Who is overseeing the development project?
COPRO Projektentwicklung GmbH (www.copro-projekt.de) and the consultancy of Dr Vogel (www.bdrv.net) are responsible for project execution.
When will construction start?
Actual construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.
How did the project respond to question and concerns of local residents and concerned citizens during the planning phases?
Everyone interested in the project had an opportunity to share their ideas during a series of participatory dialogues that took place from November 2014 to February 2015. People were informed about the project and invited to participate in the dialogues with marketing materials such as flyers, posters, a website especially created for the project (urbane-mitte.de) – and even a “coffee-mobile”. Most of the ideas collected shaped the resulting consensus paper that sums up the results of the dialogues. These formed the basis for the competition documents created for the following phase of the project. The consensus paper, as well as information about all resident dialogues and talks with development experts and city representatives overseeing urban planning, can found at www.urbane-mitte.de. Finally, a preview of the competition entries took place in November prior to the end of the second phase of the urban planning competition. This gave citizen representatives the chance to assess and express opinions on the seven final proposals. A public exhibition of all competition entries took place from 3 to 5 December 2015 in the Deutsches Technikmuseum.
Urban planning competition
Who is responsible for the property design?
An urban planning competition was conducted between May and November 2015. The overarching goal of the competition was to determine the primary access routes through the property, the basic contours of the structures, how to properly integrate the planned train station for the line S21 and how space would be divided by use. During the first competition phase, 22 architectural offices submitted entries. Of these, a respected jury selected seven to proceed to the second phase. During this phase, architects and urban planners had an opportunity to further develop their proposals. The prize winning entries were selected at the second jury session held on 20 November 2015. First place was shared by two Berlin-based architectural offices, COBE Berlin and Ortner & Ortner Baukunst.
Will the proposal or proposals be executed exactly like the current designs?
The concepts are proposals that will now take on a more concrete shape during the procedure to finalise the master plan. The winning designs visualise what the finished structures might look like, and as such form the foundation for the further development of the master plan and development plans, which will finished by April 2017.
What happens from now until the final decisions are taken?
Planners and experts will assess the winning designs from COBE Berlin and Ortner & Ortner Baukunst by the end of 2015, offering recommendations for their further development. The architectural offices will develop their designs in line with the expert recommendations by the end of January 2016. In February, the winning offices will integrate feedback obtained from the public and other public agencies into their proposals. Finally, the district government, Senate and awarding authority will together determine which design will serve as the basis for the master plan.
Urban planning issues
Will there be skyscrapers in Urbane Mitte?
The participatory dialogues demonstrated that taller buildings – when carefully planned – can strengthen the location’s character in the overall urban setting. The winning designs also integrate skyscrapers in order to optimise the available space, thereby making Urbane Mitte am Gleisdreieck more inclusive as a public space for as many people as possible.
How much construction is planned in terms of square metres?
The project foresees the construction of new buildings measuring max. 100,000-110,000 m2 gross floor area (GFA). This figure includes total construction for all storeys and surfaces. The U-Bahn viaducts will also be integrated into the final concept.
How has the history of the area surrounding Gleisdreieck been integrated into the project?
Kreuzberg has a storied past. The area near Gleisdreieck has undergone many changes in the past, and the large Park am Gleisdreieck has played a major role in its history. The entire location gives Kreuzberg an identity of its own and Urbane Mitte am Gleisdreieck should reflect the area’s DNA as a site for transportation and manufacturing. It is also essential that reviews remain unhindered of the historically protected U-Bahn junction and accompanying railyard.
Does the project include residential housing?
Residential usage on the property is highly limited due to the noise of rail transport through the property. Because this property is located in what is known as a “central zone”, residential units are only allowed in exceptional cases. About 15,000 to 30,000 m2 of Urbane Mitte am Gleisdreieck is designated for semi-residential purposes. From an urban planning perspective, the property serves as an important landmark for the surrounding residential areas.
Does the project include public spaces?
The project strives to create a lively urban quarter. During the participatory dialogues, residents said what kind of uses they wanted from the space. As a result, areas on the ground floor have been earmarked for public uses, such as the planned art hall, as well as for workshops, restaurants and shops. Additional kinds of sports are also planned, to complement the sports x now offered in the neighbouring park. The goal is to create an urban space that entices visitors to stay and relax. This applies to the public transit zone between the Gleisdreieck train station and the U-Bahn viaducts that will be revitalised.
Will areas of the park be reserved for commercial purposes and workshops?
Residents participating in the dialogues made it clear that the area needs more amenities. A new area for shops will be created at Urbane Mitte am Gleisdreieck, likely in the vicinity of the new train station intersection, as well as areas for workshops, trades and studio spaces.
Will new workshops and studios be created?
The desire for more uses for artists was mentioned several times during the dialogues. It has been integrated into the consensus paper. Urbane Mitte foresees the creation of a dynamic mixed-use location – that equally benefits local residents and visitors – and spaces for creativity are an integral part of this concept.
Park am Gleisdreieck
Will construction affect the bicycle path?
There will be access routes through the property in the future. This was an important point that came to light during the dialogues. The exact location of the bicycle path still must be determined, however.
Will construction affect Park am Gleisdreieck?
The park is public property and, as such, will be remain unaltered in its current state. Construction will only be performed in designated areas, as outlined in the urban planning contract from 2005. The fields earmarked for construction can be viewed at the project website (www.urbane-mitte.de).
U-Bahn and S21
What will happen with the U-Bahn?
The U-Bahn will not be affected by construction on the property. It will, however, be integrated into the overall development concept.
Why were the arches of the S-Bahn dismantled?
Whereas the U-Bahn train station and viaducts have been designated historically protected structures, the older arches of the S-Bahn were not. They were in disrepair and in danger of collapsing.