This Is Schönau! Mannheim Buildings, Germany Architecture Competition Images

This Is Schönau! Mannheim Design

25 Nov 2020

Design: BOARD, Rotterdam, NL

Location: Schönau, north of Mannheim, Germany

This Is Schönau! Diverse, Connected and Communal

BOARD takes diversity and communal living to the next level.

This Is Schönau! Mannheim Urban redevelopment

The Rotterdam-based architecture office BOARD – known for producing and publishing MONU Magazine on Urbanism – takes diversity and communal living to the next level with their urban design project “This Is Schönau! Diverse, Connected and Communal” that reached the final phase in a competition for a new neighborhood in Schönau, a district in the north of Mannheim, Germany.

1: View of the new quarter from a north-westerly direction with the redesigned tram loop in the background
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

2: Site
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

6 Blocks and 3 Open Spaces

To create a new connecting center with a social cohesion in Schönau, we propose to network this new center as far as possible with the surrounding streets and paths. This creates 6 city blocks and 3 open space zones. With open but space-encompassing u-shaped buildings, a clearly structured urban area is created. The different depths, heights and typologies of the buildings will enable diverse living spaces for different target groups.

3: 6 Blocks and 3 Open Spaces
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

4: The new quarter
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

5: View from the southwest with the block with the bee garden in the foreground
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

The Block

A semi-public footpath runs through 5 of the 6 blocks connecting the semi-public green inner courtyards and the new quarter with its context while opening up the blocks even further. Nevertheless, the open u-shaped blocks create intimate spaces and a sense of security that the existing row buildings did not provide. On the edge of the blocks are private gardens for the ground floor apartments. All apartments are accessed from the outside of the block.

Schönau Square, Tram Forum and Community Park

The redesigned loop of the tram with 3 different multifunctional open spaces will contribute to a positive and secure identity of the new center. In the center the “Schönau Square” is being built with trees, benches and a sports field; in the south the “Tram Forum” with a new tram stop, a temporary market and a stage in front of the youth center; and in the north, the “Community Park” with opportunities for urban agriculture and the “Schönen Au”, a body of water that stores rainwater.

6: The Block
This Is Schönau! Mannheim design competition

7: Schönau Square, Tram Forum and Community Park
This Is Schönau! Mannheim architecture contest

8: A clear but Varied Urban Structure
This Is Schönau! Mannheim architecture contest entry

A Clear but Varied Urban Structure

The 6 city blocks create a clear but varied 1- to 5-storey building structure, which relates to the building heights of the surrounding area, but whose density remains flexible. The grocery store and the commercial uses will be located on the ground floors of the eastern blocks. Commercial uses would also be possible in small form within the quarter. Common areas for the quarter are proposed for some of the taller buildings.

9: 4 Building Typologies in Each Block
This Is Schönau! Mannheim architecture contest Germany

4 Building Typologies in Each Block

In order to provide living spaces for different income groups, age groups and household sizes, 4 different building typologies are created in each block, which differ from one another in terms of the access (through which the residents can access the green inner courtyards), building depth, building height and orientation. So “garden living” is being created on the ground floors and “gallery living”, “city living” and “district living” on the upper floors.

10: Sections
Schönau Mannheim architecture contest Germany

11: 5 Green Courtyards and 1 Roof Garden
This Is Schönau! Mannheim architecture competition

5 Green Courtyards and 1 Roof Garden

The 5 green inner courtyards with their different themes and plantings – inspired by the interests and geography of Schönau – will motivate the residents to appropriate the spaces contributing to a feeling of belonging and community. The existing playground becomes one of the courtyards. There is a “flower garden”, “tree garden”, “learning garden” and a “bee garden”. Additionally there is a “roof garden” on the grocery store and all existing trees that have been preserved receive signs with information.

THIS IS SCHÖNAU – Building Information

Title: This Is Schönau! Diverse, Connected and Communal
Project: Urban redevelopment
Date: September 2020
Type: Limited 1-phase realization competition
Organizer: City of Mannheim, Germany
Participants: Final round: 14
Location: Mannheim, Germany
Site: Schönau, a district in the north of Mannheim

Programme: Residential development with a public space around a tram stop
Surface: 4.6ha
Status: Competition
Awards: Finalist
Team: Bernd Upmeyer, Chiara De Mattia, Maria Heinrich


BOARD Office Profile:

BOARD (Bureau of Architecture, Research, and Design) was founded in 2005 and is active in many fields: as an architecture, urban design, and design practice, as a research board and as a platform for comparative analysis on urban issues through its bi-annual journal MONU – Magazine on Urbanism. BOARD won several prizes recently in prestigious international architecture and urban design competitions. Among others: The House of Arts and Culture in Beirut, Lebanon; The Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Estonia; and The New Headquarter for Wexford County Council in Ireland.

In 2006 BOARD collaborated with STAR – strategies + architecture and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) to update the study “The Image of Europe” that was exhibited in April 2006 in the centre of Vienna, Austria during Austria’s presidency of the European Union.

Since 2012 BOARD is part of the group, led by STAR, that has been chosen as one of the new six teams of architects and urban planners appointed by the Atelier International Grand Paris (AIGP) to be part of the Scientific Committee for the mission: Grand Paris: pour une métropole durable. The work of BOARD has been exhibited all around the world and in places such as Moscow, Berlin or Paris.

Bernd Upmeyer is the founder of BOARD and editor in chief of MONU – Magazine on Urbanism. He studied architecture and urban design at the University of Kassel (Germany) and the Technical University of Delft (Netherlands).

From 2004 until 2007 he taught and did research as Assistant Professor at the department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Planning at the University of Kassel. In 2010 he taught as Adjunct Professor at the department of Urban Design at the HafenCity University Hamburg.

In 2012 he was a guest critic at the Berlage Institute‘s first-year postgraduate research studio “Anarcity”. In 2013 he lectured and participated in a discussion about architecture, urbanism and media at Strelka’s Urban Studies Session in Moscow.

Upmeyer frequently writes for international publications and magazines. He holds a PhD (Dr.-Ing.) in Urban Studies from the University of Kassel (Germany). Upmeyer is the author of the book Binational Urbanism – On the Road to Paradise. The book examines the way of life of people who start a second life in a second city in a second nation-state, without saying goodbye to their first city. Upmeyer coined the term “binational urbanism”.

BOARD employs an international team of architects and planners and collaborates with national and international external consultants and specialists.

This Is Schönau! images / information from Dutch architects BOARD, 251120

Drawings, text and images © BOARD, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Location: Mannheim, Germany, western Europe

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