Winner international design competition in Pforzheim

Koschuch Architects, Marc Koehler Architects and ZUS win international design competition in Pforzheim with radical plan ‘Waldstadt’

Dutch architectural bureaus Koschuch Architects, Marc Koehler Architects and Zones Urbaines Sensibles [ZUS] are the announced winners of an international urban planning competition concerning a vision plan for the German city of Pforzheim. The convincing and innovative character of the plan “Waldstadt” as well as its metabolic approach were crucial elements to the jury’s final decision.

The vision plan was developed as a means to further extend the city of Pforzheim in Northern direction by implementing an ecosystem that covers an immense area of 140 hectares. Within this vast space, radical and future-proof alternatives to conventional residential areas will be established. These will be based on the principles of nature and the surrounding landscape. Pforzheim is a ‘Stadtkreis’ of 130.00 inhabitants, situated in the Southern-German state ‘Baden-Württemberg, between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart.

Adaptive and sustainable design
The Waldstadt plan stems from a metabolic approach. Instead of adopting a rational top-down structure, the Waldstadt design is adaptive and dynamic in the sense that will be able to respond to the needs of the city itself as well as its surroundings. The vision plan is based on pre-existing, natural structures. Within a distinct ecological structure, remarkable living-and working environments with different functions and typologies are able to sprout – each responding to the relationship between man and nature. These environments will include modular, biobased buildings that are able to adapt and change their functions according to future needs and changes.

A balance between man and nature
The Waldstadt area is surrounded by woodland which forms the main inspiration for designing a green, sustainable vision plan which considers vulnerable areas and the integration of nature. Inhabitants of Waldstadt will form a technological society with nature at its core. The area they live in will be a melting-pot of urban culture and natural landscapes that provides for a high level of biodiversity and human health through the wielding of natural principles.

Human Scale
Waldstadt follows a strategy that is driven by openness and participation. Local inhabitants will fulfill an autonomous and influential role when it comes to future developments. The introduction of common, public areas will encourage them to spark up conversation and truly live and work together. With the involvement of inhabitants, research will be done concerning sustainable living that is viable on a financial and socioeconomic level.
The end of this year marks the start of a new phase of the vision plan in which inhabitants are invited to join a participation process. Until then, the vision plan of Waldstadt will be further expanded.

Patrick Koschuch, Koschuch Architects:

"Waldstadt is marked by a metabolic approach. It allows urban culture and landscape to forge in unprecedented ways through a high level of participation.”

Marc Koehler, Marc Koehler Architects:

“Pforzheim's future is not driven by technology, but instead draws back on nature. Waldstadt will recover a relationship between inhabitants and nature by offering an atmosphere in which people find mental balance.”

Kristian Koreman, ZUS:

“Waldstadt introduces a radical model for urban densification combined with natural intensification.”


Video Waldstadt Pforzheim: