions.
Photographer: Kristina Schäfer, Mainz, Week of Building Culture on 19.06.2018
This year planquadrat will again be involved in the Day of Architecture, that traditionally takes place on the last weekend in June. Visitors interested in architecture will be able to visit the media library and the service building in Ingelheim this weekend, take part in guided tours and get into conversation with those involved in the project. Both buildings can also be reached with the architecture tours bus 2018. It departs at 10 am from the bus stop Quintinstraße / Rheinstraße and arrives at the service building at 2.15 pm and at the media library at 3.30 pm. We look forward to welcoming you!
planquadrat has won the bid together with the Lechner Group for its innovative residential building concept in serial construction. The competition was put out to tender by GdW.
On 29th May the jury awarded the prize for nine residential building concepts that can now be used by the member companies of the umbrella organisation of the housing sector GdW. In this way housing associations throughout the whole of Germany will be given the opportunity to realise high quality new building projects quicker and more cost effectively.
The type developed by planquadrat was created for varying number of storeys and urban situations. Moreover, the system floor plans can be put together and combined in different ways so that the greatest possible flexibility and variation is enabled.
The jury made its decision on the evening of 16th May: the ULI Award for Excellence is being awarded this year to the City of Ingelheim. In so doing the institution distinguished the successful cooperation between the City of Ingelheim, the housing association Ingelheim am Rhein and the architects' office and urban planners planquadrat. Together they developed a lively city with an identifying city centre from the loose affiliation between several municipalities with a common centre.
The expert committee chaired by Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg praised in particular the charisma of the planning over the entire urban area and the commitment of individuals who initiated the project and who drove it forward in a very short period of time. Furthermore, the prize acknowledged the entire development process of the City of Ingelheim.
Together with the Lechner Group GmbH planquadrat celebrated the start of construction of several exclusive semi-detached housed at Frankfurt Friedberg on Wednesday, 9th May. The houses form the start of the ensemble comprising detached and semi-detached houses that are being built on sites belonging to the Waisenhaus Foundation. The shells will be built in a short time from prefabricated wall and ceiling element. In the framework of the event Robert Müller explained the overall concept of the district and went into detail regarding the exclusive terraced houses that are currently under construction.
Our company took part again this year in the Merck company run. The sportspeople in orange were able to choose between the 5 km and the 10 km run and luckily all managed to cross the finish line. They ended the evening together enjoying the warm summer weather.
Since April 2018 planquadrat has been a member of the BIM-Clusters-Hessen e. V., that dedicates its time to establishing BIM and the work processes and coordination of related topic ranges.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been used in the Scandinavian countries and Great Britain for years and is to be used increasingly in the planning and construction processes in Germany. In order to accompany this process BIM-Cluster-Hessen e. V. was founded in November 2017 by representatives of the Hesse construction industry. planquadrat would like to support the initiative of the association by becoming a member. Since 15.05.2018 planquadrat has been active here in a work group.
The current developments show that BIM-based construction and planning processes require a new, central field of activity in the planning offices. That is why planquadrat has employed a BIM manager since May. Parham Parvin plans and coordinates the implementation of a BIM strategy for planquadrat and assumes the interface between clients and specialist planners and develops BIM project management plans based on client information requirements. In this way planquadrat establishes company-wide BIM methods in the project work and improves the communication between those involved in the planning process. We look forward to working together!
Digital project management is integration planning in 3D between architect, structural engineer, MEP engineer and facade planner. The aim is as far as possible to avoid errors resp. failures in the planning, in planning coordination and when constructing the building and to create ideal conditions for operating the building.
In addition prerequisites for process optimisations between the involved planners, site management, the involved executing companies and the management are to be created at the building site itself.
The implementation of the BIM methodology in the planning process prerequisites a model-oriented way of thinking and replaces the plan-oriented perspective up to now in order to always guarantee the up-to-datedness of the information.
We discovered our city villas at Kätcheslachpark when watching "Tatort" on Sunday evening.
Last Sunday the crime thriller "Unter Kriegern" was shot in Frankfurt and also at Frankfurt Riedberg. planquadrat's city villas at Kätcheslachpark kept appearing at the heart of the action. .
Congratulations to Stefan Zimmermann for attaining his master's degree. After many years working as a student assistant at planquadrat, we are delighted to have now recruited him to work for us. Welcome back!
Going by the title "Elegant intermediary“ the magazine CUBE has published an article about Michaelisstraße in Darmstadt. The new residential district in Darmstadt will create high-quality residential space on a former railway site and will mediate between the existing listed buildings and the new architecture.
A SmartCITY for innovative notable companies, research facilities and aspiring start-ups is being created in Bad Vilbel. This new high-tech campus lends the city a new image promoting face and with its pioneering concept is of international importance. Due to its diverse utilisation mix, life in its entire daily cycle will be enabled and will make a considerable contribution to the holistic utilisation of the region.
On 6th March 2018 the project company CESA Spring Park GmbH together with planquadrat will be presenting the plans for the SmartCITY to the building committee of the City Bad Vilbel. The visionary project met with a positive reaction from all groups and triggered a great media response.
More about the project here
Here are the articles in the daily newspapers
A topping out ceremony was celebrated in Weilburger Straße in Frankfurt's Gallus district on 17th January. 422 apartments over 6 storeys will be built here between the listed Adlerwerke and the railway tracks. With just under 13,000 s.qm building plot, this project is one of the largest rental apartments building project in the city of Frankfurt.
As many as three colleagues are celebrating their 10-year service jubilee at planquadrat this year. We would like to thank them for their excellent work and are looking forward to the next 10 years working together.
In the building of the former Postal Technical Central Office (PTZ) in Darmstadt the start-up centre HUB 31 was opened on Wednesday, 13th December in the presence of the Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir, Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch and IHK-President Kristina Sinemus. Here new entrepreneurs can develop ideas, produce prototypes and make contacts in modern office space, temporary co-working stations and workshops.
The HUB 31 is part of a large conversion measure of the former PTZ into an innovative technology and start-up centre that should be completed in around three years time.
For two years planquadrat has been accompanying the former Postal Technical Central Office in Darmstadt's Hilpertstraße. By drawing up a project-related development plan, planquadrat created the legal development plan. Subsequently planquadrat took over the conversion of the former centrally-used building complex with classic cubicle offices into a flexible utilisation structure with many smaller rental units. The ground floor is to include meeting and conference halls as well as canteen and cafeteria areas. Modern, flexible office units are planned on the upper floor.
Posing the question "How resilient is our city?“ Claudia Becker examined the current urban development and its consequences in the framework of a symposium by the Dr. Robert Murjahn Institute. The worldwide increase in the urban population and the noticeable consequences on the housing market pose one of the most pressing political topics. Claudia Becker explained in her lecture the historic backgrounds and made the political, social and legal connections of this development a subject of discussion. Claudia Becker also showed which opportunities the current development offers - a topic that planquadrat is also dealing with in current projects.
planquadrat was awarded the 1st prize for the competition contribution "Living in Tulpencarré“ in Düsseldorf. A residential area is to be built on a site in Düsseldorf used up to now as an industrial area. It is to convey a mixed commercial and residential use in the environment and to attach special importance to sound insulation. planquadrat convinced the competition jury with a harmonious integration in the environment, a differentiated development concept and a well thought through sound insulation concept.
Like every year skittles was on the agenda again. We have upheld this tradition for years and have loyal supporters: we meet one weekend in November to play skittles in a relaxed atmosphere and to enjoy each other's company.
A "Heuer Dialogue" conference is dedicated to the potential and development tendencies of the City of Darmstadt. The city, situated in the south of Hesse, is considered to be an "Innovation and Technology Hot Spot“ and, along with up and coming start-ups and large concerns, is attracting an increasing number of residents. At this event the decision-makers of the region will be looking at current questions and reporting among other things on the master plan of the city.
Herbert Elfers will be speaking about the "opportunities and limitations of densification", taking the example of the inner-city Mollerstadt. In his lecture, Mr Elfers will show on the basis of examples and experiences from Darmstadt and other cities possible solutions and opportunities for this inner-city district.
The event will take place on 26th January in Volksbank Darmstadt-Südhessen.
planquadrat will be represented at the EXPO REAL this year too as urban planners of the City of Darmstadt. The management will be present during the three days at the largest international fair for real estate and investments.
We look forward to constructive and successful meetings!
You can find us in Hall C1
Claudia Becker presented the outline plans for Schelmengraben Wiesbaden-Dotzheim at the 13th public meeting of the Wiesbaden Design Committee on 13th September.
Against the background of the increased demand for living space, the existing estate is to be compacted. For this purpose planquadrat has developed an urban development outline plan. On the basis of the outline plan construction law is now to be created in order to realise 800-1,000 residential units.
The Design Committee had a positive discussion on the project and eagerly awaits the further development at Schelmengraben.
For the second time this year planquadrat is organising an internal training course for the project managers in cooperation with Ludger Beckmann, Consultancy, Training and Coaching. Over two days in September the team will be dealing in detail with the topic of communication, management and collegiality. The initial course in April of this year concentrated on the diverse task fields in project management.
The third construction phase of the residential project DAcore was undertaken with the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, 7th September with the first cut of the spade by the Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch, Stefan Messemer, branch manager of BPD Frankfurt and the purchasers.
The new residential quarter provides for a scattered development comprising six apartment buildings as well as five terraced houses and integrates the listed buildings in the newly developed urban concept. Four apartment buildings and the terraced houses were already built in the first two construction phases. The two other buildings are now to follow in the third construction phase.
The company outing this year was characterised by experiencing nature together: on a beautiful day the team canoed along the Lahn River against the backdrop of gorgeous natural scenery. In three-seater canoes the groups went from Aumenau to Runkel and back again. They stayed in tents overnight and spent a pleasant evening listening to music in front of a camp fire.
Photos by Hanspeter Müller
The conversion of the former pioneer barracks in Hanau currently counts among the most important projects of the city. In the framework of the multi-commissioning, reputable offices were commissioned with an urban concept as well as a utilisation and development concept. planquadrat was awarded the second prize for its contribution "leap in time“. The radial system of existing buildings as an expression of national-socialist sentiment and military order is newly interpreted in an urban way. "The design has a clear understanding on the reshaping of the past", was the opinion of the jury.
On Sunday, 27th August 130 teams took part in the annual 10-friend triathlon in Darmstadt on a glorious day. The teams shared the ironman distance for the 23rd time. This meant the following for everyone: 380 metres swimming, 18 kilometres cycling and finally a 4.2 kilometre run.
planquadrat were represented once again with a team. We are particularly pleased about the fact that along with the trained sportspeople there were also some colleagues taking part for the first time and who successfully crossed the finishing line!
In June Planquadrat went on an architectural walk around town through the east part of Frankfurt. The tour started at Bornheimer Hang, one of the most important Ernst May estates in Frankfurt and continued via Ostpark up to the new building of the European Central Bank. On the way special attention was paid to the links between open public spaces and urban development. The group was led by an urban planner and a landscape architect, thus giving the tour a comprehensive overview of the historical and current plans. Not only the architecture itself, also dealing with historical building substance and the integration of grown structures in the current urban and landscape planning held potential for discussions and brought about new findings.
This tour linked up with planquadrat's specialist excursion to Frankfurt's Römerstadt in June 2016; another architectural walk through the town is also planned for next year.
The Day of Architecture took place on 24th and 25th June going by the motto "Architecture creates a quality of life". Planquadrat was involved this year with the residential building "Atelier 21“ at Frankfurt's Riedberg. The guided tours were very well attended, leading to interesting talks about the architecture and the urban context.
Planquadrat wins one of two 3rd prizes awarded at the competition about a construction field at Hamburg' Baakenhafen harbour.
A new urban quarter is being constructed around Hamburg's Baakenhafen harbour with a mixture of leisure areas, workplaces, green open spaces and broad mixture of various residential offers. The new quarter is now being built on the basis of several competitions for the individual construction fields.
Planquadrat took part in the competition for the construction field 83b that is being awarded by FRANK Siedlungsbaugesellschaft mbH & Co. KG and the planning consortium Ankerplatz. The objective of the competition is the differentiated, architectural design and qualification of the construction field taking into account the urban framework conditions and the utilisation concept.
On Saturday, 6th May, the new media library in Ingelheim will be handed over to its user. The new building combines the latest media library rooms with classic residential use and combines these to make a landmark solitary building.
On Friedrich-Ebert-Straße in the direct vicinity of the service building, likewise planned by planquadrat, a 3-storey new building was built as a media library and residential building. The cubic solitary building with its bright natural stone facade forms the dominant spacial edge of the future local square and joins the Ebert-Carrées development to the north. The calm overall form is excitingly accentuated through clearly defined window and loggia cutouts, making its special use as a public building recognisable. The readability of the residential use was consciously kept in the background. An exciting accentuation is formed by the vertical facade gardens.
Located on the ground floor and on the 1st floor is the new media library, the second floor is used as a residential floor with 6 rental units. The new media library offers more space and media as well as a much broader range than the current library. With individual furnishings and space composition it displays a high level of quality of life. The furniture was correspondingly designed and manufactured especially for the users.
planquadrat got involved in the national Boy´s Day 2017 and enabled boys aged between 11 and 16 to gain an insight into the diverse fields of architects and draughts people working in a large architects' office for one day. The pupils were also able to get active themselves and build a model made of Styrodur.
We were delighted at the interest the pupils showed in our profession and about their active participation!
planquadrat developed a residential area with four districts on an area of 3.7 hectares along Naumburger Straße in the Jena district of Zwätzen. The major project "Atrium 105“, which is being financed by ZEH Ziegelmontage GmbH from Hermsdorf, comprises 300 new apartments. planquadrat took over the site management planning, the building construction and the renovation of the pre-fabricated high-rise.
The formal groundbreaking ceremony took place on 7th April 2017.
Commissioned by the Mainz Aufbaugesellschaft, planquadrat converted an office building into refugee accommodation. The building from the 1960s is located in the city centre of Mainz and is to offer accommodation for 290 people for the next 5 years.
The planning contract comprised the design for implementation, planning the building application, detailed and implementation planning as well as site management.
After a planning and conversion period of only 10 months, the first residents moved in on 18th April 2017.
Planquadrat is planning a new social centre for the chemical company Evonik at the location in Hanau. The multi-functional building with offices, meeting and conference rooms as well as rehabilitation and fitness area is now being constructed. It will form the identifying structure in the "new centre" of the Hanau location and combine central utilisations. The new building is to be ready to move into in summer 2018.
The General-Anzeiger reports on the "Siebengebirgsterrassen" in Bonn planned by planquadrat. Planquadrat emerged victorious from the realisation competition for a new residential quarter with 258 apartments along Deutschherrenstraße.
planquadrat is building new residential quarters with a total of 700 apartments on Kleyer and Weilburger Straße. The quarters are situated in the direct vicinity of the listed Adlerwerke.
Jörg Krämer presents the design for the former Echo site on Holzhofallee at the 16th meeting of the Design Committee. The members of the committee expressed their satisfaction with the solution and praised the result.
Based on a design by planquadrat and on behalf of Monitor and Terra, a new residential quarter with around 250 apartments are to be built on the former site of the Darmstadt Echo. Furthermore, on the north side of the site a multi-storey car park is to be built and the existing former Echo publishing house converted.
The new construction is characterised by the sensitive handling of the surrounding buildings: the urban structure assumes the existing system and the facade design reacts to the characteristics of the neighbouring structures. The open structure but also the road network with a sequence comprising very different places opens the new residential area up into the environment.
The new buildings offer a residential mix of one to four room apartments.
A new, modern residential quarter preserving the individuality and uniqueness of the historic location is being built on the former site of the painting and decorating company Klein, in an inner city location.
"Guinness World Records“ lists the Rostamani Tower, designed by planquadrat, as the highest vertical labyrinth in the world.
The office and residential tower is located on the arterial road in the centre of Dubai and comprises a total of 55 storeys. A vertical labyrinth is formed on the road side comprising projecting wall and balcony panes, whose starting point forms the main entrance and target point the upper "eye". The labyrinth comprises a total area of 3,947.22 m².
Claudia Becker and Robert Müller have been partners at planquadrat since the beginning of the year.
The management decided to take this step on the initiative of the three founding partners in a cautious process conducted with the aid of an external consultant as a contribution towards securing the future of planquadrat. It is the initial step in a process that started approx. four years ago. It is also the first important step for the long-term future organisation of our office with the aim of preserving, further developing and living our office culture and identity in future as well.
Last year the city of Langen issued invitations for tender for a closed, one-phase investor competition for the residential area "Am Speierling“ in Langen. By the end of 2018 a residential quarter is to be built on the almost 7,000 s.qm area, presently undeveloped, that is to particularly react to the urban situation and provide a convincing energy concept.
An expert jury will be judging the submitted offers at the end of January and agreeing on the second and third prize on Monday, 23rd January.
Claudia Becker has accompanied this process from the very beginning and is one of the panel of eight expert judges deciding on the 10 submitted competition contributions.
The first construction phase on Berliner Allee, so-called Alex, is complete: the shell construction is ready. The five-storey structure with staggered storeys comprises 5,800 square metres for office and practice space as well as further space on the ground floor for retail use. The structure is characterised by a homogenous punctured facade made of natural stone with spacious window openings, clearly colour coded. In this way window sills partly merge together over two storeys and thus lend the building a vertical structure that becomes lively through the different window widths. Two facade projections and recesses react to the special urban situation and at the same time bind the main entrance to the offices. In the future the new building will form a type of portal to a new lively quarter in which three other buildings are to be built. However, they will comprise residential along with other retail areas. The first construction phase is to be completed by the end of 2017.
Each year in December planquadrat celebrates a fabulous party in a wonderful atmosphere, with good food and live music. The party this year took place in Jagdhofkeller in Darmstadt. The band Walk-o-Tones enthralled the team with its music and the DJ Roger Francis got everybody up on the dance floor. The team, having grown in the meantime to 138 employees, used the celebration to get to know the many new colleagues better and to reflect back on the past year. A brief picture presentation by the management made the immense scope of the projects clear and showed the many internal innovations, such as, for example, the new homepage.
