Niederschöneweide, situated 7 miles southeast of Berlin’s city center, was once an industrial powerhouse during the German Democratic Republic’s rule. After German reunification, industry in the East Berlin fell dormant, and sites such as the Bäranquell Brewery, and the VEB Berliner Metalworks, became vacant. Today, Niederschöneweide is traversed by a fast-moving highway, Schnellerstraβe, with frontages of auto repair shops, gas stations, and a mall. Though there currently exists just limited public access along the River Spree, there is demand for a more formal waterfront program.
This project investigates the relationship between former industrial landscapes, and their sites along the River Spree. We hope to couple reinvestment in existing buildings that pays homage to their industrial past with increased public access along, and across the river. Additionally, we aim to transform Schnellerstraβe into a multi-modal avenue. While we have increased population density four-fold, we have done so without displacing residents, and would couple our design with affordable housing requirements that ensure existing households can stay in place.
This framework could be replicated in various fashions in other Berlin neighborhoods with former industrial sites.
Berlin’s population is currently growing by 50,000 a year. This project, part of Dr. Wilfried Wang’s advanced studio, attempts to craft strategies, from the site to the metropolitan scales, on how to best accommodate both newcomers and longtime residents in sustainable ways.