FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT – Category A conceptual projects

The Kaufbeuren airbase is an interruption in the natural fabric of this part of the Swabian landscape: it cuts across the green belt obstructing a natural corridor. This proposal aims to solve the disconnection with the old town, with the use of linking pedestrian and cycle paths, and by giving new value to the existing old walls and main existing buildings.
The new master plan combines urban and natural synergies, using the transversal park as a connecting element. There is coexistence between urban farming, the research center, the production of energy and flexible living styles. The new development takes advantage of the elevated location and panoramic views. Moreover, the project conserves the identity of the old military airbase by exploiting the main lines of its layout.
The project has a multilayered approach, and, instead of an unflexible, fixed plan, consists of a structure which will lead to a process based on 3 principal aims: flexibility, sustainability and adaptability.
Time processes are another element of the project. On the one hand, the architectural structures will be in a variety of types planned to meet the town’s changing needs. On the other hand, new natural systems will be consolidated and integrated within the agricultural and forest matrix. The new inhabitants will customize their habitats and nature itself will create a new resilient ecosystem.
The proposal foresees the organization of a complex development with clear functions and multiple open scenarios. The entrance to the site, connects the old airbase to the old wall. The runaway is the main axis of the whole urban park. On the east side, there are energy production systems, involving the generation of electricity and water saving. On the west side is the living system, composed of housing and public activity spaces added to the existing buildings. The agricultural corridor gives continuity to the whole system on a wider territorial scale and includes productive urban farming areas. Rainwater accumulation takes place at existing low-lying captators, allowing natural permeability that moderate temperatures and humidity. New, shaped woodland plantations will complete the existing forest and establish a strong connection with the surrounding ecosystem matrix.
We propose three housing types: the linear type which establishes rhythm and visually connects Apfeltranger Strasse with the internal streets of the complex. The spaces in between as well as the existing buildings offer opportunities to open new small businesses in the neighbourhood. The massive type is located at the entrance to each unit and acts as a focal point in the group. The isolated low-density type is located close to the fields and urban-farming zones according to the small scale. The summary of all gives to the proposal the adequate urban scale in each specific situation.
High value is placed on the way the architecture and the landscape interact together and enact a new relationship with the city. The project aims at better organization, flexibility, phasing and aesthetics in terms of perception in this flat, post-industrial area. It incorporates a productive area, massive forests and a green axis as a suitable way to connect and increase Kaufbeuren.
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