Many thanks went to the entire team for their excellent work and the business partners for their trust.
We wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and all the very best for the new year.
The Frankfurt landscape architect Ute Wittich wins the Garden-Oskar 2016 for the exterior design of the new quarter Central & Park in Frankfurt's Europaviertel. Planquadrat largely assumed the planning of the city houses in the new residential quarter.
We would like to offer our congratulations on being awarded this prize!
The cooperative work method Building Information Modelling (BIM) supported by digital technologies is increasingly entering the construction industry and is becoming an indispensable tool for the more efficient planning, execution and management of structural works.
In the course of a supervised master thesis, new findings are jointly developed and the implementation of BIM prepared by planquadrat.
The 50 hectare district "Auf der Haid“ in Freiburg is characterised by a mixed use of residential and commerce. An urban framework concept is being prepared for the further development of the area, that will investigate the potential for living, infrastructure and open spaces in order to be able to steer the development of the district in the next 15 years. In the framework of a competition, experienced planning offices were commissioned with working out ideas and concepts for these aims.
planquadrat came second. The competition contribution is to demonstrate options and measures for action for the strategic further development. These can be used as tools in order to be able to react in a targeted way to the needs and circumstances of the respective situation in terms of urban and structural design. These are divided up into the following measures: new building, upgrading, converting, replacing, supplementing.
After the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony had already taken place at the beginning of August for the extension of the Evonik logistics warehouse, the topping out ceremony was celebrated on 23rd November at the Weiterstadt location. The new buildings shows the warehouse space being nearly doubled and the logistics significantly simplified.
Due to its use as a warehouse for chemical raw materials and finished products the new building requires high structural safety standards that planquadrat implemented in the planning as the planning office. The new building should be finished by the spring of 2017.
On 18th November the second architects' Kicker Cup took place in Darmstadt's Kunsthalle. It was organised by the DAW. planquadrat participated with three teams that gave their all and had a lot of fun fighting for a successful result. In an exciting final one planquadrat team made second place. Congratulations!
The listed Kunsthalle, built in the 1950s by Theo Pabst, guaranteed a special environment whilst the catering ensured a typical stadium atmosphere.
According to the good old tradition, a group of employees met up again this November to play skittles. This was in no way a professional competition but much more about having fun together.
Based on a design by planquadrat, a residential and office complex will be built with around 355,000 s.qm gross floor space by 2017 in the former customs and inland port - the largest inner city development area in Mainz.
The residential area comprises 69 two to five room apartments that will be ready to move into from summer 2017. The office section comprises four standard storeys that can be divided up flexibly into one to four office units. The client is aiming to get a DGNB silver certificate for this part of the building.
The topping out ceremony for the project Dock1Mainz was celebrated by the LBBW on 28th October 2016.
The magazine Focus had the Hamburg statistics company Statista ascertain the top architects' office 2017. The basis of the Focus list is a survey among colleagues from a total of 2,600 office recommendations on the seven categories of apartment blocks, detached houses, office buildings, educational and cultural buildings, industrial buildings, urban development and landscape architecture. Own recommendations were not possible. On the basis of the number of recommendations 278 offices were awarded prizes.
Planquadrat was distinguished in the area of residential building apartment blocks, thus counting among the "Top Architects's Offices 2017".
We have lost a long-standing friend and very good business partner. For over 10 years planquadrat has enjoyed an extremely trustworthy and reliable cooperation with Hans Hofmanns from the office H2 architekten. We will look back fondly on our time spent with him. He will be greatly missed.
A new residential complex is being built along Regerstraße in the Mainz district of Lerchenberg, which was designed and planned by planquadrat. The client is the supplementary pension fund of Baugewerbe AG. The topping out ceremony took place in September.
The new residential complex comprises six residential buildings with a total of 111 residential units and a communally used underground car park. The buildings are surrounded by park-like open space in which the footpaths to access the apartments are located. Each of the 6 buildings comprises four full storeys and a staggered storey and offers each residential unit at least one balcony, terrace or roof terrace.
At this year's expo real in Munich from 4th – 6th October planquadrat is presenting itself as the stand partner of "Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt". The management of planquadrat will be present during the three days of the fair and use the diverse range of opportunities of networking and making contacts at Europe's largest trade fair for real estate and investment.
The magazine "Competition" again chose the offices with the most success in competitions this year in Germany or abroad that were also published on competitionline.com. Planquadrat ranked 5th place in this competition ranking in the field of urban planning. The period from 1st June 2015 until 31st May 2016 was taken into account. We are delighted with this success.
4th September was that time of year again: 9 colleagues from planquadrat with 2 external supporters rose to the challenge of this year's Datterich Triathlon in which the team shared the Iron man distance. What this meant for everyone? 380 metres swimming, 18 kilometres cycling and finally 4.2 kilometres running. The 11 planquadrat sportspeople showed that not only are they sporty but also have a pronounced sense of team spirit and a great deal of humour: a punctured wheel was replaced by a city bike belonging to a colleague, equipment was exchanged and vociferous support afforded. That is how the whole team cheerfully crossed the finishing line in their striking orange T-shirts. On the very same day plans were made for the next Datterich Triathlon.
Planquadrat ist seit über 20 Jahren für Evonik, einem internationalen Unternehmen der Spezialchemie, tätig und verfügt über eine eigene Planungsgruppe, die die Standorte Darmstadt, Weiterstadt, Hanau, Dossenheim und Worms betreut. Planquadrat übernimmt hier die Planungsleistungen im Bereich Neu-, Um- und Ausbau von Bürogebäuden. Weiterhin werden Logistik-, Produktionsbauten sowie Bauten aus dem Bereich Spezialchemie von Planquadrat von der Planung bis zur Umsetzung geplant und betreut.
Anfang August fand der symbolische Spatenstich für die Erweiterung des Logistiklagers von Evonik Weiterstadt statt, dessen Fertigstellung für Herbst 2017 geplant ist. Mit dem Neubau wird die Lagerfläche am Standort Weiterstadt nahezu verdoppelt und die Logistik wesentlich vereinfacht. Das Gebäude wird durch die Nutzung als Lager für chemische Rohstoffe und Fertigprodukte hohe bauliche Sicherheitsstandards erfüllen. Die Planung erfolgte unter anderem unter Berücksichtigung des Wasserhaushaltsgesetzes, des Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetzes, diverser Richtlinien zur Lagerung von chemischen Stoffen usw. Die Planung mündete in diverse Barriere- und Auffangsysteme, die über einen flüssigkeitsdichten Beton das Eindringen von Lagergut in den Boden verhindern und somit den aktuellsten Umweltanforderungen gerecht werden.
Planquadrat hat seit 1998 seinen Hauptsitz in dem ehemaligen Bahnhofshotel von 1912 am Darmstädter Hauptbahnhof. Anfänglich lagen sämtliche Büroräume im ersten Obergeschoss. Mittlerweile sitzen auch im zweiten und dritten Obergeschoss Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter von planquadrat.
In diesem Sommer werden die Büroräume renoviert und umgebaut, um die Raumzuordnungen anzupassen, den Empfangsbereich für Gäste auszubauen und die Aufenthaltsräume für das Team zu verbessern. Damit wird das kontinuierlich wachsende Büro seinem veränderten Raumbedarf gerecht und bietet Team und Besuchern angenehme Räumlichkeiten.
Das Führungsteam des Aufsichtsausschuss des Versorgungswerks wird alle fünf Jahre neu gewählt. Bei den Neuwahlen in diesem Sommer wurde Jörg Krämer, der bereits im Vorstand der Architektenkammer Hessen ist, zum Stellvertreter gewählt. Er folgt damit dem bisherigen Stellvertreter Wilke-Bernd Wiedenroth, der turnusgemäß aus seinem Amt ausscheidet. Zum Vorsitzenden wurde Wolfgang Zimmer aus Essen gewählt. Der bisherige Vorsitzende Rolf Vollmer kandidierte nach 10jähriger Tätigkeit nicht erneut.
Am ersten Juli-Wochenende unternahm das planquadrat-Team eine zweitägige Exkursion am Rhein entlang - von Mainz über Ingelheim und Köln bis nach Düsseldorf. Ziel waren vor allem die von planquadrat selbst realisierten Projekte. Damit bot sich der Architektengruppe die Möglichkeit, die Projekte des inzwischen über 100 Mitarbeiter zählenden Teams besser kennen zu lernen. Beeindruckend waren die Bandbreite der Aufgabenstellung und die Vielfalt der Architektursprache in den unterschiedlichen Teams.
Die Besichtigungen begannen mit dem gemeinschaftlichen Wohnungsbauprojekt „Wohnhof“ in Mainz, einem der ersten Projekte des Büros. Anschließend ermöglichte der Besuch des Zollhafes Mainz den Blick auf eine ganz aktuelle Baustelle. Im nahegelegenen Ingelheim besichtigte planquadrat das vor kurzem fertiggestellte Dienstleistungsgebäude und die Gebäude am Ebertcarrée. In Köln und Düsseldorf wurden mehrere Wohnviertel besichtigt, für die planquadrat den Städtebau und teilweise auch den Hochbau realisierte. Die KiTa St. Bruno in Köln zeigte mit seiner Massivholzbauweise ein weiteres Aufgabenfeld des Büros. In Düsseldorf wurde übernachtet und es blieb ausreichend Zeit sich auch einmal wieder persönlich auszutauschen.
The Hesse Day of Architecture took place for the 22nd time on the last weekend in June. Planquadrat was involved with the residential and office building Taunuscarrée at Frankfurter Riedberg.
The building is located in a prominent corner of the district of Altkönigblick and comprises several commercial units along with 31 residential units. The building structure is characterised by a differentiated facade design that is particularly defined by a diverse range of outdoor spaces such as balconies, terraces, roof terraces with skyline view and winter gardens with clear glass slats on the street side. Project manager Robert Müller was on site to guide the interested visitors and to answer questions. Moreover, the visitors had the opportunity to take a look at one of the offices from the inside and to inspect the sample features of the apartments.
Das von Ernst May und Ludwig Landmann konzipierte Neue Frankfurt stellt einen wesentlichen Wendepunkt in der Entwicklungsgeschichte des Städtebaus dar und prägt bis heute Teile der Stadt Frankfurt. Die als Stadterweiterung Richtung Nidda geplante Römerstadt ist Teil dieses Neuen Frankfurt. planquadrat unternahm mit einer kleineren Gruppe eine Exkursion mit Führung durch die Römerstadt und das Ernst-May-Haus, dass mit seiner originalen Ausstattung besonders die ursprünglichen Grundrisse erfahrbar werden lässt. Die Exkursion machte deutlich, dass das Neue Frankfurt mit etwas verschobenen Voraussetzungen bis heute aktuelle Fragestellungen birgt und auch für aktuelle städtebauliche Projekte von Bedeutung ist. Unter den Teilnehmern wurde allerdings schon vor der Exkursion über die Wohn- und Aufenthaltsqualitäten der denkmalgeschützten Römersiedlung für die heutigen Bewohner diskutiert.
Auf einer Strecke von 5,6 Kilometern liefen 70.000 fest angestellte Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter aus Firmen unterschiedlicher Branchen für Werte wie Teamgeist, Kommunikation, Kollegialität, Fairness und Gesundheit. Planquadrat Darmstadt und Frankfurt beteiligten sich gemeinsam an diesem sportlichen Ereignis.
Bereits im Februar kamen eine Delegation des indischen Investors Orange County Group und Mitarbeiter aus dem indischen Büro von Planquadrat nach Darmstadt, um über den Masterplan für die neue Stadt Gatha Gram in der Nähe von Pune zu sprechen. Prasad Bhagare, Geschäftsführer des indischen planquadrat-Büros, kam nun erneut nach Deutschland, um an einem Termin bezüglich des Masterplans für Gatha Gram in Karlsruhe teilzunehmen. Er und seine Familie nutzten diese Gelegenheit, um sich einige europäische Städte anzusehen.
Auf Einladung der Geschäftsleitung des deutschen planquadrat-Büros besuchte die indische Familie und Holger Grobe (Planquadrat Deutschland) Berlin. Zu Fuß, per Fahrrad und mit Bus und Bahn erkundet die Gruppe die deutsche Hauptstadt. Es ging durch Berlin Mitte, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg und Charlottenburg. Natürlich wurden auch die Berliner Philharmonie und der Reichstag besichtigt. Die Europatour führte die Familie weiter nach Paris.
The topping-out ceremony of the further education centre as well as the culture and events hall was celebrated am Neuen Markt in Ingelheim. At the same time the scaffolding on the service building designed by planquadrat situated on the opposite side of Gartenfeldstraße was removed, see photo. (visualisation: Loomn Architekturvisualisierung)
This represents the first completed new building in the direct vicinity of the town hall. The city will occupy space in the prestigious building along with Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Ingelheim.
The first visible steps to realise the master plan planquadrat developed in 2010 in close cooperation with the City of Ingelheim have thus been taken. The completion of the whole surroundings of the town hall is to be finished by 2017. Other modules in the master plan, such as for example the nearby media library are already underway.
The design of the further education centre with culture hall originates from the architectural office Lieb + Lieb Architekten BDA and is being realised by the office Schwinde Architekten from Munich.
Since 21st April 2016 planquadrat is under a new guise on the Internet - modern and with stunning visuals, the architectural office shows what it is capable of. From its corporate history to the international locations up to the latest reports and many more new things to be discovered on the new homepage.
planquadrat wins the 1st prize after revision for the new building of a residential complex in Plinganserstraße in Munich.
Landscape architects: BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten, Mainz
Surprise! In November the complete planquadrat teams sets off on a trip to Schlitz in the Vogelsberg area. The purpose of the journey was kept a secret to the very last minute: two days of singing in the "Landesmusikakademie". planquadrat had imported the choirmaster Martin Winkler from Dreieich. "It really was a great experience“, was how owner Jörg Krämer summed it up. "All roles and hierarchies disappeared, the skills distributed in a very different way. And Martin Winkler looked after us in an outstanding way.“
Singing in a group is team forming at its best: you have to listen carefully to each other and adapt your own volume to the whole choir. Since just like in architecture it is not so much the individual voice that counts but the joint work, in this case the sound. Yet this only emerges if everyone gives their best. The singing, all "planquadraters" agree, was fun. That is why there is already a long list on the notice board with all those interested in other singing events. "Maybe", Jörg Krämer is pleased to say about the positive feedback "we'll carry on singing a bit longer".
planquadrat participated in the Germany-wide Girls' Day and made eight places available for pupils from the Darmstadt area in grades 5 to 8. The program offered lasted from 9.30 am until 5.30 pm: after a short introduction of the office by Herbert Elfers, one of the firm's partners, there was an internal tour through the office showing the girls various current projects, plans and competitions. Trained female architects showed the pupils their projects and told them about their areas of responsibility. This enabled the participants to gain a good insight into the diversity of the work of an architect, true to the invitation: "You can see what an architect does in our office!.
A consistent geographical expansion belongs to the dynamic and strategic development at planquadrat. The wide-ranging service spectrum of the office covers the fields of architecture and urban planning. planquadrat is active in the fields of office and administration, residential buildings, industry, special buildings, health, education as well as in the hotel sector and the commercial field. Along with the classic architectural services, the office is increasingly dedicating itself to the fields of consultancy and general planning. The acquisition of land and planning rights as well as supporting VOF and competition procedures strengthen the portfolio."We are challenged to stay close to what is going on in the market and to maintain proximity to our customers", is how Herbert Elfers expressed it. The Frankfurt subsidiary is in charge of the domestic and international representation.Download (PDF, 191 Kb)
The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on 4th March in Michaelisstraße (corner Koblenzer Straße) in Darmstadt. 40 Kindergarten children stood by with helmets and colourful spades to make the symbolic first cut of the spade so that the first apartments from Waldkolonie DAcore will be ready to move into in autumn 2016.
The project is characterised by a mixture of old an new. In this respect the historical administration building is to remain next to modern new buildings. A former militarity indoor riding arena is also being restored and used as a multi-storey car park.
Publication: Darmstädter Echo, 05.03.2015
A new building will be constructed on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße close to the Sebastian-Münster Grammar School by the end of 2016 that will stylishily combine the living and experiencing of culture together in a cubic way. The first two floors will comprise the media library, from books to multimedia materials, there will be many opportunities to browse. A sliding door facing Ebert-Carré gelagerten leads to a garden that will serve as the stage for the most diverse range of events in summer.
Publication: Allgemeine Zeitung Rhein Main Presse, 24.02.2014
The largest vertical maze: on 21st January the Guinness World Records confirmed that the Maze-Tower of the Al Rostamani Group in Dubai to be the largest vertical labyrinth in the world. We are very proud of this 55-storey building in the heart of the Dubai Financial District.“ Talal Omar, the local manager of the Guinness World Records, called the tower a unique cultural asset that stands for the growth and the change that characterises Dubai.
Published: www.thenational.ae 21.01.2015
In the course of the strategic reorientation of the office city of Frankfurt Niederrad to become a mixed area, over 1,200 apartments are to be built around Hahnstraße.
The converted office building Hahnstraße 72 offers apartments ranging between 20 m² and 40 m². The first tenants already moved in at the beginning of the year. planquadrat accompanied its client Vivendi GmbH from the concept through to the realisation.
A breath of fresh air for project developers and property developers – the battle for space has started
The Darmstadt real estate market is considered to be interesting, stable and well functioning. The market structure is compared with cities such as Wiesbaden, Mainz or Bad Homburg. The renowned universities, counting among the most important universities in Germany particularly in the fields of EDP and aerospace, have an especially great influence on the housing but also the office market. .
Central theme of the design
The development of the front row plots offers the unique opportunity to sustainably develop the urban "west wing" quarter. The location is the highest point on the Friedberg topographically. The view from here stretches to all sides, to the Taunus mountains and to the skyline of Frankfurt. This special view and the orientation to the sun has a crucial impact on the height and position of the construction in the design.
