Living on the Altmühl riverside

Eichstätt, Germany

A complex that is going to comprise a mix of upmarket residential appartments and different services will be built at the „Spitalstadt“ development site in the town Eichstätt. At the same time also the structure of the urban fabric will be improved so that neighbours will also benefit from the new set of buildings.

The wedge-shaped plot of land sits at the border of the potential flood area of the river Altmühl and marks the transition between the urban fabric and the landscape. On the south-west the plot is lined by the Innere Freiwasserstrasse, in the north east it adjoins the floodplains of the Altmühl. The new buildings south of the plot border are a composition of different residential and commercial buildings, which in terms of their building typology and size, are perhaps slightly unusual for Eichstätt. Their central situation in the middle of town, the reference to the Willibaldsburg castle in the west and priviledged riverside location with views to the monastery all contribute to the outstanding quality of the site which makes for an attractive architectural project.

The clearly defined building lines and edges of buildings facing the city bound the streetscape towards the south west. Closer to the river the builings dissolve into a scenery of balconies and terraces. Residential units are staggered in vertical as well as in horizontal direction and also stepped in order to provide views to river and to ensure favourable orientation towards the sun. Additionally, bright materials used for balconies and terraces permit daylight to penetrate deeply into the interior spaces. Along the street the ground floor is dedicated to commercial uses. A public walkway cuts across a planted, light-filled inner courtyard and leads through the building to the river. From here the public uses situated at the gound floor level as well as the apartments can be accessed,.
The plan currently envisages a total of 50 residential units, with sizes ranging from 45sqm and 120sqm and with a wide range of different floorplans, such as front-to-rear apartments, corner or duplex apartment as well as apartments that are accessed by balconies. What all apartments share is that each one will have access to the exterior.

According to the landscaping concept the terrain will be stepped towards the river Altmühl and to the carpark. A web of stairways will connect the river level to the street level which is three meters higher, providing multiple routes. The succession of enclosed-open spaces which alternate with sheltered and more exposed spaces will create a continuous landscaped space.

Designed with reticence, the facades towards the streets feature glazed loggias, while the timber-clad and glazed facades looking out over the Altmühl exhibit a diverting and lively mix of projecting balconies, terraces and solar shading elements. The mix deliberately reveals the different typologies within, so that the building’s exterior becomes an expression of the human scale.

Photos

Location

Eichstätt, Germany

Client

Megavest GmbH, Unternehmensgruppe Leopold Stiefel

Architect

Behnisch Architekten, München

Design

2014-2017

Completion

2017

Gross

9.630 qm / 103,619 sq.ft.

Volume

33.052 cbm / 1,167,231 cu.ft.

Competition

2013 Study