Ideas for Urban Intensification

01-03-2015  Ideas competition for Urban Intensification

Münster is a popular city; by the year 2030 estimates put the number of new residents at 30,000. However, housing options are becoming more and more limited.Prices and rents are rising. Increasingly, urban site development is becoming a hot topic and innovative housing solutions are being desperately sought. The city is growing and can look forward to an intensified urban future. The ideas competition,Wohnort Stadt, examines the future of urban housing in Münster. (extract from the competition brief)

The competition was organised by Prof. Kirsten Schemel and Prof. Joachim Schultz-Granberg and came into being in collaboration with the City of Münster and the LBS. Students from universities throughout Germany submitted 21 carefully conceived designs. Participants were asked to develop design strategies coupled with images illustrating the future neighbourhoods and sustainable ways of living. The competition was looking for solutions to three different but interrelated aspects of Munster’s urban development: firstly, an exploration of spatial potentials in various areas; next, the creation of an integrated design strategy; and, finally, an image as seen from the perspective of a future inhabitant. Of particular importance was the compatibility of the project with the existing fabric from the point of view of a resident or neighbour so suggestions needed to be easy to integrate. The competition was organised with the help of Competitionline. You can find a detailed breakdown of the entries and participants here.



The submissions displayed a wide range of design proposals that stimulated exciting discussions among the panel of judges, which was made up of external architects and planners as well as representatives of the city. The main criteria on which the entries were judged were their urban and architectural design ideas and their compatibility with existing urban structures, plus the innovative power of the proposals with regard to new dwellings typologies. After intensive discussions, two winners, as well as three entries singled out for special mention, were selected under the guidance of the chairman of the judging panel Prof. Ralf Pasel of the University of Technology Berlin.

Using the prize-winning project Urban Cluster, Munster’s outskirts will be redeveloped. Von-Esmarch-Straße will mark the beginning of a new urban transition zone at the edge of the city. The site of the former British settlement is being redesigned to create independent building clusters integrated into the existing tree cover. Each cluster will be carefully positioned to facilitate good connections with all the adjoining city areas and high-quality urban spaces will be generated there and in the spaces between. The inner core of the new installation will become an atmospheric, urban centrepiece, an inviting place for many leisure activities close to home.

Different typologies, from apartment buildings with balcony access facing the (lively) street to town houses, form a shared centre and different neighbourhoods. This entry provides answers to urgent questions around affordable living for both individuals and families as well as around new types of communal, neighbourhood living. The panel were extremely impressed by the completeness, precision and poetic development of the design.

Our congratulations to Thomas Bergerbusch, Stefan Degott und Marlen Lulu Sartorius!





Another prize-winning project, Kollektiv Gartenstraße, involves urban intensification in zones and properties directly adjacent to a former prison. The entry proposes a secure setting for the development of buildings in the city. The elevation seems independent and vivid while the relationship between public, semi-public and private spaces appears both coherent and sophisticated. In this project, the prison court remains in the background as a “secret garden”, while large adjoining green spaces are either preserved or created.

Our congratulations to Patrick Gläßner und Titus Wiehagen!