Adaptive re-use of industrial fabric is no longer an extraordinary answer to pressing urban questions. Instead, these sites continue to function as settings in which thought leadership and sustainability can be showcased. For sixty years, the EnBW area in Stuttgart has operated as the technical heart of the city’s energy supply. The existing building structure is, therefore, strongly characterised by its historically grown industrial use.
Our design proposal takes up this industrial heritage as a critical quality and approaches the 11.000 m2 with a concept that embraces the idea of process-orientated identity and curated polyphony. By a subsequent high-quality use of the delivered structures, we aim to avoid lifeless, uniform monoculture. Existing identity is built on processually and can thus be lived on by a vivid neighbourhood. We also achieve the most significant energy savings and resource-saving sustainability by handling the existing buildings with care and avoiding demolition to the greatest possible extent. This attentive, almost compulsive, examination of the given condition has a decisive influence on our planning concept. It determines what, how, and where we build and thus forms our initial conditions, which lead us to the polyphony we desire.
At the heart of our architectural concept, we find the principle of structural addition. Depending on their existing topographical and programmatic situation, different wooden extensions are added to the existing stock, and five new buildings are proposed to complete the composition. This concept results in autonomous volumes which, in terms of spatial flexibility and use, proclaim a strong constructive and ecological function. We also pay particular attention to the choice of environmentally compatible materials. The use of wood, therefore, not only determines the sustainable character of the buildings. It also emphasises and highlights the duality and the fractures between the old and the new – whereas our landscape concept works in opposition. It is rather concerned with cohesion and connection than disruption and polyphony. In that manner, a new hybrid of a city square, park, and campus takes up the existing topographical situation and integrates the neighbourhood into its urban and green context.
In conclusion, we manage to create a sustainable residential project that respects the qualities of existing spatial sequences; their inherent identity; and reconfigures them in anticipation of future urban challenges and emergent stories.