A new square creates an entrance to the west wing. A semi-circle shaped, clearly designed urban space arises with an almost inner-city density. It accommodates the beam-like green axes Römische Straße, Kätcheslachpark, Leberecht-Migge-Anlage and the road space. It is to accomodate a café/restaurant and develop it into a lively public space - furnished individually playable.
The three individual construction fields form an overall ensemble with contemporary lively architecture with a high recognition value: each as an independent interpretation of the organic-design thought and on the basis of the design specifications of the quarter.
Various kinds of living space will be created on the three plots with a high level of commercial use, from tower blocks to maisonettes to senior citizen residences. A residential tower with 14 storeys as a striking landmark that can be seen from afar emphasises this intersection point.
DAM (German Architecture Museum) issued invitations for the Pecha Kucha Night in Centralstation in Darmstadt on Wednesday, 26th November 2014. The moderator Peter Cachola took the visitors through an evening of many interesting presentations. The various companies introduced themselves in just a few minutes and with only 20 transparencies.
planquadrat celebrates its anniversary: the office was founded 20 years ago. Having started off as a group of students at the Südbahnhof, they have become an internationally successful office over the past years with over 100 employees at the Darmstadt location and three other international locations in Dubai, Al-Ain and Bangalore.
We are delighted to have won the first place in phase 2 of the Molenkopf competition in Mainz. The residential plot Molenkopf Süd is to be developed under the aegis of the real estate development project Bouwfonds.
Every Monday the whole office meets up to introduce new projects or to discuss current topics. This time the group was surprised by visit from Sarah Vanhee and Mylène Lauzon with their performance"Lecture for Everyone".
Series of lectures on the topic: compact housing | summer semester 2014
25.06.2014 Herbert Elfers, architect and work report residential housing
Rhein Mosel Campus
Faculty Construction Engineering and Architecture
Award and exhibition of the planquadrat project "Haus der Wirtschaft" in Rheinstraße Darmstadt.
Exhibition on the occasion of the BDA Architecture Prize "Excellent Architecture in h Hesse 2008 - 2013"
The exhibition in the German Architecture Museum Frankfurt presented all 40 buildings throughout Hesse awarded the four regional plaques by the BDA Group (Martin-Elsaesser-Plaque, Joseph-Maria-Olbrich-Plaque, Johann-Wilhelm-Lehr-Plaque and Simon-Louis-du-Ry-Plaque).
The opening speakers were Peter Cachola Schmal (Director of DAM), Suzanne Wartzeck (Chairperson of BDA Hessen) and Brigitte Holz (Board member AKH).
A catalogue on the exhibition was published documenting in detail all 40 award-winning and exhibited works.
Opening: 1st November 2013 at 7 pm
Exhibition: 2nd - 8th November 2014
The exclusive residential building Quartiersplatz Altkönigblick at Frankfurter Riedberg celebrated its topping-our ceremony on 25th October 2013.
Atelier 21 forms the urban edge of Quartiersplatz Altkönigblick. The spacious apartments have an open design in the style of studios and enable a living-through concept with balconies and loggias facing the east and west. 20 residential units are spread over three storeys plus a roof storey with approx. 52 m² to 180 m² living space.
We are delighted to have come third in cooperation with Krüger+Krüger Architects in the realisation competition for the conversion of the multi-storey residential building "Vogelsborn“ in Saarbrücken.
Landscape architects: BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten, Mainz
Structural engineer: KMW Ingenieure GmbH, Saarbrücken
We are delighted to have been awarded first prize in the urban-landscape competition "Residential estate in Hainweg“ in Wiesbaden Nordenstadt.
Consultant: BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten, Mainz
The Hesse Day of Architecture is already taking place for the 19th time and again thousands of visitors will be enticed to attend. And present this year will also be: a project by planquadrat.
The residential complex in Marbachweg in Frankfurt with 43 residential units, divided into two building structures, can be viewed: project manager Robert Müller offered guided tours: Saturday, 29th June at 3 pm and 4 pm, meeting point at the main entrance in Marbachweg 55 in Frankfurt. Further information here.
"Living architecture!“ is the national motto for the Day of Architecture 2013.
planquadrat is in attendance this year too in North-Rhine Westphalia with a project. Office partner H. Elfers guides the visitors through the Vorgebirgsgärten in Cologne, 165 city apartments were built and form an attractive and cross-generational residential offer. Sunday, 30th June, 12 noon until 4 pm. Meeting poin: Landskronstr. 7
Riedberg Westflügel is the seventh and last quarter now entering the realisation phase in the Friedberg project. Around 1,400 high-quality architectural residential units will be built here.
We are pleased to have been awarded the Joseph-Maria-Olbrich-Plaque 2013 for our "Haus der Wirtschaft South Hesse“. The administration building with office and conference areas in Rheinstraße, one of the main roads in Darmstadt, serves to accommodate the office of the association "Hessen Metall“ with around 20 employees and as a place for various kinds of events. The address in Rheinstraße will surely be characterised by a sharp cantilever extension on the upper floor, made possible thanks to the steel structure.
Die Darmstädter Bundestagsabgeordnete Daniela Wagner (Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN) gehört dem Parlament seit 2009 an und ist Sprecherin ihrer Fraktion für Bau- und Wohnungspolitik. Sie ist Mitglied im Ausschuss für Verkehr, Bau, Stadtentwicklung: Energetische Sanierung und KFW-Förderprogramme, Immobilien- und Wohnungswirtschaft, Mietrecht, das Städtebauprogramm „Soziale Stadt“ oder Wohnen und demographischer Wandel sind nur einige der Themen, mit denen sie sich beschäftigt.
Im Rahmen eines Praktikums des BDWi (Bundesverband der Dienstleistungswirtschaft) besuchte sie im Herbst diesen Jahres das in ihrem Darmstädter Wahlkreis gelegene Architekturbüro planquadrat, das über einen Fachverband Mitglied in dieser Dachorganisation ist. „Die Resonanz auf unsere Aktion ‚Praxis für Politik‘ ist ein Indiz des Engagements der Abgeordneten für die in ihren Wahlkreisen ansässigen Unternehmen. Wir freuen uns sehr, den Abgeordneten neue Einblicke in Unternehmen aus der Dienstleistungswirtschaft zu eröffnen. Das gilt aber genauso für die andere Seite; die Unternehmer und ihre Mitarbeiter. Sie erleben ihren Abgeordneten hautnah und werden in Zukunft so manche Entscheidung, die in Berlin oder Brüssel getroffen wird, aus einem anderen Blickwinkel betrachten“, so BDWi-Präsident Werner Küsters in Berlin. Das Darmstädter Architekturbüro planquadrat – Elfers Geskes Krämer Part.G., seit 1998 am Platz der Deutschen Einheit am Hauptbahnhof, wird als Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mit rund 70 Mitarbeitern geführt. Die Partner sind Herbert Elfers (Dipl.-Ing. Architekt), Martin Geskes (Dipl.-Ing. Architekt/Stadtplaner) und Jörg Krämer (Dipl.-Ing. Architekt). Sie haben alle an der TH (TU) Darmstadt ihr Studium abgeschlossen und arbeiten bereits seit 1989 zusammen, damals mit der „Studentischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft Südbahnhof“ – ab 1994 mit planquadrat. Das Büro befasst sich mit Projektentwicklung, Stadtplanung, Architektur und Generalplanung.
Jörg Krämer, einer der drei Partner, erläutert das Besuchsprogramm, das die Bundestagsabgeordnete absolvierte: Nach der Vorstellung des Büros bekam Daniela Wagner in der Kooperation mit drei verschiedenen Mitarbeitern einzelne Arbeitsbereiche vorgestellt. Dazu gehörten das Erstellen von Ausschreibungen, das Bearbeiten eines Werkplans, das Ermitteln von Baukosten und natürlich die Erarbeitung von Wettbewerbsentwürfen. Die Bau- und Wohnungspolitische Sprecherin ihrer Fraktion diskutierte anschließend mit Jörg Krämer und seinen Kolleginnen und Kollegen über verschiedene aktuelle Schwerpunktthemen von Städte- und Wohnungsbau in Deutschland. Dazu gehörte die Diskussion um die geforderte Energieeffizienz von Gebäuden, hierzu fiel allerdings in der Debatte auch das Reizwort vom „Energiewahnsinn“. Die Fachleute von planquadrat warben bei dieser Gelegenheit dafür, mit mehr Sensibilität an das Thema heranzugehen. „Wenn alle Gebäude ein bisschen besser werden ist mehr erreicht als wenn wenige viel besser werden“, meinte Krämer bewusst vereinfachend. Schließlich sei hiermit auch ein städtebauliches Thema angesprochen, denn in der Summe führe die bessere Wärmedämmung natürlich auch zu einem gesteigerten Flächenverbrauch. So stoße man gerade bei Neubauten auf das Problem, die Wohnfläche verringern zu müssen, wenn man gleichzeitig größere Wandstärken einsetzt, sich aber an das Maß der maximalen Bebauung halten muss. Dies könne nur zu Lasten der Wohnfläche gehen. Im Anschluss an den Unternehmensbesuch wurde Daniela Wagner von planquadrat um ein kurzes Interview gebeten:
Anlässlich der World Green Building Week 2011 haben Sie sich gerade vor kurzem zur Frage der Energieeffizienz geäußert und für Maßnahmen vor Ort auf kommunaler Ebene geworben, gerade im Ein- und Zweifamilienhausbereich. Fanden Sie Ihre Vorschläge im Dialog mit den Bauleuten bestätigt?
Für mich ist nach wie vor das Dilemma steigender Mieten in Zusammenhang mit Energieeinsparung und den dazugehörigen Investition brisant. Das Gelingen von warmmietenneutraler, energetischer Sanierung muss das Hauptziel sein. Auch die Dämmstoffentwicklung für Gründerzeithäuser, also die Verringerung der Stärke, ist eine wichtige Aufgabe für die Zukunft. Erst wenn diese Materialien auch verträglich und ökologisch sind, ist eine Hauptaufgabe im Bereich Wohnen erreicht.
Beim Thema Energieeffizienz wird häufig zunächst die Frage der sozialen Vertretbarkeit der Kosten und der Aspekt des Denkmalschutzes diskutiert. Bei ihrem Besuch bei planquadrat kamen Gesichtspunkte wie städtebauliche Auswirkungen und Flächenverbrauch hinzu. Haben Sie das schon einmal von dieser Seite her gesehen?
Dass beim Thema Flächenverbrauch die Dämmstoff-Dicke eine so große Auswirkung hat, ist mir erst im Gespräch mit den Architekten bewusst geworden. Überhaupt ist Wohnungspolitik aus dem Blickwinkel der Architekten hoch interessant. Es ergeben sich neue Aspekte, die so im allgemeinen gesellschaftlichen Diskurs nicht präsent sind.
Warum haben Sie beim BDWi-Praktikum mitgemacht?
Weil mich die praktische Seite meiner Bundestagsarbeit interessiert und weil es unbedingt notwendig ist, Theorie mit der Praxis abzugleichen. Das hat bei planquadrat wunderbar funktioniert.
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen, was nehmen Sie mit?
Gut gefallen hat mir die überaus angenehme Atmosphäre und die kompetenten Gesprächspartner. Die Möglichkeit, ein großes Architekturbüro in einzelnen Schritten zu durchlaufen und damit die Komplexität eines solchen Unternehmens im Überblick zu sehen, hat mir ebenfalls sehr gut gefallen, ebenso die Zugewandtheit der MitarbeiterInnen, die ihre Arbeitsfelder wunderbar erklärt haben. Ein überaus gelungener Tag mit einem hohen Grad an Nachhaltigkeit.
The architects' office planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer Part.G., represented by the project manager Pia Schneider, and the client Lechner Group ceremoniously started the construction for the 1st building phase of their project "Alleehöfe" on 12th September with the first cut of the spade. A total of 51 condominiums displaying high-quality architecture are being built on an area measuring 4,000 square metres in a central location.
A residential building will be constructed with an underground car park and a differentiated residential mix of 2 to 5 room apartments, partly as maisonettes. The facade along Robert-Koch-Allee will be separated into access areas, whilst the facade facing the courtyard area will be broken up by spacious balconies. A homogeneous and high-quality courtyard area will be created to form an overall ensemble.
This year the main railway station celebrated its 100th birthday on 31st August 2012 and Darmstadt Marketing is organising Darmstadt's long night at the same time. The employees of planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer Part G. are using the south terrace in order to participate with a small cocktail festival during the evening event.
New series of events with a guided tour by the Darmstadt office planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer Part.G.
HA Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH is starting a new series of events at the Riedberg. In loose succession the current architecture can be viewed in the new district during tours with experts. Mr Herbert Elfers from the renowned architects' office planquadrat from Darmstadt started off on a walk through the Altkönigblick quarter presenting the company's own projects.
All those interested in architecture are cordially invited to take part in the tour free of charge. Architecture on the Riedberg/tour in the Altkönigblick quarter, 4th June 2012 from 7 pm, Altenhöferallee/ corner Stiftung-Waisenhaus-Weg
The Siebengebirgs terraces are to be built in the place of the Office of Armed Forces on Deutschherrenstraße in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. This has now been unanimously decided by a jury to conclude the architectural competition. A residential area will be built on the site for over 500 Godesberg citizens with green space and a childcare centre. The prized concept is an "excellent basis for a family-friendly, attractive residential quarter" and will "absolutely meet our expectations for the high-quality location in Bad Godesberg“, said Wolfgang Koberski, Chairman of the board of the investor Soka Bau in a press release. "The winning design fits in well in the surrounding residential area and free space and Bad Godesberg can expect a modern residential offer“, is something that also convinces Michael Isselmann, Head of the Bonn urban planning office. Like Mr Koberski he also belonged to the jury comprising eleven members. According to the architects the new residential area should be built largely free of traffic, be energy efficient and solar-oriented. In the planning of the free spaces the neighbourhoods play a central role. "A sensitive typology, promising an equally high urban quality as well as individual, high quality apartments", is how the Frankfurt architect Ferdinand Heide describes the characteristics of the winning design. In this way the "contemporary apartment typologies could also meet the demands of a changing society in the long term due to their flexibility“, he said. The competition designs are to be exhibited as far as possible before the summer holidays in Bad Godesberg. Moreover, there are plans to present the results of the competition in the framework of a citizens' event. The prized concept should also become the basis for the development plan process which links up to the competition with its public involvement as closely as possible. The involved experts consider the duration for the development plan process of one year as realistic. After this a building permit could be issued and the work started.
In designing the urban plan for a "learning centre and office building" planquadrat asserted itself again three other offices and wins 1st prize.
The exhibition series Ampelphase (traffic light phase) of the Vitra showroom is doing the 5th round in Frankfurt from 18th August until 7th September. Going by this year's motto of stop motion, installations from six notable architectural offices from the Rhine-Main region will be presented in the display windows.
Thanks to planquadrat the visitors to the exhibition will be able to hold their drinks in unusual vessels: an easy to hold little house make of opaque acrylic lets the colourful drinks enticingly shimmer through.
Both opening events were a complete success, now the exhibition can be quietly contemplated or enjoyed at the upcoming Apéro event on 25th August.
We are delighted about being awarded the first prize in the urban development competition for the Pharma Campus Merck.
On Saturday 25th June 2011 Haus der Wirtschaft South Hesse opened its doors for interested citizens. Many visitors came and listened to Dipl.-Ing. Uwe Ritter explain the architecture of the building and had their questions answered. We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for a great day! We look forward to the Day of Architecture 2012 and hope to be invited to attend again.
Six selected architects' offices are presenting their own installations in the shop windows of Vitra Frankfurt at Baseler Platz. A red traffic light forces the traffic to stop and offers them a brief moment to rest awhile and enjoy peace in the hectic, urban everyday life. 40,000 car drivers are also guided through the traffic in front of the six large shop windows of the Vitra showroom on a daily basis.
This inspired the head of the Frankfurt showroom to arrange the series of exhibitions called traffic light phase that could be seen for the first time in spring 2007 in the shop windows of the showroom. Since then Vitra has let its showrooms be used each year by six renowned architects' offices who are able to do individual presentations there for three weeks. The project traffic light phase is thereby considered to be an intervention in the urban space. While the traffic light phase is on and showing red, road users are amazed to be shown surprising installations in the Vitra showroom and drivers and pedestrians become visitors of the exhibition.
The large shop windows thereby form the connection between the lively, busy city and the inner world inviting us to observe. The series of exhibitions create a stage for the participating architects on which they are able to present pioneering statements and projects. They are given plenty of rope to be able to choose the theme and the style of displaying their presentations. The Vitra showroom thus becomes a platform for experienced architects and newcomers in order to be able to exchange and communicate visionary ideas.
Three exhibition dates invite all those who are interested in architecture in Frankfurt and surroundings. www.ampelphase.com
In the 2nd phase of the competition for Ruhr University planquadrat achieved one of the three 2nd places awarded in cooperation with Sinning Architekten, Haustechnik HL Technik Engineering Partner München and landscape architect Angela Bezzenberger.
On the former railway area of the city the plot connects to the new buildings to be constructed for the winter semester 2014/15 of approx. 26,000 m² at the eastern side. Four faculty buildings were planned here, three special buildings and a multi-storey car park. The basic concept by PQ is appealing due to its enclosed, yet not completed architecture with spacious entrance areas, opening up to terrace-like inner courtyards.
Darmstädter Echo, 04.12.10
After a construction period of 13 months, the new building of the "Haus der Wirtschaft" South Hesse was opened last Friday in Rheinstrasse.
The Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat has designed a purposeful and at the same time prestigious building that ensures clear lines due to its choice of steel and sandstone as the material used.
On the lower ground floor there is an underground car park, on the ground floor the convention and conference rooms over an area of 160 s.qm, above this the offices over 300 s.qm. Carbon dioxide neutrality, sewage canal relief and geothermal sensors are the architectural contributions to the topics of sustainable building.
In spite of three years of intensive preliminary work, not all members of the building committee consented to the urban development concept.
