Trainspotting Bautzen - Reurbanisation of an Abandoned Freight Yard

Task & Location

The city of Bautzen, one of the oldest cities in Europe, received its town charter almost 1000 years ago. Being situated next to the important trading route "Hohe Straße" (high street), which connects Erfurt, Leipzig and Wroclaw, Bautzen provided home for about 5300 inhabitants. The release of a railway connecting Dresden and Bautzen ignited the cities growth in 1845. The "Bahnhofsstraße" (road of the main station) was the first road located on the outside of the curtain wall and caused a multi-story building development of middle class housing and mansions in its surrounding area. Nowadays you can find old, well conserved build fabric beside grown industry and trading places.

In the middle and late 20th century the main station was an important reloading point for the region, a solid train industry provided jobs for the inhabitants. The area south of the main station was used to store wagons and goods. Furthermore the south of Bautzen became an industrial and commercial area. After 1990 the industry and trade collapsed and left the area south of the main station as a brown-field site, most of the rails lay unused since that time. Furthermore big parts of Bautzen's south became vacant. Nowadays only a few people live in this area.

The cities municipals want to develope and revitalize the south of Bautzen. Unfortunately the wide rail zone south of the main stations forms a big cut and seperates the city in a southern and a northern part. The northern part, with a long history mainly consists of the city center, residential neighborhoods and forms the bigger part of Bautzen. The south with its indrustrial and commercial areas zoned for economic activities could be reintegrated in the cities fabric. As a result the surrounding area of the main station, forming the southern entrance to the inner city, plays a significant role in this scenario. With its close connection to the station and the structure of mixed use the area also provides a interesting potential for growth. Providing attractive department buildings especially for young people and families could make an inducement for them to stay in Bautzen after they finished school, and would stop the massive out-migration, the city faces nowadays.

Bautzen Site Map
Bautzen Foto

The concept of choice was to overcome the gap formed by the rails of the mainstation by connecting it physically, visually and spatially, to reintroduce a flow from the busy inner city to the unenlivened south of Bautzen. By providing attractive dwelling areas, especially for families and young people, mixed with utilisation of business, institutional objects and green areas i wanted to provide a place of a better living. The desired design should be able to establish an own spatial expression, an "adress", without digressing from the rest of the city. A big leafy, public space for leisure, and sparetime activities would form a magnet for people all over the city, to visit the new district and maybe to stay there.

Conceptual Foundations

Neighborhood Relations Relation To The Neighboorhood

Due to the close-by streets to the west and south, the treated area must be protected from the noise and dust of these busy roads. A belt of commercial buildings should do it and can benefit from the people passing by. Furthermore i wanted to connect our examined area with the parts north of the main station physically with a new bridge. But also a visual and spatial connection is suggestive to the new area being part of the enlived dwelling zones to the north and not to the industrial zones to the south. Doing this, it is important not to build residential buildings next to the rails of the main station.
Neighborhood Relations Toothing

By toothing a newly formed green space with the required buildings, it is possible to create an attractive residential allotment next to a park. The trees in the park keep the noise of the main station from the dwelling areas and the space can be used for spare time activities. By drafting the park into the western part of the examined area, it can be seen from the streets as well and attract passengers to come in.
Neighborhood Relations The Green Frame

A strong border, consisting of buildings and trees, clearly defines and frames the envisioned park. By introducing this edge on both sides of the rails, the gap can be closed by the spatially impression of a union of both sides. Gaps in this frames, one around the main station, the other in the south, form public, urban spaces.
Neighborhood Relations The Path Layout

The layout of roads and pedestrians refers to and continues the already existing, grown structure of the cities map. It integrates the cities shape of concentrical circles around the city center and beams heading for it. Furthermore it connects important knots of the cities fabric.
Neighborhood RelationsConstruction sites and viewshafts

The construction sites are designed to resume the cities structure and leave a big space near the rail for the new park. Viewshafts from important traffic nodes to the main station provide a better orientation and give a preview on the inner space for passengers passing the examined area on the big surrounding roads.
Neighborhood Relations Designated use

Due to its nearness to the city center, the (red) northern part of the design is supposed to be mainly used for commercial issues. Taking into consideration, that several supermarkets are located in this zone nowadays, it would be possible to envision a mall there. In the orange areas, a well balanced mix between living and working/shopping is designated. Those commercial area benefit from the nearby busy streets. The yellow areas are exclusively reserved for living. Surrounded and protected by the other areas, it provides a calm living next to the park. I propose two-storied row houses for this zone.

Final Panels

see the entire .pdf here