MVRDV has won a competition to create a master plan for a new cultural and creative quarter in the heart of Potsdam, Germany. The project designed for developer Glockenweiß was acclaimed for its particular approach in creating considerably more space than required in the initial brief.
Aiming to generate sustainable and affordable workspaces for creative people while “spotlighting the innovation, economic power, and cultural quality of life” in Potsdam, the winning proposal is based on the idea of a Village. MVRDV envisioned a vibrant urban block, with a restored historic town layout that incorporates existing historical structures. The master plan generates 24,400 square meters of floor space, 6,950 square meters of which will be affordable rental space. The project proposes two perimeter buildings at the edges of the urban block, with inner courtyards that will be used for “an innovative mix of functions, creating a spatial density that will allow for small-scale interventions and thus guarantee more intimacy as well as diversity”.
While the next phase of the competition will define the architectural elements of the master plan, the quarter introduces different typologies of the built environment and diverse urban experience with alleys, courtyards, green roofs, and squares, creating various possibilities of interaction.
Integrated sustainable concepts determine key principles for the master plan like public and private green spaces, the use of recyclable materials, the incorporation of elements for sustainable energy generation, and the communication of a new and adaptable mobility concept. Moreover, the pedestrian and public transport connections will be supplemented by an electric car-sharing scheme, reducing the need for private car ownership among the tenants of the area.
This is truly a project supported by the public of Potsdam […] Once the city of Potsdam determined that this block should be given a cultural and creative purpose, an intensive participatory process began in which politicians, the project developer, the architects and future users work together. The concept for the design, ‘the Village’, emerged because of the flexibility it offers, the density of diverse functions and because it allowed for more space for small-scale creative businesses than had been requested. -- Sven Thorissen, director at MVRDV.
The first construction phase is expected to start in 2021, putting in place, by 2023, affordable studio spaces, “to provide a seamless transition for the artists now located in the Rechenzentrum”. It will also include the creation of a building on the site of the former Langer Stall, “based on the original building volume and incorporating the building’s preserved end façade”. Later on, the second phase will cover the village buildings while the last phase will introduce the housing block.
- Project Name: Potsdam Kreativ Quartier³
- Location: Potsdam
- Year: 2019+
- Client: Glockenweiss
- Size and Programme: ca. 18.400 m² Mix use, housing, office, commercial, social
- Architect: MVRDV
- Partner/Director: Sven Thorissen
- Design Team: Christine Sohar, Alessio Palmieri, Magdalena Gorecka, Katarzyna Plonka, Antonie van Vliet