Sometimes the devil is in the detail. The Green Party did not want the Schwanzwiesen by Erlenbach in Köppern turned into a construction area in the land-use plan. In the building committee Reiner Gutermuth found fault with this already being mentioned in the urban development concept "Stadt 25+" although this is a flood plain. No words by the City Council Chairman Norbert Fischer (CDU) helped, it was more about bargaining chips with the regional committees than about concrete building intentions: the Green Party abstained in the committee from voting on the urban development concept, likewise the SPD and FDP. Since CDU and FWG consented, the concept was still considered unanimously passed.
Such majority ratios actually contradict the idea behind the design for the development of a city. Daily politics should be left out of the equation. In actual fact "Stadt 25+" came into being in a process lasting over three years in which the citizens were able to participate. Besides city tours, workshops or a city talk, they were able to express their ideas at the "Kiosk", a mobile information stand. It was assembled 16 times on market days or at events. "There was a great response at the kiosk", explained Claudia Becker from the Darmstadt office planquadrat, that accompanied the people from Friedrichsdorf when developing the urban development concept.
This kind of citizen participation needs to be maintained by the City Council and politicians was the advice given by Ms Becker. Citizen commitment is a top priority for the propositions for the future of the city included in the urban development concept. Sustainable urban development, freedom for all social groups to develop, the development of a city centre as well as the district identities, the expansion as a residential and commercial location as well as strengthening the education location are also listed among the propositions. The concept will ultimately lead to a concrete need to take action through an actual analysis and a mission statement passed one year ago. Listed in this are for example, a noise reduction plan, a children and youth concept, the organisation of the tradespeople, the linking of cycle paths with the neighbouring districts or a parking space management concept. Colourful symbols show whether the project has been realised, is under construction or is still an unmet need.
"Stadt 25+" took its name from an anticipated perspective of the year 2033, a quarter of a century away, where the objectives will be formulated. Ms Becker uses two maps of the city to illustrate the desired development: the barriers formed from main roads, motorways and railway tracks are to be overcome by then with new connections. The residential fringes are also to be clearly recognisable. As far as residential buildings are concerned, there is currently an oversupply of space, which will however correspond to demand in 2013. The residential building areas available would suffice until 2028.
The urban development concept is to specify the framework for decisions to be made by the politicians. Ms Becker encouraged key projects in order to advertise for the significance of the urban development - for example with the frequently desired conversion of the railway station into an attractive gateway to the town. The further development is to be reviewed through monitoring. Citizen participation remains an important element of the work with the urban development concept that is to be continued.
The further development guarantees that this is not about a rigid corset, said the City Council Chairman Mr Fischer. However, all committees must orientate themselves on the mission statement. Whether they correspond to this will be a further note on submissions in future along with financing.
In spite of their concerns in terms of Schwanzwiesen, even the Green Party found the urban development concept as a whole appealing. And the FDP, that had in the meantime withdrawn from the steering committee, indicated through Rolf-Dieter Euler an intention to cooperate. The impression that a concept had been developed here for the archives was no longer the case, said Mr Euler.
Hanau Online, 25.10.10
5,100 people are now working on the Wolfgang Industrial Estate. The new office building of Evonik Industries stands out with its modern office concept and functionality. It has got what it takes to become a symbol of Wolfgang Industrial Estate. The new Evonik building 10 at the entrance to the 82 hectare area to the east of Hanau was officially inaugurated today. The office complex is characterised by a transparent and modern style of architecture and is to be pioneering for the future design of new Evonik buildings. The high glass facade, the bright entrance hall and the many windows convey transparency. The division outside as well as inside is clearly structured, the offices of the employees are close to each other, thus promoting internal communication.
New residential district in Gallusviertel
Together with Michael Landes and Türkali Architects, planquadrat have been awarded the order for the competition "Multi-generational district" Frankenallee in Frankfurt. The days of the car dealership Georg von Opel on Frankenallee are numbered. The corporate group Frank Heimbau wants to build 230 apartments on the site.
The demolition is planned for spring next year, completion is scheduled for autumn 2012.
40 small commuter apartments, 100 senior residences, 56 rental apartments and 43 condominiums will be built here.
Turkali Architekten are hereby planning the condominiums, Michael Landes the building with the rental apartments and planquadrat is designing the buildings on Flörsheimer Strasse with commuter apartments and senior residences.
The development of the Europa district will also have a positive effect on the neighbouring Gallus district: the old residential quarter will enjoy a new start.
Urban development: At Frankfurter Riedberg apartments are being built for 15 000 people and workplaces for 10 000 scientists: Kätcheslachpark.
Almost all buildings are designed as passive-house standard, over half of the planned 6000 apartments are under construction. Currently Riedberg is one of the largest urban development projects in Germany. There are already 3500 people living in the district, that however does not comprise its own district: half belongs to the district of Kalbach, the other half Niederursel.
Some years ago the first clients still needed a pioneering spirit and a great deal of imagination to settle down in the erstwhile agricultural mountain area with a view of Taunus and skyline. Today the district has quite an attractive infrastructure, the primary school was already opened five years ago, the grammar school is temporarily housed in containers.
In December the district is to be linked to the underground network. The work on the two branch lines of the motorway route from the Nordwestzentrum to Südbahnhof is in full swing. The shopping centre on the centrally located Riedbergplatz has started operations, the green areas are largely finished. Along with Kätcheslachpark there is another second large landscape garden in Frankfurt's greenest district, the 7.5 hectare Bonifatiuspark.
planquadrat would like to congratulate the following employees on their 10-year jubilee and is delighted with the active and committed contributions made by Markus Gruber, Tatjana Karaca, Claudia Konradt, Stefan Opel, Beate Schäfer, Klaus Schweickhardt and Jörn Tillmanns.
On a gorgeous summer day and in a ceremonial environment the celebrators were congratulated by the partners Herbert Elfers and Jörg Krämer and raised their glasses to the celebration with the entire office.
Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 20.07.10
Vorgebirgsgärten - a new district for all generations
Zollstock - "Living amidst greenery" is the name of the new building project on the former DuPont site on Fritz-Hecker-Straße in Zollstock. 330 two to five room apartments are being built between Vorgebirgspark and Raderthalgürtel. The entire building area bears the charming name of "Vorgebirgsgärten", since large areas on the site will also be green - from tenants' gardens to water playgrounds for children up to common areas where people can barbecue and celebrate. A day-care centre for children with six groups is also planned. Lord Mayor Jürgen Roters (SPD) together with the four involved Cologne housing associations have laid the foundation stone for the project.
Joint clients are the associations "Gemeinnützige Wohnungsgenossenschaft (GWG)" Cologne-Sülz", "Mieterschutz", Cologne-South and "Wohn- und Heimbau". They are investing around 80 million Euros in the new houses with around 31,000 square metres living space. "In the past it was mainly condominiums that were built that however remained inaccessible to many citizens. Therefore we have reverted to cooperative ideas and are building rental apartments again", explained Martin Frysch, managing board member of GWG Köln-Sülz eG. They also seem to be urgently required if Jürgen Roters is to be believed. "We should be building 4000 residential units every year for all interested parties. Cologne is a growing city. On the one hand the average age is increasing, on the other hand we are an attractive university city. Offers are made here corresponding to the various wishes of the people."The apartments in the"Vorgebirgsgärten" are between 50 and 140 square metres in size and each have their own underground car park space. What is being offered is, among others, apartments over several storeys with roof terraces, maisonette or ground floor apartments with their own gardens. A special feature is garbage disposal: the containers are stored underground and only raised to be emptied in order to avoid unpleasant smells. The buildings are constructed with a high energy efficiency standard (KfW-efficiency house 70) and heated with district heating.
In the "Vorgebirgsgärten" the new tenants should be able to relax, retreat and at the same time communicate with each other. The architects' office Mronz+Schäfer from Cologne as well as planquadrat from Darmstadt have developed a cross-generational residential concept that takes into account the needs of young families as well as those of older people and singles. The neighbours can meet at the various squares and inner courtyards to chat or celebrate, children have space to play and the area has its own sand playground. All green areas have been planned by the Cologne landscape architect Club L94. So that fast cars do not disturb the green idyll the site is to become a traffic-calmed zone. The 165 apartments - framed by Landskronstraße, Neuenahrer Straße, Marienhof and Fritz-Hecker-Straße - will already be available to move into by the tenants in autumn 2011. The complete residential district as well as day-care centre for children is to be completed at the end of 2012. What is still missing is a supermarket. There would be space since the further extension of "Raderthalgürtel" to the "Automeile" but this was not pushed due to reasons of cost.
Cologne Rundschau, 16.07.2010
A project shouldered by many
330 apartments, inner courtyards, green areas and a day-care centre for children - in Zollstock the residential area "Vorgebirgsgärten" is being built between Vorgebirgspark and Raderthalgürtel on the former Spies-Hecker or Dupont site. "We are developing a colourful mixture of apartments that is to address different groups of tenants", said Martin Frysch, Chairman of the Board of the non-profit making housing association Cologne-Sülz, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone. It is a joint venture between the housing cooperatives GWG Cologne-Sülz, WBG Mieterschutz, the housing cooperative Cologne-Süd and Wohn- und Heimbau. "For decades these four traditional cooperatives have stood for successful housing construction in Cologne. It is therefore obvious that the project was shouldered by many", according to Mr Frysch.
"Living in a green area" is modern and innovative because young and old, families and singles would be addressed. Moreover, the tenants acquire shares instead of paying a deposit and thus become co-owners. They have a voice in meetings and their contracts cannot be easily terminated. Added to this is the green residential area in Vorgebirgspark. Two to five room apartments are planned with a total of around 31,000 square metres residential space, the investment volume amounts to 80 million Euros. Each of the 50 to 140 square metre apartments is allocated a parking space in the underground car park, some apartments also have a roof terrace or a garden. The concept was developed together with the architects Mronz and Schaefer from Cologne as well as Planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer from Darmstadt. In addition a high level of energy efficiency standard is also to be guaranteed. "The ancillary costs are not to turn into a second rent. That is why climate-friendly district heat is used for heating", explained Mr Frysch. A novelty will also be waste disposal. In this respect all waste is to be collected underground in order to prevent smell and space problems. The Lord Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters also found the plans very attractive: "Cologne is a growing city as well as being a young one thanks to the university. That is why we need attractive residential construction", he explained on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone. The first 165 apartments should be ready to move into in autumn 2011. The completion of the entire residential quarter including an urban day-care centre for children is planned for the end of 2012.
A new residential district is being being on the former DuPont site in the direct vicinity of Vorgebirgspark. Thirteen houses with 165 residential units form the construction 1st field. The essentially block-like construction develops spacious inner courtyards - protected inner areas and family-friendly living oases with seating areas, water features and sand areas. A special quality of the open spaces is the clear zoning of public and semi-public to private. All apartments are allocated spacious outdoor areas, be they gardens or terraces, loggias, balconies or roof terraces. There are a variety of apartment types that stand for cross-generational housing offers. On Thursday, 15th July from 2 pm there will be a ceremonious laying of the foundation stone for all three construction stages. Besides client representatives, those involved in the planning and the Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne, partner of PQ Herbert Elfers will also be present.
Further information at www.vorgebirgsgaerten.de
Frankfurter Neue Presse, 23.06.2010
More space for communication
New office building: Karben production company Satis+Fy can grow through higher efficiency
On the Day of Architecture, interesting new buildings will again be opened at the weekend in the whole of Hesse that are otherwise not open to the public. Included here is the new office building of the Karben event service provider Satis+Fy. The firm can now make its internal processes considerably more efficient with the 1.3 million Euro building.
The fact that Nico Ubenauf is being discussion can be seen by everyone who hoped to be able to address him. The jour fixe of the management of Satis+Fy is underway. The boss Mr Ubenauf and his board colleagues are away from the hustle and bustle in the new office building and yet still have an overview thanks to the large windows. The room-high windows inwardly make it possible for everyone to see that the three are still conferring.
A connection to the old building
This openness and transparency characterises the new office building: where the old hall of the automotive paint finishing system used to stand, the event service provider has expanded since October 2008. 1227 square metres of new space were created, office space for 40 employees. "This was imperative", explained project manager Werner Dockweiler from Satis+Fy. The company has recently expanded greatly, in the old building next door the employees were more or less "sitting on top of each other". Containers were even brought in. However, the worst thing was: because the employees were so spread out, internal processes were very difficult. Quick agreements between the various "supports" - meaning light, sound and deco - were necessary. The new building has now made this possible.
Pia Schneider and Paul Hembus from the Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat designed the three-storey building. It appears discreet and airy: glass and plaster fronts outside alternate and prevent harsh, continuous lines. The slightly protruding plastered areas give the facade depth. The blinds– instead of an air-conditioning system – disappear in the facade. The new building is joined to the adjacent "Gründerzeit" old building via a new glass staircase via a joint. The original emergency staircase in front of the old building is soon to be deconstructed. "Then the facade will be visible in all its glory", the project manager Uwe Ritter from Planquadrat was pleased to say. The new building close to the Nidda river was elaborate: "A branch of the Nidda used to run exactly between both buildings and fed the mill", explained Mr Dockweiler. The new building now stands on 17 foundation piles. They go up to 25 metre deep in the muddy earth. However, nature doesn't miss out: the roof is landscaped.
Spaciousness and transparency dominate the impression internally: everywhere glass fronts and room-high windows enable views into the offices and outside. "The employees are very communicative here", explained Werner Dockweiler. They get together in the "communication zones" for meetings in the middle of the building. The offices surround this space. "Having so much space for communicative zones is unusual", admitted the architect Uwe Ritter. However, the trend in office buildings is generally going in this direction.
Three millions invested
"The building is much more prestigious" Werner Dockweiler was pleased to say. The steel staircase with oakwood steps, exposed concrete walls and lamella parquet– the architects play with contrasts between archaic and noble. Acoustic ceilings mute the noise level to work level.
After the large extension of a warehouse two years ago, the new office building for Satis+Fy forms a provisional ending: "We have now newly restructured the entire site at Dögelmühle", explained the architect Uwe Ritter. On the whole the company spent three million Euros on this. It has been worth it: with the new offices and halls the work processes have become considerably more efficient, said company spokesperson Katrin Fougeray. The growth of the company in the past two year has resulted almost solely from this. Whilst walking down the stairs, the architect Uwe Ritter strokes the steel handrail. He glances out to the green areas. "If you want to make a building seem plain and discreet", he explained, "then there is normally a lot of details behind this."
Guided tour Sunday, 3 p, Industriegebiet Dögelmühle Groß-Karben.
Other guided tour dates in Hesse at www.akh-tda.de
In the framework of the current series of lectures at the University of Darmstadt Jörg Krämer as managing partner of PQ will give a lecture on 20th May 2010. He will explain the development of the office since it was founded, its growth and the possibilities generated through relevant structures for new paths and acquisition steps.
Venue: h_da Faculty of Architecture
Schöfferstraße 1, Darmstadt, Room 28
Start 6.30 pm
The Fachschaftscafé is open from 6 pm.
Further information atr: www.arsgroup.de
On Girls' Day technical companies, universities and research centres throughout Germany open up their doors to female pupils from the 5th class onwards. The girls become acquainted with technial training professions and degree courses in which women have been less represented up to now. The Girls' Day is the largest profession orientation project for female pupils.
Five girls of different ages showed interest in our offer and made use of the opportunity to dip their toes in the water for one day on 22nd April. After a short welcoming speech by the partner Jörg Krämer, they were guided through the office by supporting PQ staff. Individual areas of work and the complexity of the architectural profession were presented to them - from the design to construction documentation to model making and PR work. Subsequently the girls were allowed to test the spatial imagination and creative talent with a small ground plan and model making exercise.
The Day of Architecture is taking place again on the last weekend in June to which interested visitors are invited to view numerous buildings.
The event organised by the Chamber of Architects from the Länder will in addition be offering a comprehensive framework program.
We are delighted that our office building Dögelmühle in Karben was chosen for this year's Day of Architecture.
The viewing time with explanations by our project manager Uwe Ritter will be on Sunday, 27th June at 3 pm. You can find details in the Day of Architecture booklet that will be issued shortly. Further information at www.akh.de
We look forward to your visit!
Presumably in the late summer 2010 the Association of Metal and Electrical Companies Hesse will be able to put the "Haus der Wirtschaft" into operation. This was announced by the chairman of the association Dieter Weidemann during the topping out ceremony that was recently celebrated on the "Rheinstraße".
The building will be constructed there in the direct vicinity of the green area on Hindenburgstraße. This location is one of the reasons why the two-storey structure was designed by the architects' office planquadrat as a steel and glass construction, opening up the view overlooking the small park.
The association decided on a new building on the site that was sold by the State of Hesse in 2007 because the old location on Adelungstraße "is bursting at the seams and no expansion was possible", said Weidemann. The future user of the Haus der Wirtschaft will be the district group of Darmstadt and South Hesse of Hessenmetall, the administrative office of Darmstadt and South Hesse of the union of Hessian company associations and the company association of South Hesse.
The district group currently supports 115 member companies in which around 30,000 employees work. The services the association offers include consultation and representation regarding labour and social questions or further education. Besides offices the building therefore also provides event and seminar rooms. The company association put a restricted architectural competition out to tender for the design of the building. The technical features include energy supply to a geothermal plant.
As the managing director of the association Wolfgang Drechsler stated on the fringe of the event, a survey by Hessenmetall on the education situation brought a positive result. Accordingly, 30 percent of the surveyed companies stated that the offer for free training places had remained the same in spite of the financial crisis. 21 percent had even increased the number of training places, 26 percent had reduced the job offers. In view of the economic turbulences this is a good signal. According to Mr Drechsler, the survey also resulted in apprenticeships not being filled because applicants had not been qualified sufficiently. Due to errors in spelling, style and grammar, a third of the application documents were sorted out in advance. This shows how important it is to determine skills in all school forms.
Darmstädter Echo, 20.11.2009
"Why are we building this type of administrative office?", asked Dieter Weidemann, chairman of the board of the Association of Metal and Electrical Companies Hesse - and was able to answer the question. Because the district group South Hesse is "the most significant region" in the association with 115 member companies and around 31,000 employees.
Moreover: there was simply no more space in the old premises in Adelungstraße for the district association. "It is bursting at the seams", according to Mr Weidemann.
