Gallery: Rathaus Terraces: Mixed-Use Development for Medieval German Ci...

mixed-use development, green roof, natural ventilation, daylighting, public park, open space, terraced landscape, medieval city, germany, weilburg

Weilburg, a medieval city not too far from Frankfurt, has announced plans to demolish a parking structure on the edge of its dense core and replace it with a mixed-use development with retail, residential and park space. Recently they revealed this beautiful proposal from ACME, which won the all-important public vote and second place from the professional jury. Inspired by the nearby Baroque terraced-landscape design of the Weilburg Castle Gardens, the Rathaus Terraces will feature green roofs, as well as natural ventilation and daylighting.

Located outside of the city center on a hillside above a ravine, the Rathaus Terraces form a sloping and terraced vegetated landscape meant to integrate with the surrounding hills. The 19,200 square meter project will contain large format retail oriented towards the city center to attract passerbys. Residences, and apartments will be dispersed throughout the development and additional parking spaces will be created. New pedestrian paths will criss-cross around the development and connect to the city center and public parks with views towards the city and surrounding landscape will serve as an important amenity to residents and visitors.

The architecture of the development is characterized by horizontal layers that morph and change into new forms, much like the natural topography. These “fins” of natural stone allow daylight to filter in, act as shade and rain screens, and encourage natural ventilation. All the new structures are topped with green roof public parks, which aid in the protection and insulation of the structures and simultaneously help with water infiltration.

The Rathaus Terraces look like an exciting new development and a welcome replacement for the former parking garage. Not only will the development provide more residential and open space so close to the dense urban medieval city, but will also have amazing views.


Via ArchDaily


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  1. justastudent July 4, 2011 at 12:11 am

    im an urban design and regional planning student from Malaysia, i think that this is a very good example for the type of development available on the most of the country, the development on the hillside is restricted due to local authority and planning policies especially in Malaysia. Accessibilty for the disabled is very important, but if you come to think of this mixed use development is aiming the youngsters, desencdents of this miedival town :) maybe there is an elavator somewhere inside those caves.

  2. monarchrh December 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

    This is an amazing concept for mixed used development. It somewhat reminds me of the ancient terraces in the mountains of Peru.

  3. Joubert Architecture's ... August 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

    […] firm proposes to revitalize the strip of land with a new condominium complex featuring terraced gardens on innovative interior […]

  4. asha March 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    and how would youi include access for the disabled on such a steep site?? perhaps integrated outdoor stairs, if thhis is possible… i haven’t seen outdoor stair climbers like they have for indoor staris….
    My guess is that the hadicap access is located inside and views are afforded f rom there but not the outdoor climbing aspect – It is an interesting problem that you raise…. those old medeval towns are hard to negotiate for most everyone! and perhaps this is just part of who they are… must every site be equally accessible to everyone? or is that just a component of accessability overall. … of course if handicaped people are summarily excluded this would be, INHO, a handicap of the landacape..

  5. DoodleBean October 20, 2009 at 2:53 am

    The green aspects and vegetation are nice. Only one problem — the project is completely inaccessible for disabled people such as myself. Ouch! All those stairs!

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