Green Infrastructure „Landscape twig“

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Client: Stadt Heidelberg + IBA Heidelberg
Design team: Cityförster (architects) + Lysann Schmidt & Fabulism (landscape architekts) + Büro Happold (traffic & structural engineers)
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Date: 2018-19
Surface: 40.000 m²
Budget: 20 Mio€ incl. VAT

Our competition design presents a holistic concept that encompasses the planned cycle and footpath connection over the Neckar as well as its relationship with the surrounding urban landscape. Urban planning, traffic and design aspects are considered and a uniform green infrastructure is developed as a catalyst for new uses of the adjacent public spaces. Based on the Merian copperplate engraving from 1620, which is a predecessor of the Old Bridge, we approached the bridge-landscape relationship. Similar to this historic bridge structure, we link the new bicycle and pedestrian bridge with the Heidelberg cityscape. The necessary infrastructure becomes a connecting element through the concept “Twig in the landscape”, which connects the Gneisenau bridge, the green roof of the city depot, both parts of the Gneisenau park, the southern and northern banks of the Neckar and a green amphitheater on the university campus. Not only the residents benefit from these connections, but also the future users of the cycle expressway between Mannheim and Heidelberg. The infrastructure is cautiously integrated into the city landscape. A simple, compact shape based on Paul Bonatz’s Wehrsteig was chosen, including all the necessary ramps and stairs. Balconies, each of which provide a view of certain landscape features were added to the functional path connection. The path connection in the Gneisenau Park remains elevated, creating a path through the tree tops. At the same time, specifically positioned buildings under the bridge structure (with uses such as a café, bicycle workshop or car showroom) form a new urban edge to the busy Bergheimer Straße.