The municipality of Puchheim intends to develop a new city center. Changes to the infrastructure and buildings will give the new heart of the city a sense of identity and at the same time improve the way it connects with its surroundings. Existing structures will be retained but at the same time given greater emphasis, new ones will be inserted respectfully, opening up new opportunities for development. By bestowing a new sense of order, defining different spaces, emphasizing connections, articulating points of entrance and generating urban atmosphere the current structure of the urban spaces will undergo a fundamental improvement – which is one of the key objectives of the design.
Currently the site is characterized by large open areas with naturally grown tree stock. These green features as well as the old trees will largely be preserved and receive added emphasis. They flow through the city center forming a continuous stretch of landscape. A series of public squares span a new urban axis between the Alois-Harbeck-Platz and Planie. The central gathering point will be “Der Grüne Markt”, the Green Market. With plenty of sunlight exposure it lends itself for multiple purposes - as a pleasant place to while away time, for the locals to meet or as a venue for all kinds of celebrations.
Different measures such as narrower road lane widths and a more varied course will calm down the traffic along Adenauer Strasse. The green area south of the cemetery will be used for a car park, burrowing into the ground here. The lively sculpted landscape will also feature an attractive playground, steps to sit on, a climbing wall and embankment slides. It is an area which can be used for all manner of sports and cultural activities in summer as well as in winter.
The pedestrian walkway linking Alois-Harbeck-Platz and Planie will be transformed into a “Culture Walk”. It will be lined with interactive outdoor games, mosaics, musical playground equipment and outdoor art objects. Seating provided along the walk invite users to sit, chat or watch or take a rest. Clearly defined urban spaces will provide a contrast to the numerous trails that have formed over the years here.
The „Alte Schule“ as an old school building is important for identity formation and will therefore be preserved and integrated into the new urban fabric and simultaneously become part of the new educational campus comprising the Volkshochschule (an adult education institution), library, music school and extension building. The new buildings will be scattered like pebbles along the network of paths through the public space. While the outward spatial edges towards roads and parks will be clearly delineated and sharply cut, the design of the new buildings towards the courtyards and their aspect in general will be much more multi-facetted in terms of building height and openness. This is where the entrances to the different facilities will be located, where people meet or enjoy a cup of coffee.
The residential and retail tower at the corner of Kennedy and Adenauer Street has been designed as a new landmark. It acts as a connecting link, redirects circulation flows and at the same time provides the district with its own address. This also upgrades the square in front of the district office and transforms it into an attractive meeting place for citizens.
The new city center of Puchheim should be better ordered and defined, but at the same time also a place that differentiates more, relates more to individual needs and a human scale. This will create an urban design which in terms of architectural, urban and ecological planning points the way to the future.
Behnisch Architekten, München
2015, 1st prize