Client: City of Lörrach
Status: Competition (2014)
Location: Lörrach, Germany
Climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate
Types: Housing, Residential
The proposed masterplan for Schöpflin Areal in Lörrach (DE) formulates an integrative and adaptive answer to the respective demands of two actors – the municipality of Lörrach and the Schöpflin Foundation – joining efforts to develop a two-hectare site next to a former textile factory. Which forms of living – derived from the site’s existing qualities – could support the foundation’s philanthropic activities (i.e. to push forward a productive exchange between generations and help achieve a certain sense of place)? How to integrate new public facilities (a municipal sports/association center, new spaces for the foundation’s activities) within the neighborhood and as potential new incubators for this suburban area?
The proposal takes on these joint demands into a flexible yet robust system. More than a finished project, it is thought of as a framework, open for future adaptations, capable of supporting the future development process. The open program is answered with an inclusive image and structure. Inclusion, rather than prescription.
The project is organized as one field. Freestanding buildings of varying height and depth alternate with open spaces of diverse nature and character. The urban structure aligns with the main street, giving the neighborhood an address while positioning the new public facilities within a larger chain of public facilities. The structure is topological, in the sense that it defines spatial relationships that don’t exclusively depend on finite form. While it relates/adapts/adjusts to its surroundings, it is also clearly legible as one field/ground/park. Existing qualities found on site (i.e. the multiple, introverted micro-situations within the park of the Schöpflin Foundation) are not simply mirrored in the new neighborhood. They find a playful new interpretation within a domestic environment.
In this sequence of built and unbuilt, solid and hollow, housing and green, the intensity is not found in one condition or the other, rather in the mutual reinforcement of each of these counterparts. The presence of nature is fundamental. Being of multiple character (lawn, playgrounds, vegetable gardens, greenhouse, hollowed out surfaces, etc.) it supports extensive uses and interactions while contributing to a specific urban landscape. As much as the architecture it participates in the urban identity of the neighborhood – en ever changing one, supporting broader possibilities of living.