Bright Minds Big City

year: 2010
size: 10 - 100 ha
type: urban design
client: City of Magdeburg
with: Maxwan
Magdeburg, founded upon the Elbe River has a history of scientific innovation. The urban design takes the existing bland, but quite functional campus and adds a series of gathering spaces, new business space, campus dwellings and cultural functions. These linked spaces continue eastward to form the framework for the future development of a tech centre, while also connecting to the historic harbour and the riverfront. This forms a car free spine that brings together diverse users to mingle in a series of mixed use spaces. Additionally, new pathways complete a previously broken link in the green network of the city. The signature element along the spine is a covered public forum that resides adjacent to the pedestrian underpass and is topped by a cinema and conference centre.

The continuity of the outdoor space is derived by the consistent use of small blossoming trees, like cherry, pear and apple, in a dense grid. As a pavement boulders are used, sorted by colour, laid out in a slow pixelated gradient. Since a large part of the pedestrian route is sloping down towards the river, rain water is collected and used in different forms, finally ending in the harbour basin.