CATALYST FOR LIVEABLE PUBLIC SPACES, THAT INTEGRATES NATURAL SYSTEMS
At Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl we believe that a vibrant public realm is at the heart of liveable cities. It creates communities, brings people in touch with nature and is a source of learning, pleasure, health and wellness.
Our well-tried approach puts collaboration, hands-on public participation and cross-agency coordination as the first step in arriving at innovative solutions that generate civic pride.
Whether visible or invisible, water plays an essential role in the vitality of urban life. We solve multiple urban challenges by creating desirable green spaces often in marginal land while at the same time solving stormwater flooding problems, improving water quality and thereby creating harmonious blue-green solutions, increasing also the resilience of urban areas. We are grounded visionaries who don’t just conceptualise solutions, we take them from visioning through detailed design to the management of construction and project commissioning. We combine cutting-edge skills in landscape architecture, urban design, urban hydrology, civil engineering and ecology to create special and unique public spaces in which water management infrastructure is an aesthetic part of the amenity. Technology becomes transparent, a beautiful designed feature where landscape and water are fully integrated to create highly desirable living experiences.
Our passion and philosophy is founded on our European heritage, honed on projects all over the world and delivered by our multicultural teams in Germany, Singapore, China, the Nordic countries and the Middle East.
Our vision is
– to lead Integration in planning and design to improve quality of life
-to value precious Water as a source of life in planning and design
-to use Landscape Architecture to connect People to urban nature
-to use Art to enhance the experience of people
-Performs full planning cycle to bring grounded visions to reality
-Empowers people by creating civic pride and ownership
-Integrates natural systems in Cities to synergize infrastructure
-Inspires by passion in innovation and design
-Creates transparent technology, aesthetically designed, to educate people
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park provides a new model for tropical urban hydrology through the instrument of landscape infrastructure, addressing Singapore’s dual need for water supply independence and flash flood management while creating access to a thriving riverine ecology within the dense city. Prior to redevelopment, Kallang River was a clear dividing line between the park and community as a straight fenced concrete canal in dire need of an upgrade. The design team worked together with the park and water authorities to rethink traditional infrastructural approaches in order to maximise land, financial and human resources. The brave move to break the canal and restore the river exceeded the targeted carrying capacity while costing 15% less than the redesigned concrete canal. Simple, yet highly engineered, this blurred line between park and river has transformed the community’s pragmatic perception of urban water systems to a relationship that is proud and close to nature.
The former industrial harbour of Offenbach, a city by the River Main approximately 5km upstream from the historic city centre of Frankfurt, Germany, is blessed with an advantageous location and scenery. Surrounded by water, a new city district is being created. The urban planning concept envisions the strong connection to the water and the existing city, as well as the experience of the rough harbour past as basic design principles. The plaza by the harbour is certainly the centrepiece of the development, supporting the rejuvenation of the industrial site through a mix of retail, housing and office spaces, and positively enhancing the adjacent Nordend neighbourhood through the addition of new, publicly accessible blue-green open spaces.
The iconic Potsdamer Platz bridges the scar left by the wall between East and West Berlin. A veil of shallow flow-steps create a rhythmic surface of shimmering waves, providing multiple opportunities for people to cross and interact with the water. This urban waterscape has contributed to making Potsdamer Platz one of the most visited places in Berlin. The idea behind this important urban waterscape is that the rainwater should be used where it falls. At Potsdamer Platz, a combination of green and non-green roofs harvest the annual rainfall. Rainwater then flows through the site’s buildings and is used for toilet flushing, irrigation, and fire systems. Excess water flows into the pools and canals of the outdoor waterscape creating an oasis for urban life. Vegetated biotopes are integrated into the overland landscape and serve to filter and circulate the water that runs along streets and walkways, all without the use of chemicals. The lake’s water quality is excellent forming a natural habitat and fresh water usage in the buildings has been reduced. Since 1998, Potsdamer Platz stands as a successful example of a revitalized open space where city life, prestigious architecture, and the beauty of water are in harmony.
Formerly a wetland, the Pearl District was bisected by Tanner Creek and sided by the broad Willamette River. Rail yards and industry first claimed and drained the land. Over the past 30 years, a new neighborhood has progressively established itself – young, mixed, urban and dynamic, today the Pearl District is home to families and businesses.
With surgical artistry, the urban skin of one downtown block, 60 x 60 meters (200 by 200 feet) is peeled back to create a new city park. Stormwater runoff from the park block is fed into a natural water feature with a spring and natural cleansing system. The `Art Wall´ recycles historic rail tracks, oscillating in and out and inlaid with fused glass pieces hand-painted with nature images by Herbert Dreiseitl. Ospreys dive into the water, art performances unfold on the floating deck, children splash and explore, and others take quiet contemplation in this natural refuge in the heart of the city. An intense community participation and a stakeholder steering group means that this park is the realisation of the dreams and hopes of local people.
Tianjin is one of China’s top 5 cities, not just in size and population but also in terms of business investment. Located just half an hour south-east of Beijing by high-speed train, Tianjin is also close to the sea. The high-water table needs to be maintained to prevent seawater encroaching inland and the dry, harsh climate does not preclude flooding.
In the design of the new cultural district between the new opera house and existing city hall, a main goal was to increase outdoor comfort and create dynamic, social pedestrian routes. The lake waterfront is aesthetic with dramatic views to the opera house and exciting Museum, gallery and library frontage. Avenues of trees and planting shield the waterfront from the cold Mongolian winds while at the same time storing water for irrigation.
The lake is a stormwater feature, a balancing pond which can effortlessly handle a 1 in 10 year storm event and buffer a 1 in 100 storm event. Generous tree plantings link subsurface, decentralised retention trenches which feed the lake via a cleansing biotope. The urban lake has its own natural biology and reduces temperature extremes. Its scenic beauty sets the scene for Tianjin’s most outstanding new cultural architecture.