Our plan for the former Zanders paper factory has just been unanimously approved by the local government. This milestone marks not only a vote of confidence for the transformation of the former industrial yard into a lively neighbourhood but also a major political commitment for circularity and net zero urban planning.
The 37ha site is just across the street from the city centre, and with the station within walking distance it is just 15 min from Koln. The shutting-down of the Zanders paper factory suddenly freed up this unique site for potential sustainable densification.
For over a year Karres en Brands has been working on the vision and spatial framework for the transformation in close collaboration with our client, the Projektgruppe Zanders, and assisted by the engineering specialists from Buro Happold and urban mining experts of New Horizon.
Globally the construction industry is one of the major carbon emitters. Our built structures have an enormous footprint when it comes to embedded CO2. Our vision for the transformation of the Zanders paper factory aims to set a new standard in sustainable urban development by proposing a radical approach to re-use. This approach will ensure not only a circular minded urban plan but also preserves the unique spatial characteristics of the spectacular site.
The transformation process will follow three main guidelines:
1. Open the hidden city! The historical insularity of the area will be broken up and the site will be connected with the surrounding city.
2. The city is already there! The existing qualities of the area and the rich inventory of diverse buildings and structures will be kept and used to form a unique atmosphere and a new type of city that is not possible to build from scratch anymore nowadays.
3. The city is circular! Zanders will become a living ecosystem where by theme’s like energy, mobility, climate, social infrastructure and water are not seen as separate challenges but always thought of holistically and intertwine. Furthermore we see Zanders as gigantic resource depot, noting will be waste and re-use is the leading principle for all developments.
The next step will be to discus and research the programmatic infill of the site. Housing, urban production, education, culture and research are the main elements of this mixed city. Parallel a first part of the area will be opened to the public as a living lab for the future city!