Studio BANG shared with us their winning proposal for the IBA Basel competition to design a settlement for commuters in Rheinweiler, Germany. With a strong focus on the last part of the commuters daily way back home, this new settlement is composed of 3 different row-housing units with 28 of them forming a structure that is slightly denser than the surrounding single-family house units. Thus, lower building costs and a closer community is enabled. More images and architects' description after the break.
Rheinweiler as district of Bad Bellingen is located at the Oberreihnische Tiefebene a lowland plain at the Rhine. The connection to Freiburg and Basel sets the possibility for a commuter settlement. The existing village supplies a useful infrastructure regarding facilities like butcher, baker, kindergarten, primary school and sport clubs. Thus, a daily family life in a rural community is ensured while at the time the agglomeration Basel securing several job opportunities is reachable within 25 minutes.
Commuting from home to work and back means not only movement but standing still. In the early morning the habitants of the new settlement will start a daily journey. They will walk, sit down, wait. They will move fast and slow, by foot, train or car. But commuting means not only going to work, it also means coming home. How does coming home work? To answer this question is the main aim of this design. First of all we need a destination; home. A silent and intimate place to feel save and secure. At the same time a place that provides family and even more communal life. A place that no-one knows better than we do. A place that is waiting for us each time we leave. Therefore, the last stage of a commuter's way back home is from station to bedroom.
Various public and semi-public places in combination with private zones provide different stages of intimacy within the settlement. Habitants are free to choose the current level of intimacy. Diverse paths and views between the houses increase the level of privacy while passing the way from the station to the private areas in the inside of the homes. By building only one upper floor, which is more public and a bottom floor, which is completely private, each housing unit implies a wide view over lowland plain in the west. The inner structure of the settlement is meant to access by foot or bicycle. For cars an underground parking with central access will be integrated.
Some small interventions in the existing building and its surrounding will create a more likely situation for the increasing number of commuters. Some of them are the reactivation of the kiosk and the toilets in the railway building and the integration of park and ride possibilities for both, bicycles and cars. Moreover the platform has to be rehabilitated to enable handicapped accessibility.