Forest First | E13
Forest First aims to establish a sustainable forest ecosystem that can be gradually colonised by people over time, and economical possibilities. The project enables people to experience high-quality ecological areas, minimising the environmental impact, and creating therefore one harmonious ecosystem.
Europan 13: 2nd prize
Landsberg Am Lech, Bayern, Germany
Team: Marcin Maraszek, Maciej Kaufman
Colaborators: Agnieszka Szuran, Radosław Obczyński
The Project Site is divided into 4 major zones:
- Forest Settlement – the company housing settlement in the forest;
- The Common – a district's civic centre; central zone that concentrates services and public spaces along the naturalised Wiesbach;
- Industrial Park – a complex of production buildings for the expansion of the 3C Carbon company;
- Energy Park – a zone dedicated to recreation, and energy production.
Due to this, the urban concept remains clear, despite the level to which particular zones are filled with function and development.
2) THE STRATEGY
“Forest First” is a strategy rather than an ultimate project. The development always tends towards one of two extremes:
(S) The “Zero growth” scenario – should a sudden downturn in the economy or any other unpredictable circumstance occur in the initial phase of the project, the development slows down or freezes with ease. Reserve space for future necessities and manage inconstrancy.
(XL) “Maximum growth” - thanks to the growing economy, site reaches its full capacity in terms of space, density, energy consumption and/or economic situation.
(M) In any given point of time (e.g. few years) the state of the development may always be extrapolated using those two ultimate states. Notwithstanding the level of development, the spatial structure of 4 zones is always clear and functional. Also, the nature preservation objectives remain intact.
AREA UNDER DETAILED CONSIDERATION
1) FOREST SETTLEMENT
To experience the outstanding landscape of the project site by living inside it. The aim of the project is to establish a sustainable forest ecosystem that can be gradually colonised by people over time, contingent on economical possibilities. Life immersed in a forest creates a new image of company housing.
The construction of the Forest Settlement does not begin with deforestation, but rather with overall site afforestation. As one may derive from Beuys' 7000 Eichen, bringing nature back to human settlements is not only beneficial for the people but also results in a growth of awareness within the urban environment of the human dependence on the larger ecosystem educational outreach.
PLANT A FOREST / STADTVERWALDUNG
Forest is not just trees. The forestation density variable can be used to define which place may be called a forest. A mature forest density (forestation ratio) varies from 50 to 100 trees per 1 ha (depending on the tree species).
The right proportion between density of trees and built area can be extrapolated from existing forest settlements in Europe. Forestation ratio of examined sites varies from 45 to 105 trees per 1 ha. These figures are adapted to the project site: the number of trees varies form 50 per 1 ha on the west side to 100 per 1 ha on the east side of the development.
BUILD A HOUSE
The building density (site ratio) is an inversion of the forestation ratio. Architecture meanders between the trees. Buildings' typologies are determined by the forest density. While low number of trees allows to build more (eg. multi family apartment blocks), high number of trees limits the scale of the buildings, to detached and semi-detached houses.
ESTABLISH A NEIGHBOURHOOD
Housing of various typologies are clustered around central common spaces forming micro-neighbourhoods. It is the neighbours who decide how to use the central space of their cluster. It may become a playground for children, a barbecue site, a tree house, a swimming pool or may be developed into a building with a shared function such as a guest house, laundry, workshop or a sauna.
As the basic functionality of the house can be extended by a supportive shared development, the houses themselves can be built easily and at low cost. Sharing is more effective though: neighbours benefit from low construction cost, and they participate in maintenance costs. The need for collective work enhances neighbourly relations. Thus a sustainable neighbourhood “ecosystem” is set up.
2) THE COMMON
The Common is a new district's civic and service centre. It is an intersection of Industrial Park and Forest Settlement. It serves both of the zones:
The northern part adjacent to the Forest Settlement, set along naturalised Wiesbach, offers a variety of recreational and social functions.
The southern part, located in refurbished, adapted and extended barracks, concentrate local commerce and services of, or related to, 3C Carbon.
3) INDUSTRIAL PARK
Area of Industrial Park remains enclosed, with a fixed border. The factory develops inwards. The existing infrastructure is reused. Former military buildings are upgraded and re-used. Minor demolitions release new lots for construction. In the maximum growth scenario, the existing site ratio is doubled within the defined border.
Unlike other industrial sites of Landsberg, Lachrain offers much greenery concentrated in green “isles” located along north and south walls of the buildings. This specific structure inherited from its military past, becomes a rule for new development.
The central square of the Industrial Park is located at the intersection of main roads. It plays a central role both as headquarters and as the factory's social hub.
4) ENERGY PARK
Energy Park is an inversion to the Industrial Park. In contrast to factory campus, it can be described as open, semi-natural, low-tech, multifunctional. It’s dedicated to recreation and leisure. Hybrid spaces offer multiple means for embedding energy. It links the Industry with its natural and social setting.
A modular social greenhouse is equipped with a biomass heating boiler station. Not only does it support the food production, but also balances the energy consumption of the development.
- NATURE PRESERVATION
Forests. The new development supports ecological functions of the site, by preserving and extending the forest onto the project site. Two afforested areas on the north and south will now be interconnected by the means of ecological corridors. Naturalisation of Wiesbach. The stream is restored in a widened riverbed.
- MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
Public transportation. A new suburban train stop, a bus stops and a taxi stand are set up. Bicycle paths. The project site is linked with two bicycle routes: 1) fast/transit north-south line; 2) The Lech Loop, a landscape recreation route connecting valuable natural areas.
- ENERGY PRODUCTION
Green energy. Landsberg am Lech has a strong local tradition of “green” energy. Energy Park, a green belt stretched around the Lechrein Industrial Park is designed to concentrate means of energy production (such as biomass plantation and the biomass heating boiler station), aimed at balancing its energy supply.