The town of Prüm, located in the western region of Germany’s Eifel mountains, has an outstanding cultural monument at its centre, the Saint Salvator Basilica. Before Planorama’s redesign, the square in front of the town’s landmark was divided into an upper and a lower section by a towering 3.5-metre-high wall. The aim of the project was to provide an open, yet clearly structured space with human-scale proportions. The result is a town square that is open on all sides and a fitting complement to the basilica. The lively plaza is now attractive and accessible to all users.
Anthracite-coloured basalt, old and new, is used throughout the entire square. Although there are different surface qualities and formats for the stone, it forms a continuous surface. Different types of paving define functions and structure the surface. This new layout provides a significantly increased amount of usable space and thus a fresh experience of the town centre for both residents and visitors.
From the main roads, the square slopes down to the basilica and the neighbouring abbey. Where there was once a 3.5-metre-high wall, there is now a gently sloping system of steps, precisely adapted to the terrain. The playful positioning of the steps creates plateaus of different sizes for various uses. At the north and south edges of the square low walls flank the steps. In the western area of the redesigned space sections marked out by their ground surfaces serve as outdoor terraces for cafes.
A step-free incline frames the square and allows barrier-free access from all sides to all levels of the square. A direct connection runs from the basilica to the roundabout, designated by illuminated handrails. During the evenings, bespoke streetlights set an atmospheric scene for the basilica, and artfully arranged floor lamps enhance the water feature.
Name of the project: Hahnplatz Prüm
Project category: Public Project
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape architect
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (if any): –
Project location: Hahnplatz in Prüm (main-square close to the Basilika, associated community in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
Design year: 2013-2019
Year Built: 2019
Photograph: Nicolai Benner, Germany