So now a new building in Rheinstraße 60. Yes, even a building location on which historically no building has ever stood in Darmstadt. At the north-eastern end of the former military camp, in view of the former Rheintor (whose rudiments are established today in front of the art hall along the Rheinstraße), Hessen-Metall will construct a long, two-storey steel skeleton construction for around 5.5, million Euros, light, airy, sunny, as Herbert Elfers from the architects' office planquadrat emphasised. The Hessen-Metall headquarters is at a right angle to Rheinstraße and with this "upside down" like the comb-like group structures at the south side of the lower Rheinstraße, according to Mr Elfers, "Our goal was a functioning office building, that creates an identification with the industry and its members through transparency in the structure and an attractive link between steel and glass.
"Probably in September 2010 16 employees will move into the new residence at the north end of Albert-Schweitzer-Anlage. Besides the district group of Hessen-Metall, the union of Hessian company associations Südhessen e.V as well as the company association Südhessen e.V will reside in "Haus der Wirtschaft Südhessen".
Realisation competition in consortium with sinning architekten, Darmstadt.
The moved cubage of the new building allows a modest and yet significant administration building with human scales and efficient floor plan organisation to be built. It reacts with reservation to the already existing public access building. The address generation of the new building however succeeds in a simple and independent way in which the existing visual axis and movement flows are reacted to, a two-storey connecting passage combined with the public access building. The access to the new building is expressively modelled through the ground floor and foyer zone recessing. The main entrance and foyer area are linked with the meeting rooms and the company restaurant in the lower ground floor via a spacious staircase. The library in the direct vicinity has access to the peaceful inner courtyard. The management is located on the 1st floor in a central location of the building. Four basic modules respectively form one unit per floor. They are clearly organised and offer places to meet informally. Each office is located on the outer facade and has direct daylight, fresh air and outside space. The horizontal access to the floors proves to be efficient due to the circumferential principle and ideally links the areas with each other.
Beams that surgically "delete" tumours and robots for millimetre work. The new Heidelberger Ion Beam Centre is unique worldwide.
Von Joachim Müller-Jung
(Remark planquadrat: planquadrat prepared the construction documentation/work stage 5 for the new building of the heavy ion centre)
It is one of the most powerful and complicated machines imaginable in man's fight against cancer: three storeys high, half a football field in size, thousands of tons of steel and computer logistics is a nut the Munich medical technical specialists have been trying to crack for years. This is the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Centre, in brief HIT. A worldwide unique irradiation facility, located strategically ideally between the most important medical units of the Heidelberg University Clinic. Here cancer patients now receive what is described by the medical director of the centre, Jürgen Debus, as "personalised therapy of radiation oncology". Here the patient no longer receives radiation but only the malignant tumour - accurately to within less than one millimetre. In the Heidelberg facility a whole arsenal of energy-rich particles is brought to almost eighty percent of the speed of light for the treatment with a synchrotron catalyst and then fired at the target: hydrogen nuclei, i.e. protons, and heavy ions either consisting of carbon, oxygen or helium. The accelerated particles penetrate up to thirty centimetre deep into the tissue with the powerful energy. This suffices for head as well as for body tumours once and for all. In addition the Heidelberg facility along with two horizontal radiation places has a "gantry" - a cylindrical treatment room, rotatable in any direction, in which the radiation canons can be directed at the tumour from any desired direction. The patient on the stretcher is carried by the robot, monitored by cameras and adjusted through a laser-supported raster scan system with millimetre precision. The software shows the tumour-destroying beams the way. The basis is a three-dimensional computer model of the tumour that was generated before the treatment with high-resolution imaging processes. The radiation lasts around three minutes, the patient only needs to stay less than twenty minutes in HIT on the treatment day. All this is technical and therapeutic progress that costs a lot of money - 119 millions Euros - and does not come about overnight. Proton beams were already experimented with at the beginning of the last century, the biological penetrative power of the heavy ions was discovered a few decades later.
In the middle of the nineties the first particle radiation facility was built in Darmstadt, at today's GSI-Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, which became the predecessor of HIT. In ten years, until the end of 2008, 440 cancer patients were treated there in clinical studies. In particular they were patients with head and skull tumours but also with prostrate tumours. Result: less than half of the radiation Dosis of a standard treatment was necessary with much shorter radiation time at the same time and far greater precision. This means fewer side effects and fewer secondary tumours. Particularly promising in view of the physical dosis distribution proved to be carbon ions that leave behind the least scatter radiation in the healthy tissue on their way to the tumour and use its concentrated energy to destroy the cancer cells accurately at the end of the calculated beam path. According to information provided by Thomas Haberer, the scientific director at HIT, who helped establish the Darmstadt facility, the Heidelberg facility is far more precise and more diverse than comparable devices in Japan or North America, where the expansion of particle therapy had already been intensively pushed in the nineties. In the meantime seventy thousands patients worldwide have been treated with the new technology, in particular with proton beams.
A few dozen machine parks with integrated acceleration and radiation technology already exists. Yet this is just the beginning. New facilities are being planned and built everywhere, in Germany alone five new facilities in the clinics are to be made available by 2013: three combined proton and ion radiation facilities as well as two pure proton devices. In Heidelberg it is now about systematically and comparatively investigating the various radiation procedures in clinical studies. The health insurance companies have contractually committed to assuming costs for the initially 1,300 patients, who are to be treated each year - not a matter of course with an average estimated twenty thousand Euros treatment costs per patient. This is three times as much as the conventional radiation treatment, that is to be used on around a quarter of a million patients in Germany. But comparable with the costs of modern cancer medicaments. "If we were to perform a macroeconomic calculation", said Mr Debus, "the heavy ion radiation could turn out have fewer side effects, fewer workdays lost, shorter treatment times and better healing rates than the more favourable alternative." Data on all of this is now to be collected in Heidelberg.
At this year's property fair, Expo Real in Munich, the city of Darmstadt initiated a panel discussion on the topic of "Darmstadt as a centre of competence for sustainable construction" and was open to questions to do with DGNB certification (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen). The discussion and the questions by the fair visitors took place at the stand of the Metropolarena Frankfurt Rhein Main:
- Prof. Carl-Alexander Graubner (Professor for solid construction at the TU Darmstadt, Partner in the Ingenieurgesellschaft KHP)
- Prof. Rolf Katzenbach (Director of the TU Darmstadt Energy Center, Partner in the Ingenieursozietät Prof. Katzenbach)
- Prof. Andreas Pfnür (TU Darmstadt, Immobilienwirtschaft und Baubetriebswirtschaftslehre)- Hellmut Metzing (Project developer, MIB Wohnbau)
- Jörg Krämer (architect, managing partner planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer)
The moderator of the event was Darmstadt's Lord Mayor Walter Hoffmann.
On the site of the industrial estate Wolfgang a 7-storey administration building is being constructed for the company Evonik.
Design, planning and site management will be provided by planquadrat.
The building shell has already reached the 2nd floor, on 3rd August however, the laying of the foundation stone was now made up for in a ceremonious act. Beside clients, the planners and executing firms as well as the future users were also present.
During this year's company outing on a glorious summer's day, the planquadrat team set off on a canoeing tour on the Lahn river. With 15 boats and around 50 paddlers, the 17-kilometre tour started in Runkel, went past the cathedral city of Limburg up to Diez and made for great fun, water battles and tired bones!
In the framework of the competition "Building the city. Living the city. National prize for integrated urban development and building culture" the federal minister Wolfgang Tiefensee distinguished the state capital of Saarbrücken for the project City Centre by the River - a competition procedure with citizen participation and workshops in which planquadrat along with five other offices participated.
With the award of the prize the Federal Ministry for Transport, Construction and Urban Development honoured exemplary projects on sustainable development in cities and regions that inspire planners to make new considerations and take further actions. In total 430 projects from the whole of Germany took part in the competition. In five categories a total of 55 prizes was awarded. The state capital was distinguished in the category "Acting in an integrated and regional way - development of city, region and landscape". With this category the competition aims at major projects of integrated urban development as well as plans and projects on the regional level. What was looked for, among other things, were overarching projects with effects on larger city contexts and the region such as, for example, the dismantling of oversized transport infrastructures and the reclamation of urban areas. The 10-person jury reached the following conviction with the Saarbrücken project: "The project City Centre by the River opened up the opportunity to correct the building sins of the post-war period. Over a 1.5 km stretch the busy motorway is laid underground and with this its separating effect cancelled. In this way the geographical focus of both historical core cities of Alt-Saarbrücken and St. Johann can resume their functions as city centre for the entire city. Through this inner city living is reactivated, the Saar valley claimed back for leisure time and recreation as well as the quality of life improved. The many years of intensive discussion and planning process regarding dealing with the city motorway, pioneering for the sustainability of the planning and acceptance of the project, is exemplary."
Concept: Nieder-Ramstadt deaconry presents first plans for the future use of the site in the heart of the community - only 80 places of residence are to remain - movement in a multi-generational house
Developing a diversity of life in the middle of Nieder-Ramstadt, this is the declared goal of the Nieder-Ramstadt deaconry. Yesterday a rough concept was presented for the future of the deaconry site in the heart of Nieder-Ramstadt.
The facility for disabled people is in a transition phase, is decentralising. Many satellites are to replace an earlier one in the future: in new, smaller units in the region, the opening of a house in Seeheim, for example, disabled people will be able to live closer to their families in the midst of society.
Vice versa the site is also to open up. "We want to tear down imaginary wall", the spokesperson Detlef Schulz-Kuhnt emphasised. A new road enabled by pulling down three buildings is to cross the site. "The road will be the backbone of the site", said Herbert Elfers from the planning office.
By 2015 400 workplaces at the Nieder-Ramstadt site will be cut back on abgebaut. Only 80 residential places are to remain. Space for new ventures will be created on the 12-hectare site. And this is to be used in a diverse number of ways, the vice-chairman of the deaconry board, Walter Diehl, emphasised yesterday. "We want a lively site, not a big investor".
"We are aiming for a mixed-use. Ideas are called for for individual residential and work types such as building ventures, a care home for senior citizens and people with dementia, a day-care centre for children and a multi-generational house in which people of all ages can meet.
The Darmstadt "Mission Leben" would operate an old people's home on the site and offer out-patient services, said Mr Diehl. 50 to 60 places would be offered by the care home, corresponding to the needs of the Mühltal municipality according to the deaconry and "Mission Leben". Through moving the administration into the Bodelschwingh house, an administration and service building would be available.
The plans would be based on the interests of the municipality, since they have planning sovereignty, underlined Mr Diehl. At present the deaconry is gradually informing the factions of the municipality representation about the rough concept. The ideas are being met with interest there. "A good concept", said Mathias Göbel from the SPD. However, senior living in Mühltal has not just been discussed since the deaconry has been contemplating it. The topic is closely linked with the Haus Waldeck. Last autumn the municipality decided to buy the Waldeck area from the City of Darmstadt - really in ordert to realised a senior residential concept there. A work group had long before worked out a relevant paper.
Now there are two locations for the same idea. No contradiction, emphasised mayor Astrid Mannes in the ECHO discussion. The municipality board is currently conducting talks to implement the concept with the deaconry, "taking into account the Waldeck area", Ms Mannes emphasised. The deaconry is located in the middle of the town, has a handicapped accessible swimming pool, these are advantages. If the concept is to be further developed on the deaconry site, barrier-free living for senior citizens or favourably-priced building areas could be offered on the Waldeck site in addition.Social democrat Göbel even saw the demand as an opportunity to liven up both locations with the concept. He spoke of a "hoover effect". This type of offer currently does not exist in the surrounding area, it could attract senior citizens from far and wide. "It would be ideal if the deaconry could wait two years, we would realise the Waldeck concept and once again on the deaconry site."
Topping out ceremony: the second part of the Europa-Arcades is to be completed by the beginning of July - demand exists in spite of the economic crisis - two tenants already recruited.
The Europa district to the west of the main train station is considered to be a flagship project for Darmstadt's business developers. An "international district" is how Lord Mayor Walter Hoffmann describes the development. Another element that is to confirm this reputation has risen up from the ground in recent months in Robert-Bosch-Straße: the second part of the Europa-Arcades. The topping out ceremony for the office complex took place yesterday.
Six storeys, 8,000 square metres of office space, 117 parking spaces in its own underground car park. These are the key figures for the 22 metre high building on the corner of Bratustraße. The project development company Strabag Real Estate GmbH started construction at the beginning of August last year. In the meantime 12,000 cubic metres of earth has been excavated and 700 tons of steel built, said Volker Ehnis from the general contractor Züblin AG. "We are on target", explained Strabag division manager Andreas Hülsken. The building will be completed at the beginning of July.
Two tenants have already been recruited. Getronics Deutschland GmbH satisfies the international aspiration of the Europa district. The IT and communication service provider is a subsidiary of the Dutch telecommunication concern KPN. The company has rented 1,800 square metres in the second building phase of the Europa-Arcades. 70 employees are moving from Raunheim to Darmstadt. More are to come was the talk at the topping out ceremony.
The proximity to the station and the good traffic connections were decisive factors in choosing the location according to Getronics service manager Rüdiger Schmieder: "We are a concern operating internationally, meaning we need good traffic connections." The proximity to the motorway and station were also the reasons why the second company decided in favour of the Europa-Arcades. The Darmstadt software producer Activeweb is moving from Rößlerstraße to Robert-Bosch-Straße and has rented 320 square metres here. The company employees ten people, according to its co-shareholder Eric Engels.
In spite of the economic crisis, the Lord Mayor Mr Hoffmann views the Europa district as a location that will assert itself. According to information provided by Mr Hülsken, there is no problem with marketing the remaining office space. The negotiations are ongoing. By summer 80 percent will be rented out, he announced. He stated the reason for the interest as being the demand for smaller space. The space is the building can be arranged in a flexible manner. Talk is of "cool offices". According to Herbert Elfers from the architects' office Planquadrat, so-called concrete core temperature control has been installed.
The second construction phase of the Europa-Arcades closes a further empty site in the Europa district. The extension of the European space agency ESOC is also planned. Derelict sites still exist in Robert-Bosch-Straße and to the west of Europaplatz at the station.
Award-winning Darmstadt architects's office is actively involved in Frankfurt's Rebstockpark
Rebstockpark is not only Frankfurt's green district, the list of architects represented there also includes prominent names. The renowned Darmstadt architects' office will now continue its commitment at Rebstockpark with two new projects.
Family-friendly and flexible new buildings on Montgolfierallee were designed by planquadrat as a residential complex with 73 rental apartments, 92 other residential units on the corner of Leonardo-da-Vinci-Allee/Käthchen-Paulus-Straße. Characteristic for the aspirations of planquadrat, the new buildings combine creative conciseness and comfortably designed living space. "Residential construction is one of our core themes. That is why designing residential and living space is very close to our hearts", explained Jörg Krämer, who manages the architects' office together with his two partners Herbert Elfers and Martin Geskes.
The new complexes, commissioned by the client MiB Wohnbau GmbH with headquarters in Aschaffenburg, will predominantly be family-friendly 3 to 4 room apartments with spacious floor plans; however there will also be smaller apartments with only 2 rooms. "With this mix of apartment types, the properties are interesting for many different target groups", said project manager Markus Helfrich. "This is how an exciting and lively mixture of types of residents can come about." In addition the apartments meet the highest demands in terms of quality and furnishings and fittings. As a standard they have two bathrooms, parquet floors and cavity dividing residential partition walls. Moreover, the buildings are characterised by a sustainable building style according to the KfW 60-Standard, corresponding to the demands of Rebstockpark as an environmentally-friendly and green district.
The first project in Rebstockpark already proved to be a complete success.
planquadrat already set the tone with its first project in Rebstockpark. With its conspicuous green balconies, the residential complex "Belle Vie" in Montgolfier-Allee/August-Euler-Straße is one of the most distinctive properties in Rebstockpark. The complex, completed at the beginning of 2008, provides a total of 39 condominiums in one solitary and one half-timbered house and was likewise commissioned by MiB Wohnbau GmbH. The new buildings are now to continue the great success of "Belle Vie". Building for the green district - a special task.
The list of demanding projects planquadrat has built at home and abroad is long. It includes for example Fronhofer Galeria in Bad Godesberg, the renovation of Düsseldorf's Hilton-Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai and the software campus in Pune, India.
"The work for Rebstockpark is particularly attractive for us", said Markus Helfrich. "The stipulations defined by Eisenman for the overall design of the district require creative and aesthetic solutions for planning the space and due to this have a decisive influence on the design of the building", stated Mr Krämer.
The green balconies of "Belle Vie" are also linked to the overall design concept of Rebstockpark, that among other things provides for the continuous greening of facades. "With the balconies we have given the complex a green emphasis without having to first wait for special plants", explained Mr Krämer. "Furthermore, the green glass adapts to the various light conditions, thus lending "Belle Vie" a changing but always unified look."Rebstockpark - a unique district"
Mr Krämer and Mr Herflog share their opinion about Rebstockpark as a residential complex. The new district greatly benefits from the landscape park as well as from the numerous green areas and open spaces, also resulting between the individual residential complexes thanks to the height of the buildings - according to the principle "Height instead of width". Rebstockbad provides a special leisure opportunity for this as well as the good traffic connections. "In this respect Rebstockpark is a unique district in Frankfurt", is how Jörg Krämer summarised it. "We are delighted to be represented here with our own projects".
Green finds the city: Rebstockpark is the green district of Frankfurt. Here there is 75,000 m² of park landscape. Right next to this are Rebstock ponds and the largest water park in the city, Rebstockbad. Rebstockpark is as green as it is close: the city is a mere quarter of an hour away. Rebstockpark provides unlimited possibilities for people to organise their professional and private lives flexibly and easily. The claim "green finds the city" underlines this.
