Main idea: The new center
Mainleus, a city in Bavaria, needs a new center that strengthens the identity of the community. This center is created through the reorganization of the building masses, the design of the pathways and public spaces, as well as through the settlement of temporary and long-term uses and the linkage with the regional landscape. The history of the site serves as a guideline for the transformation of the former spinning mill.
It is not just about making a former industrial site usable. It is about developing the Mainleuser Mitte into a place that fits back into the existing structure: A place where people enjoy living and working.
Urban planning concept
The reorganization of the building masses is based on the existing industrial buildings: What can reasonably be preserved will be kept, what can no longer be made usable will be removed. Newly created spaces will be made accessible to the public — what previously could not be entered is now there for all to see. To this end, we are creating public spaces on the footprints of the former spinning rooms and the weaving mill. New perimeter development captures these new places, while strengthening the existing streetscapes at the edge of the design area.
The reorganization of the area through the Hornschuchstrasse and Lubisarkaden axes creates four quarters. A gradient of uses extends across these — neither strict separation of functions nor wild mix. In the west, at the quiet and attractive locations, residential use is predominant, while commercial use dominates in the east. In between, easily accessible via the main development, public uses and service providers are concentrated. Squares and gardens mediate and structure the area.
The northwest offers quiet and ecological living at the Mainleuser Lake for different population groups by means of innovative housing forms. These are complemented by activating ground floor uses. The boating area creates an entrance situation to the west of the design area.
In the southwest, the existing development will be complemented to create a functioning residential neighborhood. Cotton hall and two-cylinder spinning mill will be preserved and provide space for exhibitions and glass manufactory. To the north, the hall will be supplemented by a new volume which, together with the new high and vantage point, will mark the new Mainleus Mitte. The old gatehouse marks the entrance from the south.
In the southeast, a large part of the cultural, social and commercial uses are located in the immediate vicinity of the station. The local grocery store across from the station serves as a point of attraction and is easily accessible even without a car. The businesses located in the neighborhood, such as the business incubator, activate this most central neighborhood and mediate to the commercial areas to the east.
The northeast is characterized by the succession forest. East of the forest, the areas of Mainleus Invest GmbH continue, west of which are residential typologies. The buildings of the University of Kulmbach are located on Hornschuchstraße.
The design of the new volumes in terms of building heights and roof forms is based on the existing buildings and the topography. The roofs of the new buildings reinterpret the industrial shed roofs in a west-east direction, giving the area a clear character. They are also ideally suited for equipping with photovoltaic systems. Natural materials with a low gray energy value are used as building materials.
Open space concept
The new public spaces also allow the area to become the center of the village in terms of landscape, with references to the regional context of the Upper Main hill country. Analogous to the new urban neighborhoods, four open space identities are created:
As an inner-city forest, the Mainleuser Waldland represents an area with a local recreational function. At the same time, it is a climatically valuable and ecologically diverse natural space. In order to ensure this multiple function, the Mainleuser Waldland is managed as a succession woodland and made accessible and experienceable by means of footbridges.
The Spindelplatz is understood as an urban and robust, intensively usable place. As a counterpart to the woodland, the Spindelplatz is designed like a tree hall. Depending on requirements, it can be converted into a marketplace, sports field, exhibition space or event area.
The Mainleuser lake as an open, spacious water area that also serves as the storage and purification facility of the (rain) water management in the entire new quarter. In addition to its ecological aspects, the lake offers new attractive uses for all Mainleuser and their guests.
The garden land provides the private outdoor space for the future residential development, but can already be used and managed as a garden area in earlier stages, e.g. for community gardening.
As an initial step in the development of the New Mainleuser Mitte, a process of dovetailing nature and architecture is set in motion with the help of the small state garden show.
A new crossroads connects west and east for all types of traffic and creates a new connection for pedestrians from south to north. These axes reconnect the Spinnerei area to the network of paths in Mainleus and the region. Spinnereistraße across from the station provides park-and-ride and bicycle parking, as well as space for future expansion of the station. All buildings are accessible by motor vehicles on at least one side. Public spaces with a residential character are designed as «shared surfaces» for priority pedestrian use.
Intermediate uses, construction phases
In addition to the State Garden Show (Landesgartenschau), the transformation of the area will be accompanied by a series of events rooted in local tradition and expertise — from regional foods to local culture and sporting events. For this purpose, it is recommended to establish a management company that will organize and communicate the events on the one hand, but also take care of the selection of tenants for the cultural and some of the commercial users (regional producers, business incubator). For the residential areas, a mix of rental and owner-occupied housing as well as affordable housing is proposed. Proportionate ground lease or cooperative development is conceivable. Future residents should be actively involved in the development of the area, for example in the form of a neighborhood organization that jointly develops concepts for mezzanine and ground floor uses.
The area will be developed in stages, with an emphasis on early residential development in the attractive and quiet western area. The well-developed central areas lend themselves to service providers and public uses, and commercial space is envisioned in the east.