Wedel Nord

Wedel, Germany

Network of green spaces as framework for urban development

The Green Network is a master plan strategy that karres+brands created for the development of Wedel Nord into a lively residential district: a new community that is naturally integrated into the landscape and at the same time, an integral part of Wedel. The plan is based on seven qualitative principles.

Living in the Green Network is characterised both by the direct link to Hamburg’s busy city life as well as to the peace and space offered by the beautiful surrounding countryside. The plan accentuates this duality: the link to Hamburg ensures a fast and efficient connection, while still maintaining the landscape. A walking trail network weaves the residential area with important natural elements, while the separate network for cars and public transport enables effective commuting from home to work.

The Green Network is an comprehensive development. The main pedestrian link, a green vein, cross-links the new district with Wedel. The green vein is central to the plan and connects the existing and new communities. Existing and new features are linked to the green vein, making it a magnet for business itself. The vein connects existing facilities with new features including a new shopping centre, sports facilities and a gym. There are new connections and short cuts between old and new, so that previously isolated areas are activated and become part of the heart of the city.

The plan is formed by a simple and clear framework. First, the existing landscape will be preserved with features such as hedgerows, small local streets and the specific lot structure. Within this framework, there will be designated areas for infrastructure and green, ensuring that the neighbourhood’s qualities are retained within a context in motion. The development zones can be completed with flexibility and diversity; on both sides of the green heart, lots can be combined to create larger common areas - or they can remain small for faster development.

This flexible development creates a mosaic of different neighbourhoods and characteristics. Each new building is made up of different housing types, which are mixed in a variety of ways. This creates a vibrant and diverse residential community: common green and small squares link the various building plots - and the residents.

The main features of the public space come forth at all levels. Along with a series of pocket parks, the central walking network, the 'green vein', is formed, connecting the new city to its surroundings and Wedel. This pathway is activated by public facilities such as schools, kindergartens, sports facilities and the community centre on the outer edge. Apartment blocks are placed at the intersection of green and construction, thus accentuating the views to the communal green.

Flexible phasing is crucial. By making use of the existing lot structures, the district can grow gradually, along with the change in ownership. At the same time, the building lots offer the opportunity to mix different typologies. Together with the adjacent public space, they can function as small "islands", making the phasing very flexible. The green network can gradually grow with the plan, while the centre can be developed fairly early so as to serve the existing part of Wedel.

Creating a community is central to the plan. This theme is visible in the public space, development fields and architectural typology. Collaboration in the process phase ensures that the community is involved from the very beginning. The collaboration between various groups also offers the opportunity to be involved in the private building lots. Neighbours can cooperate at an early stage and unite, even before construction has been completed. This provides new synergies and forms of shared ownership, embracing experimentation and new ways of living together.

Project data
Location ​Wedel, Germany Google Maps
Assignment ​Master plan
Size ​55 hectare
Design ​2014
Status ​Competition entry
Client ​Municipality of Wedel
In collaboration with ​Sylvia Karres, Bart Brands, Marco Broekman, Darius Reznek, Simona Serafino, Justyna Chimelewska
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