Rebstock Projektgesellschaft mbH is a public private partnership of the City of Frankfurt am Main with private investors with the task of developing and marketing the Rebstock site. The expert team under the leadership of both managing directors Michael Knisatschek and Michael Matzerath, supports and advises interested parties and investors reliably and in each phase of their investments. The investors include notable companies like Accor Gruppe, Baugenossenschaft RIED, Frankfurt's Haus- und Liegenschafts GmbH, FRANK Heimbau Main/Taunus GmbH, MiB Wohnbau, WM Bauträger GmbH, Wüstenrot Haus- und Städtebau GmbH, Unfallkasse Hessen and Zürich Group. More information at www.rebstockpark-ffm.de
Interdisciplinary urban idea and realisation competition in consortium with bierbaum.aichele.landschaftsarchitekten and Senger Consult.
The existing urban space is being rearranged and utilised: like a dance ensemble the illuminated pylons and fittings move, almost hover - over a new, old square - the city stage that welcomes visitors to the city of Frankfurt. Tram stops, rail station entrances as well as the exits down to the existing B-level are being newly designed and optimised.
The Campanile plot accommodates the long-distance coach station. This is being built over with an office building, light openings in the inner courtyards of the building let in daylight in the high room, the curved staircases with service units and bus ticket sales convey a friendly atmosphere. Below the bus station is a car park that provides all the necessary spaces for rail customers as well as the newly planned high-rise building.
Darmstädter Echo, 15.01.2009
Urban planning - future opportunities for the Cambrai-Fritsch Barracks: planners are pondering
Until 2008 they were used by the Americans, the Cambria-Fritsch Barracks, located between Bessungen and Eberstadt and Jefferson estate, bordering directly to the south. The Darmstadt urban planners and architect Herbert Elfers see the new structuring of this area in the middle of the city as a great opportunity. "Here not only Bessungen and Eberstadt will be extended but Darmstadt too."
Mr Elfers is a partner in the urban planning office planquadrat. The office has experience in converting areas formerly used for military purposes - so-called conversion areas - into residential areas. This is how the design came about to convert a tank production plant in the Mainz district of Gonsenheim into the quarter "Gonsbach-Terrassen" by planquadrat. Other projects carried out by the office are, for example, conversion areas in Aschaffenburg or Zweibrücken.
"It is not the only location that has fallen to Darmstadt", Mr Elfers recalls other vacant areas like the Lincoln estate, St. Barbara estate or the Kelley Barracks. This amounts to around 122 hectares that would have to be taken into account in an overall concept, said planquadrat architect Claudia Becker, "The Cambrai-Fritsch Barracks can only be seen in the context of other areas.
"Both urban planners see the quarter between Bessungen and Eberstadt as a good to very good location - with a view to a concept that takes into account all conversion areas. "If we integrate the existing residential areas, the quarter is in the very best location." However, it is neither to become an Eberstadt nor a Bessungen appendage. The quarter needs "its own image", according to Mr Elfers.
The bordering districts - Bessungen to the south and Eberstadt to the north - are shown to be good residential locations in Darmstadt's rent index. The barracks are surrounded by nature and forest, explained Mr Elfers. "It's hard to imagine better residential locations in the middle of a city." In addition it is also possible to view a small lake from the north west of the barracks. Added to this are around 30 metres height difference on the site of the barracks and "attractive terraces", is how Ms Becker describes the area.
"Marketing and planning must go hand in hand", is the opinion of the planners and they emphasise: "If urban interests are considered, they generally get a much better quality". A city acts with a view to the coming decades, a private investor has no long-term interests under certain circumstances. In Mainz the Stadtwerke purchased the former tank production plant and then gradually sold the plots.
Useful: manual to design the quarter
The size of the quarter also allows for sub-quarters for various buildings, said Mr Elfers. In this way it would be possible to discuss the clients's desires for flat or saddle roofs, for example. In Mainz an eighty page design manual has been issued, explained Claudia Becker. Wishes by individual clients for Black Forest houses were able to be warded off in this way by the Mainz authorities. "In addition, all those interested in building were able to get advice on site", said Ms Becker. This wasn't about tutelage but coordination, information and coordination.
Ultimately the urban steering group checked the clients' plans for compatibility with the specifications. The Stadtwerke only sold to those who were willing to ensure their buildings fit into the quarter; the designs became an integral part of the purchase agreement.
An urban planning competition to convert the Cambrai-Fritsch Barracks was the best, said Mr Elfers and Ms Becker. Competition created the opportunity for the best results.
Feasibility study "Gonsbach terraces / west of Karlsbader Straße" in cooperation with bierbaum.aichele.landschaftsarchitekten and Heinrich Lessing Architekt.
A new independent city block is being built between Gonsbach terraces and "Großen Sandflora". The high-quality settlement structure is characterised by a ring of red-leafed trees. Tower blocks, terraced houses and semi-detached houses mediate between the various benchmarks of the existing districts.
Züblin Development likes the Darmstadt office market and has just laid the foundation stone for the second building phase of Europa Arcades near to Darmstadt's main railway station. After the first section has been fully rented out, negotiations are just underway for two large rentals in the new part of the building.
The site of the office complex Europa Arcades on the corner of Bratustraße/Robert-Bosch-Straße was almost given a very different purpose. Architekt Herbert Elfers from the Darmstadt office planquadrat brought the attention to this when the foundation stone was laid: "Ten years ago we were commissioned with planning a large cinema on this site." At the time the nationwide wave of cinema building was reaching its peak. Two other cinemas were built in Darmstadt; the plans, however, were discarded for this location. The site stood empty for some years and was temporarily used for beach parties. In 2003 planquadrat was once again able to secure an order for the site when Strabag decided to build an office complex there.
First section fully rented out
Since 2005 the first part of Europa Arcades with a size of 7,350 m² has been completed and is largely rented out to the engineering society Arcadis. Another tenant is a medical fertility centre. In the meantime the building is fully rented out. In the neighbouring Europahaus, built by Strabag in 2002, Züblin Development, in the meantime merged with Strabag Projektentwicklung, itself has its own subsidiary.
In the meantime the excavation pit for the second building phase of the Europa Arcades has been excavated. By the middle of the coming year a further 8,000 m² office space will be created in a six-storey building with underground car park, that forms an arcade passageway with the first building phase, that gives the Europa Arcades its name. "Negotiations with two potential tenants are already ongoing", Andreas Hülsken revealed, who has been the head of division of Züblin Development since July. This refers to areas between 1,000 m² and 5,000 m². Besides a classic office user, a medical company has also shown interest in the office space.
"The Darmstadt office market is still very stable. Even if no quantum leaps are to be expected, nevertheless there is still a great demand", is how Mr Hülsken assesses the current situation. There are hardly any vacancies for modern space in Darmstadt. The office rents in the west of Darmstadt are currently between 9.50 Euros/m² and 12 Euros/m².
In marketing Züblin Development relies on low ancillary costs and advertises with "cool" offices: cooling the workplaces is not achieved through air-conditioning systems but through a water-based concrete core temperature control of the walls. Added to this is solar protection with light control and the use of industrial water from a rain water storage system. Everything is possible with the office design from cell offices to combination offices. A big plus point of the site is its location directly at Darmstadt's main railway station. However, there is room for some improvements on the part of the office in terms of infrastructure. In this respect the local businesses are still waiting for a pedestrian bridge to be built to combine Darmstadt's Europaviertel with the Telekom site on the other side of the busy Rheinstraße. Many employees namely go to Telekom-City, in which around 6,000 people work, in order to dine in the canteens there.
Darmstadt's Lord Mayor Walter Hoffmann has been celebrating the developments in the west of Darmstadt since the 1990s as a successful "Westside Story". For example along with one of the largest Telekom subsidiaries there is also a subsidiary of the European Space Agency ESA accommodated there; moreover, a further 400 companies in the technology and innovation centre. The Lord Mayor hopes for an increase in attractiveness with the planned connection of the main Darmstadt railway station to the high speed ICE stretch Frankfurt-Stuttgart.
Züblin divisional manager Mr Hülsken announced that the activities of the company would be further extended in the future. "Besides Frankfurt our focus is on Darmstadt and Wiesbaden." In view of the difficult market due to the increase in raw material prices he is glad of being able to access the resources from his building colleagues at Züblin AG.
Darmstädter Echo, 08.08.2008
Laying the foundation stone: start of construction for the second part of the Europa Arcades
- Energetic and cutting edge
At the beginning of the 1990s a concept was developed to build the Europa district on areas to the west of the main railway station. Lord Mayor Walter Hoffmann therefore assessed the laying of the foundation stone for the second building phase of the Europa Arcades on Thursday as a further sign of this project, that was developed 18 years ago, being successful. The many companies already settled there - from the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIZ) up to the European Space Agency ESA - are proof of future, innovation and dynamics coming together here.
"This was also endorsed by Andreas Hülsken, division manager of Züblin Development GmbH. The laying of the foundation stone that has just taken place has already sealed the third construction project of the company in the Europa district. This was preceded by the building of the Europa house and the first section of the Europa Arcades. Both buildings are completely rented out.
By late summer 2009, 8000 square metres of office space is now to be completed over six storeys, thus making space for around 320 workplaces. The offices can be accessed via two staircases. In addition 105 underground car park spaces as well as 12 outdoor parking spaces are integrated.
Andreas Hülsken was confident of finding enough potential rental tenants: "We can build on the positive experiences from earlier projects", he said. "We know what a building must look like in order to be rented out. And I am already looking forward to the future success." He described the Europa Arcades as the "building in Darmstadt most in line with the market". He said one advantage in particular was the flexible division of space, an energetic optimised building services as well as good traffic connections. The link to the main railway station, the motorway and the airport are first class.
The building is state of the art in terms of energy technology with a concrete core temperature to cool and heat. In addition outdoor sunshades ensure that the heating up of rooms are already prevented in the initial stages. "Cool offices are created here showing a high level of cost efficiency", Mr Hülsken emphasised. In addition, rain water is collected and used as industrial water.
The Darmstadt architectural office planquadrat did the planning for the Europa Arcades. Architect Herbert Elfers pointed out the excellent location of the Europa Arcades which will have access to the Telekom site after the completion of the planned bridge link, "The path to the railway station will then lead directly past the Europa Arcades." This significance was complied with through the construction of excellent building parts and the arcade passageway formed in this way.
The plexiglass sleeve lowered in the foundation stone traditionally contains the deed of the laying of the foundation stone, building plans, coins, brochures as well as the daily edition of the Darmstädter ECHO.
Text: Karin Walz
Photos: Züblin Development
planquadrat is taking part in the exhibition Darmstadt Architecture Export, presented by Darmstadt Art Gallery and the Association of German Architects. The event is an item on the agenda of Damstadt's Architecture Summer and and shows "exported" projects of Darmstadt architects going beyond the city boundaries.
The vernissage is taking place on Friday, 4th July 2008 at 7.30 pm. Spokespersons will be Dr Peter Joch (Director of Darmstadt Art Gallery), Dieter Wenzel (city counsellor), Professor Klaus Trojan (BDA Darmstadt) and Dr. Matthias Alexander (FAZ). The exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm, on 5th July 2008 there will be a guided tour with the architects from 5pm, on 6th July 2008 the exhibition will close from 5pm with a finissage.
The Day of Architecture 2008 going by the motto "Architecture enlivened" is taking place this year too nationwide on the last weekend in June.
Included in the selection - a project by planquadrat.
On Sunday, 29th June 2008 at 12.30pm we are inviting people to view the city villas in Kätcheslachpark at Frankfurt's Riedberg. Three city villas am Kätcheslachpark, arranged in a row, are located in one of the most attractive locations in the district of Riedberg. Towards the south there is a layer of protected open areas around the cubic structures, that extends the habitat. The 1-2 room apartments per storey range partially over 2 floors. Airspace and loggias on the top floor create a spacious sequence of rooms. Pergolas in frames give a standardised picture. Spiral staircases lead to the roof with a view over the Taunus mountains and skyline.
Further information on the Day of Architecture at www.akh.de
At the 5th Darmstadt Table Football Architect Tournament kickAcup'08 on 18th April in Darmstadt's "Rheinstadion", planquadrat took part with 7 teams and fought for glory and honour against a total of 80 teams. One team made it to the quarter finals! There was a second place for the best kit and on top of this the special prize!
kickAcup was organised by werk.um architekten.
More info and photos at www.kickacup.de
Darmstädter Echo, 23.02.2008
Urban planning: after being invited by the CDU, Mainz planners give a report on their model to convert vacant US barracks and space.
On Thursday the head of planning at Mainz Norbert Schüler explained how Mainz converted a tank production plant into a residential area. The Darmstadt CDU had invited their Rhineland Palatinate fellow party member to the Comedy Hall. After the Americans leave, the Cambrai-Fritsch Barracks or the Kelly-Barracks, among others, will be available in Darmstadt as conversion space.
"We want to stimulate public debate", said Ludwig Achenbach from the CDU. "We must be able to see the bigger urban picture".
"The Americans moved out of their 25 hectare tank production plant in the district of Gonsenheim in Mainz in 1992, said Norbert Schüler. The Mainz municipal utilities bought the site for its own use. However, this turned out to be too expensive which was the reason the residential area Gonsbach Terraces were developed. "We wish to create an interesting offer for young families", said the head of the planning department. 60 percent of detached or semi-detached houses, 20 percent terraced houses and 20 percent tower blocks on the edge of the area are to be built there. "We have had this requirement verified", explained the mayor. How the Gonsbach Terraces are to be designed was then decided through a planning office competition. This competition was won by the Darmstadt office planquadrat, owned by the architects Herbert Elfers, Martin Geskes and Jörg Krämer. The area was developed in 2006. There were pollutants in the earth; the problem was dealt with openly, Mr Schüler reported. The zoning plan was not narrow, "but we impacted on the design with an urban contract". A design manual with around 80 pages states what, for example, fences or roofs could look like. In this way the colour of the roof is specified, however not the roof shape, said Günther Ingenthron, head of the Mainz urban planning office.
Whoever wants to build must present his plans to an urban steering group. The external image should be uniform. The steering group has the stave in the shape of a seal", Mr Ingenthron said smiling. Only in this way would we be permitted to build a structure that fits into the area. "The municipal utilities only sell to those willing to fit in." The concept with design manual however, only works because the municipal utilities are a subsidiary of the city of Mainz, Mr Schüler and Mr Ingenthron emphasised. We need an owner that has the same objective as the city. "We consciously did not sell to a property developer", said the head of the planning department. Both Mainz planners see the project as a success. In October 2006 the first purchase contract was signed, in the middle of February 2008 almost half the plots had been sold and the municipal utilities had not contributed any money. The average square metre price was around 420 Euros including development costs. planquadrat architect Herbert Elfers considers the approx. 24 hectare Darmstadt Cambrai-Fritsch Barracks to be a site comparable with the Gonsbach Terraces. The location at the forest between Bessungen and Eberstadt is even in more demand that those in Gonsenheim, he presumes. When planning, checks need to be carried out in terms of what is needed here. "We need to consider and use the quality of this type of location", said the urban planner.
The new district of Riedberg continues to grow. In the northern quarter "Altkönigblick" 64 new rental apartments are being built along with five doctors' surgeries and a chemist shop. The buildings are to be ready next year.
The "short walk to the laboratory" in the new Riedberg district will maybe one day lead to Frankfurt being talked about for producing top class scientific achievements. In any case Boris Rhein (CDU) was yesterday already seeing"possible future Nobel prize winners" in his mind's eye, appreciating the short distance between the workplaces on the rapidly growing Riedberg-Campus and the apartments in the neighbouring new district. The economic affairs officer pointed out in view of the start of construction for the 64 new rental apartments that an attractive living environment is "incredibly important" in order to establish Frankfurt as a "top location for biotechnology". The residential houses are to be completed next year.
The new apartments are to be built in four "city villas" and six houses with drives in the "Altkönigblick" district in the northern part of Riedberg. Five doctors' surgeries and a chemist shop will move into a building at the northern end of the construction field on Altenhöferallee. The Darmstadt office planquadrat is responsible for the architecture: the office already designed the district "Kingsize Gardens I" on the opposite side of the avenue. "We wanted significant architecture that means no repetitions" explained architect Herbert Elfers. The south side of the four-storey "city villas" mounted on a base has large expanses of glass, if required venetian blinds provide shade. When the weather is bad the balconies can be closed with glass walls so that a type of winter garden is created. The penthouse apartments on the top floor are furnished with a large roof terrace, underground car parks prevent the need to look for parking spaces. The six houses with drives whose western side is glazed are likewise built as four storeys. The doctors' building with a chemist shop on the ground floor will be built on the northern end of the construction field. The Riedberg Centre, that is to be opened at the beginning of 2009, is 300 metres away; a day care centre for children is close by. The scientific campus of the university can easily be reached on foot.
The Federal and State Government Employees Retirement Fund is committed as the investor: it already owns over 4000 apartments in Frankfurt. However, these were largely built in the 1950s and 1960s. "We want to rejuvenate our stock", said Markus Selinger, head of the real estate management. The building of the residential units to the north of the planned Kätcheslachpark will be completed as part of the project "Kingsize Gardens" by Lechner Massivbau GmbH. Lechner has been active in Riedberg since 2003 and has built 70 apartments up to now, among others in the opposite section "Kingsize Gardens I". 40 other apartments are under construction. The company invests 20 million Euros annually in Riedberg, said managing director Bernd Lechner. According to him the entire quarter "Altkönig" is to be completed in 2010. The rentals for the new apartments will be assumed by the company Jäger Immobilien.
The contents of the competition is planning a prestigious administration building for the office of the association "Hessen Metall" on Rheinstraße, one of the principal access routes in Darmstadt.
The block lies parallel to the park on Albert-Schweitzer-Anlage, the prestigious address on Rheinstraße is determined by a metallic shimmering wall and a large protrusion of the building. An elongated water basin guides the visitors to the prominent but protected entrance below the protrusion. A green area complements the internal yard area - all offices can orientate themselves to the surrounding green areas. The steel construction of the block, prestigious for the association, requires little support and thus a great deal of flexibility in the use as well as the absence of columns in the conference area. A dark natural stone cladding as well as the view from below made of satin glass complete the noble and classically modern image.
Taunus Zeitung, 10.12.2007
The "huguenots" city of Friedrichsdorf now has an "info box"as we know them from the famous Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. In Friedrichsdorf it is all about urban development, as it once was in the capital, even if the dimensions are different. And there is another difference: the box isn't red but bright green, open on two sides and is called "Kiosk Stadt 25+".
It does indeed sound somewhat cumbersome and also a little bit like watering holes, however could in the course of time be ground down to "Info Kiosk". In any case the idea of the urban planners planquadrat from Darmstadt entrusted with the concept was good.
It is a rainy Saturday morning when the bright green and white-sprayed cube was shown to the people for the first time. It is at the entrance to the market and the curiosity of the citizens was quickly aroused. The first project of the "Urban development concept 25+", that was started last September has been rolled out. The destination the mobile box, that can also be rented free of charge, rolls depends in turn on the ideas of the citizens. Suggestions can be noted on a card and handed in. "Station" is one suggestion and this meets with broad approval since there is quite a lot to be done there too. Fear of embarking on something new has no business here: only one step and you are standing in the glittering chrome cube and feeling part of the planning staff. "The ideas and views of the citizens on the urban development are to be compiled here and then discussed on the planning committee. We only want to steer", said Friedrichsdorf's first councillor Norbert Fischer (CDU). The first ideas have already been submitted, models made from cardboard of a new "Landgrafenplatz", as a 9th grade pupil from the Philipp-Reis-Schule (PRS) would like to have it. Caroline Hofhangs presents the model. The boys want high rise buildings with electronics shops, the girls low rise buildings with fashion shops. "We don't always want to drive to Frankfurt", she said. The example is therefore popular and is to multiply, as stated by planning office and politicians, including mayor Horst Burghardt (Grüne) and Renzo Sechi (FWG) from the Foreigners' Council. An increasing number of new locations, for example the Hardtwaldschule or Houiller Platz, are to make the kiosk popular. "Communication obliges us, as is stated in the city logo", said Martin Geskes from the planning office. "The kiosk is the platform for this." The fact that many citizens are concerning themselves with urban development can be confirmed by a member of the Foreigners' Council Sechi: "We have asked around and determined that the ideas of the foreigners in our town tally with those of other citizens. Everyone wants more life in the city and better conditions for business start-ups. They say it is complicated to become self employed with industry or the retail trade.
"The prerequisites for success are good. Groups like "Herbsterwachen", the Seniors' Advisory Board, PRS representatives and the Foreigners' Council have already announced their cooperation. The public spirit is lively as shown by the performance of the wind ensemble "Junges Blech" from the music school. The musicians have stiff hands due to the cold but the green kiosk is to make its debut. This meets with approval. Now we will have to see whether the kiosk is successful in promoting the city in its development.
Joint award for the clients spa businesses of the State Capital of Wiesbaden and the planning consortium planquadrat Elfers Geskes Krämer / Anselment, Möller und Partner / Bauer Landschaftsarchitekten.
This prize awarded by the charitable foundation "Lively City" honours realised projects, facilities and concepts characterised by innovative design or operating mode and that also serve as a model character from ecological points of view.
Realisation competition in cooperation with Geskes and Hack Landscape Architects, Berlin.
The competition task is an urban-architectural solution proposal for the social infrastructure facilities to be set up in the course of constructing the building area Walldorf South at the junction between the inner city and the new building areas on the basis of the tenderer, the City of Walldorf, stating the stipulated area and space requirements.
planquadrat has been developing a relevant town development concept since July 2007 in cooperation with the city of Friedrichsdorf in Taunus. Citizens, administration and politics have jointly developed concrete targets and measures of the future town development: "Stadt 25+".
A mobile kiosk is the first project of "Stadt 25+" in the framework of citizen involvement - it provides information on the progress of the town development initiative and at the same time offers a platform for exchange and idea proposals. The kiosk is a gallery, stage and meeting point, to be used for own contributions towards town development - it can be borrowed free of charge and set up in different places.
The opening will be celebrated on 8th December 2007 from 9am -1 pm in Landgrafenplatz in Friedrichsdorf. Further info on "Stadt 25+" and the mobile kiosk atwww.stadt25-friedrichsdorf.de
Taunus Zeitung, 12.11.2007
The local commercial enterprises will be organising this year's Christmas market on the fourth weekend of advent at Rathausplatz. (...)(...) The city is apparently making a fresh attempt in terms of the "Urban development concept" (STEK). After the Darmstadt office "stadt.bau.plan" had given up the moderation of STEK after disagreements and the process had subsequently come to a halt, planquadrat (likewise located in Darmstadt) will now be taking over the project. According to information in the Taunus Zeitung the aim is to advertise for a continuation of the STEK initiative with a "mobile kiosk" at Landgrafenplatz in December 2007. The currently planned work title "Stadt 25+" stands for the period after 2025, to which the plans will refer.
Darmstädter Echo, 15.08.2007
Urban planning: exhibition shows Darmstadt designs for East Germany - building in Mainz
Those born in the year when the wall came down have now come of age. Incredible really. Meanwhile the country has also changed; the East has become western and the West is rusting and corroding. How western the East has become can be seen in the exhibition "New-Building-Land - Architecture and Urban Redevelopment in the new federal states, 1990 until 2007", that is currently on display in Frankfurt's Museum of Architecture.
Darmstadt offices are also represented there - Hoechstetter und Partner for example, to whose Erfurt government district "Am alten Steiger" a detailed contribution is dedicated. The state of Thuringia bought the site of a former army hospital where a long building wing remained intact. It is here that four prestigious ministerial conversions are to be built (justice, social, science and culture).
However, Höchstetter went beyond this brief and designed a brave and powerful complex combining all authorities. The large city structure brings to mind classic Berlin apartment block buildings (a little) as well as the more recent architecture of the government district at the Spree - no wonder that the crew from Erfurt had the nickname "Small Berlin" at the ready. Commissioning Hoechstetter (second place in the competition) not least contributed to the possibility of reducing costs.
The long planned urban conversion of Leinfelde in Eichsfeld is also mentioned, won by the Darmstadt office "Gras. The exhibition at Schaumainkai will continue until 26th August, the catalogue published by E. A. Seemann. Planquadrat was also successful. Now the realisation of its design for Mainz Winterhafen is imminent; the building application is currently being submitted. Planquadrat has designed four tower blocks on the Rhine promenade, offering 129 comfortable panorama apartments over the large overhanging roofs and balconies.
da facto, Journal aus Darmstadt, 12.07.2007
Conversion measure Ernst-Ludwig-Park: urban development for favourably price own homes
With the acquisition of the former Ernst-Ludwig Barracks in 2001 the City of Darmstadt created the prerequisites for a new residential quarter with around 270 apartments in terraced houses and in tower blocks. The conversion of areas formerly used for military purposes and the involvement of private partners is widely discussed in controversial terms. With this realised project the city according to counsellor Dieter Wenzel is showing "that conversion measures are able to be realised quickly, sustainably and in a forward-looking way".
The sie of the Ernst-Ludwig Barracks has been revitalised in recent years with favourably priced residential buildings, a day care centre for children and a consumers' market, a square and a green area as well as 250 planted trees. Since the option exists within the district to use other conversion space in a new way, the aim is to build on these initial experiences, to develop these further and to use the opportunities created here for the urban development. The Ernst-Ludwig Barracks was built in 1937/38 for an infantry battalion of the German "Wehrmacht". The site was built on as a rectangular estate with a central square. The US army then extended the site after 1945 to a total of 11.1 hectares. In 1992 the US army announced the clearance of the barracks, in 1995 the city guaranteed a special pre-emptive right for itself for this space. When the US army moved out, initially the Federal Treasury took over the site. The American army retained an American theatre on an area not yet given back. In the preliminary draft of the zoning plan in 1996 it was recorded that in the west a "low-cost business park"would be built and in the east favourably priced own homes would be built next to the "Heimstätten" estate. In order to investigate the urban potentials, the urban planning authority conducted an urban development workshop that recorded the objectives of the development of the quarter and subsequently commissioned the Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat with the further development. Commissioned by the city planning authorities planquadrat drafted an information brochure about the project of a public-private partnership, providing detailed information on the founding of Grundstücksentwicklungs- und Verwertungsgesellschaft (GVD), on the work process, the design and the realisation.
On 5th July 2007 the association Darmstädter Architektursommer e. V was founded "auf der Mathildenhöhe". The objective of the association is to present the significance of Darmstadt as a city of architecture to a broad public and to arouse a national interest for building culture with the help of the partner towns and the former students from Darmstadt universities working abroad.
That is the reason the "Darmstadt Summer of Architecture" will take place in summer 2008 from June to September for the first time. The initiative for the association originated from the Association of German Architects BDA in the state of Hesse, Darmstadt group, the University of Darmstadt (h_da), the Mittelrheinischen Architekten- und Ingenieurverband (MAIV) and the Technical University of Darmstadt (TUD). Kerstin Schultz was appointed the chairperson of the association, the deputy chairperson is Jörg Krämer. Treasurer is Dieter Wenzel, Volker Freischlad was appointed recording clerk. The owners are Christof Bodenbach, Harald Weber and Julian Wékel.
In September 2007 an award will be published, allowing interested parties to apply to take part in the Darmstadt Summer of Architekture.
Jörg Blume, Darmstadt Summer of Architecture,
Herdweg 74, 64285 Darmstadt, Tel. 06151-422120
AZ Rhein Main Presse, 05.07.2007
The most urgent problem with the Winterhafen construction project is still the noise. Next week the building application for the Winterhafen construction will be made. This was made clear yesterday by Jörg Krämer from the Darmstadt architectural office planquadrat during the building committee after being asked by the head of the building department Norbert Schüler (CDU).
"We all know that we have to solve problems in Winterhafen", said Mr Krämer, when he presented the project to the committee that convened directly before the municipal council session. "One of the problems is noise." However, no own walls are necessary for sound insulation. "The noise is absorbed solely by the thickness of the panes and the quality of the windows - we have no problems in this respect", ensured Mr Krämer. Integrated balconies are planned for the buildings that are located in the direct neighbourhood of the cultural centre. "The further we move away from the cultural centre the more we can retreat from this maximum enclosure. The costs for sound insulation are far below the amount we would have to invest in the cultural centre in order to achieve the same effect.
"The promenade at Winterhafen is 14 metres wide up to the edge at which the terrain goes down to the harbour. The residential area is "shifted upwards. Therefore, you do not have direct contact with people walking along the water front". Surrounding balcony areas separate the neighbour slightly, however in spite of this allow "an individual view over the harbour". There is 19 metre of open space with a small courtyard between each of the planned, detached point block buildings with a metallic look. "There are perspectives over the roofs - so that there is no feeling of heaviness up there." Mr Schüler awarded the houses "a remarkable quality". Dr Gerd Eckhardt (CDU) emphasised that "he saw no conflict at all with the recreational use on the upstream pier of Winterhafen".
Allgemeine Zeitung, 05.07.2007
The building committee experienced a visual tour through the new residential quarter – new lighting for the Heuss Bridge by Easter 2008
In the coming week we, Maicor GmbH, will submit the building application for the project "Living at the water“ in Winterhafen Mainz.
This was announced by Jörg Krämer from planquadrat yesterday during the building committee. The changed zoning plan for the area was also submitted in the evening to the city council.
Mr Krämer also brought along photos and details showing what the future quarter with 126 apartments was to look like one day. Three point block houses on the 14 metre wide promenade, a residential block in front of the cultural centre KUZ and another block in front of the DB-Cargo building will be built on the site that is bordered on the Nikolausschanze. Flat courtyards are also planned in between and below the area an underground car park will be built. The 38 million Euro project will be built and marketed by Maicor, a joint company of the Mainz Aufbaugesellschaft (MAG) and Frankfurt Corpus-Group.
Furthermore, Mr Krämer explained how the future residents in the area could be protected from noise from the cultural centre and the pier with passive noise insulation. This includes brass-coloured elements lending the facades an unusual image. A lot of praise for the designs came from the committee and the head of the building department Norbert Schüler (CDU) spoke of "remarkable quality". Majority consent was also given for the new lighting concept for the Heuss Bridge, that is to be completed by Easter 2008 fertig. The municipal utilities will assume the investment costs of 200,000 Euros; however, the question of subsequent costs have not yet been clarified.
Vaihinger Kreiszeitung, 30.06.2007
New plans for the Vaihingen Baresel site
Talk is of"dream houses" in a "dream location". 19 houses are to be built on the former Baresel site after a change in the zoning plan. "Three semi-detached houses have already been sold before the official marketing start on 7th and 8th July", the marketers were pleased to say. During the coming weekend the general public will be presented during a "family building site festival" with the plans for eight semi-detached houses and the eleven detached houses that are to be constructed in the building area "Unterm Schlossberg" in the next one to two years. The hosts are LBBW Immobilien GmbH as seller of the site and Rötzer-Ziegel-Element-Haus GmbH as property developer.
"Industrial prefabrication will enable the completion of the structural work in a few days", Bernd Lechner from the Rötzer management and sales manager Jens Theilig reported. An interesting feature is the design of the homes. In one of the most modern works for the industrial manufacturing of houses in Europe, complete brick walls and ceilings are prefabricated computer-controlled in Rötz, on the edge of the Bavarian forest. All necessary installation parts for sanitary and electrical installations are already integrated in the walls. The brick elements arrive at the building site plastered inside and dry. Having arrived they only have to be mounted and completed within a few days. In this way the interior construction can be quickly started, the same procedure as in a normal house. Upon request, the houses can also be offered with a patented air conditioning system: tubes integrated in the brick ceiling enable a particularly efficient heating and even cooling of the room air by up to six degrees in the summer.
The architectural office planquadrat from Darmstadt is responsible for the floor plans and the design of the facades. In Vaihingen the top priority was to develop houses corresponding to the attractive location of the building area (architect Herbert Elfers: "We couldn't wish for more attractive sites than these "), that also satisfy the demanding families wishing to build. Four types of houses were developed in this way pursuing the different living concepts, yet still displaying a standardised overall design: high-quality houses with a high-quality architecture, oriented on the landscape. The four semi-detached houses will each have living space of 137 square metres, both corner houses have a size of 150 square metres, the new villas on a slope in the south have 180 square metres. The old zoning plans showed site sizes of up to eight areas, the plans are now between almost three and six ares in size. "We have oriented ourselves on the market conditions", said project manager Alexander Lang and salesman Bernd Strasser from LBBW Immobilien GmbH. The square metre prices are at 360 Euros (per space between 98,000 and 222,840 Euros), the turnkey house prices between 269,000 and 373,000 Euros. LBBW Immobilien GmbH (earlier LEG) bought the approx. 90,000 square metre Baresel site in 2003 and has sold around 60 percent of the sites in the meantime.
da facto, Journal aus Darmstadt, 25.06.2007
Commissioned by the city planning office of the "City of Science" Darmstadt, the architectural office planquadrat has documented the planning and realisation process of the Ernst- Ludwig-Park in a brochure.
In this brochure the history of the former barracks site on the edge of Darmstadt's Heimstätten estate is depicted as well as the course of the urban development design of the conversion project. The intention was there from the beginning to create favourably priced own homes as the focus of the urban development plans.
With the acquisition of the former Ernst-Ludwig Barracks in 2001, the City of Darmstadt created the prerequisites for a new residential quarter with around 270 apartments in terraced houses and in tower blocks, a fifth of the former barracks site has in the meantime a public green area, a daycare centre for children and a link to public transport to complete the area. Within the city boundaries the option exists to revitalise other conversion space through new usages, the project "Ernst-Ludwig-Park" is taking on a pioneering role.
The brochure "Ernst-Ludwig-Park. Urban development for favourably priced own homes" can be acquired from the urban development office of the "City of Science" Darmstadt, Bessunger Straße 125. The residents of Ernst-Ludwig-Park will be sent the brochure free of charge in the coming days.
Höchster Kreisblatt, 19.06.2007
Plans presented for Biringer site - construction works starts in September
By the end of 2008 a new gem is to be built in the town centre of Höchst. This is what Rainer Wrenger, boss of the municipal conversion site development association, promised exactly one year ago. And he seems to have been right. Yesterday, the head of the planning department Edwin Schwarz (CDU), architect Herbert Elfers from planquadrat and client Kruno Crepulja from the housing association Wilma Wohnen Süd presented the gap closure. The three neat town houses on the corner of Melchior/Albanusstrasse should be ready to move into as early as summer 2008. The start of construction is in September. Yet it is not only the plans for the new buildings that are concrete, the house Albanusstraße 16 is also sold. To a couple from Schwanheim, who also wish to operate the 50 square metre shop on the ground floor, according to Mr Wrenger. And the Buddhist association "Wat Bodhi-Dhamm"has moved into Melchiorstraße.
The only problem child: Storchgasse 22. No buyer has been found for the apartment with a magnificent view over the old town. "The condition is dreadful. Whoever buys this apartment not only needs courage but also imagination", said Mr Wrenger honestly: however he remains optimistic - ultimately the result could be a true living dream. When Storchgasse is sold, the work of the urban developer Mr Wrenger on the Biringer site is completed.
Almost. "Our task was to acquire scrap, to design possibilities for use and to find interested parties", said the KEG boss. That has been done with the exception of the old locksmith's shop. At present the hall is being prepared for school use. Because with the Bikuz has been demolished and rebuilt, the sixth form course "Performing arts" will move in there. What comes after that is still not clear. "Yet what is closer to our hearts than culture", emphasised town councillor Mr Schwarz, who requested a "firework of ideas" from the people of Höchst. Exhibitions, club festivals, artists' workshops, indoor playground, climbing garden, concert building, pub atmosphere – everything is possible. The three three-storey town houses in contrast will be built completely. The corner house is the largest with 261 square metres and at 390,000 Euros also the most expensive. The most favourably priced house has 190 square metres and costs 298,000 Euros. Client Mr Crepulja emphasised that the average price of 1650 Euros per square metre was a reasonably priced one. The Biringer site is an incredibly small one but at the same time has been an exciting and demanding project, "that we respectably solved with the professional help of planquadrat", emphasised Mr Crepulja. The houses have separate entrances and - the trick - garages integrated in the house. The price for this is paid by the ground floor. Actual life and living takes place in the two upper storeys and the roof converted into a studio. The houses fit into the surroundings in terms of colour as well as structurally: the facades are yellow, the building height fits the existing houses, the windows on a scale of the original old town windows. A forward looking gap closure, as architect Mr Elfers said, "This is how we are bringing life back to the town centre. In future it will always be about closing gaps in the centre." And Mr Wrenger also emphasised, nobody wants to go to the green fields any more. Life happens in the city.
Frankfurter Neue Presse, 08.05.2007
planquadrat is working on the sheikh's masterplan
German companies have been attracted to the region in the Persian Gould for many years in order to have a part in the economic boom. For example, there are over 180 German companies registered in the Jebel Ali free zone alone in Dubai, including Beiersdorf, Würth, Demag and Bayer. Around 550 German firms have settled in Dubai.
Included in this number is also the Darmstadt architectural office planquadrat, that was founded in 1992 by Herbert Elfers, Martin Geskes and Jörg Krämer. Today they are partners and executives. After rapid growth, the company in the meantime employs 68 members of staff and has a branch in Dubai. planquadrat covers all tasks from the fields of urban planning and architecture. Industrial and administration buildings likewise count among the repertoire as well as schools, department stores, cinemas or residential buildings. The colourful array of awards include a seal of approval by Greenpeace as well as a medal by ADAC. Architectural prices were scooped in Leipzig as well as in the states of Hesse, Rhineland Palatinate and Saxony.
We spoke with Martin Geskes, who resides in Friedrichsdorf, about the "Dubai adventure".
What was the reason to go to Dubai as a striving Darmstadt architectural office?
The trigger was an excursion of the three partners from planquadrat to Dubai at the beginning of 2003. During this trip we could already feel the extraordinary dynamics in the air in this Emirate that it would use to attempt to take its place in the list of the world's most significant cities within a short period of time. On the basis of only moderate forecasts for the German building industry at the beginning of 2003, we decided to venture on a journey to Dubai and started to build up a network in the United Arab Emirates during regular trips.
How does a German architect find his way about in an Arab country? What were the greatest obstacles?
You cope well as a German architect in an Arab country if you don't think and act in a purely Germanic way. Or to put it a different way: in terms of detail and work German standards of quality, German thinking are very welcome. In contrast communication, dealing with people from the very different parts of this world requires a great degree of flexibility and patience. The fact that as an architect we naturally need to know the local building laws and the local rules of architecture, that are historically characterised by British influence, goes without saying.
Which opportunities were on offer in Dubai? What makes this city of superlatives so fascinating?
The opportunities in this booming city are naturally the fascinating density of building tasks of any size and orientation. The fascination is in the way the government of Dubai with Sheikh Mohammed Al Makhtoum at the top designs and implements the master plan of the future of Dubai. Structures are not built in a city here, a completely new city is being built.
Which potential has the desert state? Can the rapid growth last?
Dubai obviously plays a leading role as a financial and trade centre in the Middle East. Development areas such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone or the Financial District in the heart of Dubai are still subject to great expansion. Forecasts about how long these developments will last are very difficult.
Are the working conditions and the opportunities for architects and civil engineers simply heavenly?
We cannot talk about paradise even if we get that impression reading the stories in glossy German brochures. It is very hard at the beginning to gain the trust of the client and to receive the "first order". This path is very difficult, costly and not without disappointments. If you succeed in realising this first order to the satisfaction of the client, it is possibly somewhat easier to be successful in this very competitive market. Of course it is very appealing for an architect for example to plan a sky scraper with 60 storeys; a building task an architect in Germany or Europe can only dream of.
Which projects are you working on at the moment?
At present our partner office in Dubai is planning an office/residential high-rise building, two international schools, an office building as well as a 5 star hotel.
How many employees work for planquadrat in Dubai in the meantime?
planquadrat Middle East as an independent office has 18 members of staff.
Invited realisation competition for the new building of an office building for the company satis+fy AG Deutschland/Dögelmühle GbR in Groß-Karben near Frankfurt am Main.
Furthermore the existing office buildings in the industrial estate will be newly structured and hall extended.
Bonn, eingeladener Realisierungswettbewerb für ein Wohnquartier auf dem Gelände der ehemaligen Versorgungseinrichtungen der Amerikanischen Siedlung
Merck concept study C6 South, administration building, Darmstadt
Realisation competition in cooperation with Geskes+Hack Landscape Architects
Philipp-Reis-School, Friedrichsdorf, Realisation competition, extension building for a cooperative comprehensive school with sixth form grammar school
R-Biopharm, invited realisation competition for an office and laboratory building with storage space
Kölnische Rundschau, 30.01.2007
350 residential units will be built by Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft (LEG) Cologne in the next few years on the part of the erstwhile American settlement in Plittersdorf, formerly used for commercial purposes. "We are investing 75 million Euros, this is also something special for LEG and a clear commitment to the location of Bonn", is how Andreas Röhrig, managing director of the LEG subsidiary "Modern Bonn", underlined the significance of the project "Rheinauer Gärten".
The residential area, the largest in the city, encompasses an area of around 49,000 square metres between Kennedyallee, Donatusstrasse and Kolberger Strasse, according to the Bonn municipal press office. The first building phase develops the area starting from Kolberger Straße; 41 detached houses and 37 apartment will initially be built here from summer. The city villas, semi-detached and detached houses should be ready to move into in the autumn of 2008.
The entrance to the new building area directly on Kennedyallee is to be designed in an attractive urban style. A competition for a planning expertise was tendered especially for this purpose. Four architects' offices presented their designs. The jury under the chairmanship of the former head of the Bonn planning office Sigurd Trommer announced the award after many hours of consultation, the winner was the design by planquadrat from Darmstadt. The architects intend to build three individual buildings facing Kennedyallee. "Cleverly resolved" is how the jury found the integration of a discounter store, where only the entrance can be seen from the outside. A spacious shop facade without displays is not necessary since the market encompasses several smaller shops, according to the city. The goods are to be delivered to the shops from the rear, the entrance for suppliers disappears behind trees and hedges. Many trees underline the boulevard character of the Kennedyallee, a small row of shops is to ensure the local supply and the LEG will offer various retail space for the multi-generation house. (EB)
The jury hat has decided on the design for the entrance to the former American settlement - winning design makes the Aldi market "disappear" in the architecture - LEG invests 75 million Euros.
It is a site rich in history and has been the cause of much debate in the past due to its future. Since Wednesday afternoon the plans for the site of the former American settlement between Kennedyallee, Kolberger Straße and Donatusstraße have taken a significant step forwards. In the park restaurant Rheinaue a jury under the chairmanship of the former town surveyor Sigurd Trommer decided on the design of the entrance to the "Rheinauer Gardens" towards Kennedyallee.
In September 2006 the investor, Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft (LEG) Cologne, put out a planning expertise tender for this area. In December four architects' offices submitted their proposals for the elongated belt - in time for the exhibition of the legally binding development plan for the 49,000 square metre site. The ownership relationships were also clarified by LEG last year for the 49,000 square metres by buying the company "Modernes Bonn" from the former owner Vebowag. "We are therefore now in the active phase", explained Andreas Röhrig, managing director of Modernes Bonn on Wednesday. It is something very special to invest 75 million Euros in one single location, he emphasised. With this money LEG wants to build a total of 350 residential units in several building phases. In March the first houses on Kolberger Straße are to be built.
High time therefore to concentrate on the figurehead. After a seven-hour meeting, Mr Trommer announced the winner of the planning expertise in view of the American settlement: the architects' office planquadrat from Darmstadt. Above all the linear structure, that recollects the former US supply buildings, seems to have made an impression on the jury. "We have a rhythmically lined up construction", is how Mr Trommer described the design. planquadrat has earmarked three building parts along Kennedyallee. Firstly a cafe is to be built near Donatusstraße on the corner.
Next to this, with an entrance facing the avenue, the controversial Aldi market is to be established. "The amazing thing about the architecture is that you can't even see Aldi and this is maybe the best thing about it ", said Mr Trommer grinning. Deliveries are to be made via a new cul-de-sac, there is a car park for customers. The local supply is to safeguard small stores, likewise facing the street. According to the city there has already been interest expressed. Above all apartments are to be built on the first and second floors. Offices could move into the second building, in the third to the north east multi-generational living is to be made possible according to Mr Röhrig. "After the decision passed by the jury we will now speak about this with the association "Wahlverwandtschaften", Mr Röhrig announced. The result combines most advantages although all four applicants made a great deal of effort, is how Mr Trommer assessed it. "We have the commercial use towards the street and the main residential side towards the other side, which is much quieter." And a lot of green space since this too was important to the Darmstadt architects. Along with the prize money, they are now waiting for the prospect of accompanying the project on the Rheinaue.
Cooperative planning procedure "Three Cities-Three Places", Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Darmstädter Echo, 23.12.2006
The Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat has donated 2000 Euros towards the planned new building project Oberfeld farm estate. "As architects we are delighted when something constructive and sensible is built – particularly in the interesting construction of the old farm estate", said Jörg Krämer from planquadrat. The architects found out about the planned project through the report in the ECHO. As a Darmstadt office it is important to support a project in Darmstadt, emphasised Martin Geskes from planquadrat. "A new open space is being created here in which people with disabilities receive support and are able to live actively." The architects' community is convinced that their approx. 100 customers will be able to identify with this and welcome this commitment. "Maybe some will be encouraged to donate too - not only at Christmas."
The Rheinufer underground car park was awarded the "BDA Architecture Prize" by the Federation of German Architects. MAG/PMG managing director Arnold Hagen and architect Herbert Elfers accepted the prize from the state association in Edenkoben Schloss Ludwigshöhe. The underground car park was already distinguished as a "particularly user-friendly car park" by the European Parkhausverband and by ADAC.
Frankfurter Rundschau, 06.10.2006
The Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat came second in the competition for the Schleswig-Holstein State Horticultural Show 2011. The host city of Norderstedt tendered the design of a 105 hectare area. The Darmstadt office thereby worked together with the landscape architects' office Geskes and Hack. Its design provides for a subdivision of the area into three natural areas, agricultural park, moorland forest and aquasite. In total 30 consortiums applied. planquadrat was successful in the competition to restructure the train station area in Neustadt an der Weinstraße. The design by the Darmstadt architects' office was created in cooperation with Senger Consult and the landscape architects Bierbaum.Aichele. The consortium, declared the winner among four participants, will now work out a detailed framework plan. The office planquadrat has existed as a partnership company since 1996 and currently employees 60 people. The office has its headquarters am Platz der Deutschen Einheit.
The architects' office planquadrat, Darmstadt, has won the competition for the new planning of the station area in Neustadt a.d. Weinstraße. The architects suggested, among other things, building three specialist retailers with underground car parks, two hotels, a bus station and a multi-storey car park. The competition is part of a project by the cities of Neustadt, Speyer and Ludwigshafen, who are confronting cooperative planning associations with central tasks of the respective urban development.
Mittelhaardter Rundschau, 01.09.2006
Jury selects concept for the new design of the area surrounding the station - a new idea has caught on: underground car park under the station forecourt.
Yesterday a jury assessed the concepts and rough plans that had been drafted in the so-called planning workshop to enhance and newly design the area around Neustadt's main railway station. The best concept was the idea of a working group under the auspices of the Darmstadt architects' office planquadrat. The basic idea behind the successful concept can be summarised as follows:, a hotel will be built to the east of the station up to the post office, possibly with a new building for a parking level, congress rooms and restaurant, each connected to the hall. The annex of the hall will be pulled down in order to enable a spacious crossover from the station area to the city centre. A new bus station will be built directly in front of the station building. The area opposite the hall will also remain undeveloped in future. To the east of the station several large buildings will be constructed, which for example will house specialist markets, cinemas, if need be likewise parking areas or a hotel as well as commercial premises. At the level of today' car park to the east of the Esso petrol station a roundabout will be built on Landauer Straße, which can initially serve to connect the new buildings, in the distant future as a branch off to a tunnel entrance. The city stipulated to the planners namely that the idea favoured by most of the council must remain possible to lay the B39 in a tunnel under the station area. Besides the winner's design, the city wants to buy the rights to the planning design by the working group under the auspices of the Neustadt architects' office Disson and Ritzer: these planners play around with the idea of building large parking levels under the station forecourt. The jury included representatives of the site owner (railway concern), the city and the council, in addition independent planners as well as representatives of local public transport and the state. Lord Mayor Mr Löffler explained the vote by the jury was cast unanimously. He expressed hope that there would also be mutual consent on the council regarding the basic concept. According to the schedule of the administration the plans and model will be displayed in the next two weeks in the town hall for all interested citizens (Mondays to Thursday, from 2 pm until 6 pm on all days). Likewise the building committee of the city council will be dealing with the chosen planning concept in the coming week. If it was up to the administration, the city council could already commission bolstering the plans in its meeting on 26th September. At the end of the year, as is hoped, a "master plan" could be laid on the table for the future of the area surrounding the station that is to give potential investors a concrete orientation.
Award by ADAC "The user-friendly multi-storey car park" for the "underground car park below the Bowling Green" in Wiesbaden.
Darmstädter Echo, 23.06.2006
The "Day of Architecture" this coming weekend (we reported) will be accompanied by an "Open day for architects' offices". In Darmstadt two offices are inviting guests to take a look around an office where buildings are designed. The offices are planquadrat at Platz der Deutschen Einheit 21 (next to "Central") on Sunday (25th) from 12 noon until 5 pm as well as Kira Neumüller in Schillerstraße 2 on Saturday (24th) and Sunday (25th), each day from 10 am until 6 pm.
Frankfurter Rundschau, 20.06.2006
The architects' office planquadrat in Darmstadt has won the third place in the realisation competition to build the new Oppenheim Landskronschule. A further 23 architects' office applied for the 3.9 million Euro building project tendered by the District of Mainz-Bingen.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19.04.2006
Architects' office planquadrat commits itself in Dubai
Dubai, the metropolis at the Arabian Gulf, is known for its superlatives. Two weeks ago, for example, it was reported that a group of investors would build the world's first underwater hotel - for 500 million dollars. In actual fact there are few regions of the world that see so much construction activity as in the United Arab Emirates. The population of Dubai alone has risen by 50 percent in recent years to almost 1.3 million residents. If it was up to the urban planners, this figure would reach ten million in a few years.
However, up to now only a dozen German architects' offices have become involved in the building boom. The market leaders in Dubai or Abu Dhabi are large concerns from the Anglo-Saxon world - as an inheritor of the British colonial period. For three years a Darmstadt architects' office has also been part of the action. planquadrat won the competition for the "Deutsches Haus" two years ago in Dubai and is currently building the "Office Park", an office building with retail space and mezzanine in Dubai's Internet City, that is to be opened in the coming year.
A few days ago the engineer Lothar Hennig set off on his travels, far away from home in order to start a new phase in his life. The 46-year old, who has been employed at planquadrat since last summer, will initially be working for two years in a partner office in Dubai. Martin Geskes founded this partnership last year and would now like to consolidate this cooperation. Mr Hennig is to be the link between the planning work in Germany and the implementation in Dubai. Mr Geskes is one of three architects who have been working together since 1989 - initially in a student association that founded planquadrat around ten years ago. Today the office has around 70 employees and deals with projects in the whole of Germany, but planquadrat has also been active abroad for a number of years. In 2003, for example, planquadrat was commissioned by Degussa AG with planning a research and development centre in Shanghai. However, Dubai is currently the largest commitment abroad for the Darmstadt office. In the United Arab Emirates a lot of patience and a lot of money is required, according to the experience Mr Geskes has made up to now: he has also seen a lot of German colleagues come and go: "In order to make it, 10 to 15 attempts are required." Not everything went according to plan for planquadrat either at the beginning. That sheikh for example, who tendered the competition for the "Deutsches Haus" - intended to be the contact point for medium-sized companies and headquarters of the German foreign chamber of commerce - has not had the building built up to now. The government of Oman also had the idea to build a marine biology museum and gladly accepted relevant plans from Darmstadt.
But there was no reaction: "We gave everything and never heard any more. Simply a waste of time", according to Mr Geskes. However, there were two things that seem to have ultimately convinced him and his partners not to simply break camp: firstly they received the order for the "Office Park" and secondly the feeling of knowing "how it works". Finding out how it could work out even better is the task entrusted to Mr Hennig, who is aware of the fact that he has to adapt professionally in the Emirates. For instance construction law. There are indeed fewer regulations determined by standards than in Germany - however, this means that far more has to be explained in the construction plans: "Absolutely everything must be noted in the plans down to the the tiniest details." The work materials used also differ greatly from those in Germany because the building material has to be extremely heat resistant. Added to this are the marked cultural differences in business life.
"Many things happen on a human level. The question is how well you get on with people", according to Mr Geskes.
Whereby in Dubai there is a melting pot of cultures, added to this is that the business partners generally are only associated by two things: by English and the project. Mr Hennig assumes an exciting "intercultural dialogue" based on all information he found on Internet forums, magazines and a short stay a year ago. He is aware of the fact, he said before his trip, that in Dubai there are more unwritten than written rules that apply. The ability to read between the lines is something he will have to get used to. "It is an experiment to see how it works".
"How great the traditional cultural influences are in a country where there are huge shopping malls and leisure parks and all kinds of offers was something he saw himself a year ago: even in highly modern offices, the prayer mats were rolled out at prayer time. In spite of these differences to Germany and in spite of the Anglo-Saxon superpower, Mr Geskes is still optimistic. His optimism comes from the knowledge that in Dubai too "German thoroughness is also highly respected".
Realisation Competition for the new building of a special needs school in Oppenheim.
Innovation Center Merck, Darmstadt, Realisation Competition
City villas at Kätcheslachspark, Riedberg-Frankfurt, Expert Competition
Customs and Inland Harbour, Mainz, Workshop
Gonsbach Terraces, former MIT site Mainz, Urban Competition
Children's day care centre Ernst-Ludwig-Park, Darmstadt, Realisation Competition
"Fu-Mao- Business-Center", Ningbo, China, Realisation Competition