“The neighbourhood […] is not simply an arbitrary district, but a local micro-world in which many things can be done on foot in one’s own street or around the corner; this results in a sense of belonging that remains anonymous but brings with it responsibility for life in the neighbourhood.”
Feldtkeller, Andreas (2001c): Das Projekt Innenentwicklung – Zurück in die Stadt?, in: Feldtkeller, Andreas (ed.): Städtebau: Vielfalt und Integration, Neue Konzepte für den Umgang mit Stadtbrachen, Stuttgart, p. 34.
When we entered the brownfield of the “Stadtraum Bayerischer Bahnhof” for the first time we were immediately struck by the contrast between the prefabricated housing estate on the “Straße des 18. Oktober” and the old buildings of the Südvorstadt. For the second task, we want to continue this focus, but this time approach the topic with scientific methods and investigate whether these contrasts can also be determined objectively. First, we will look at the building structure, secondly at the building materials used, and finally at the use of the buildings.
Although the Bayerische Bahnhof is in a central location, not everyone is aware of its fallow land. Why is that?
Located in the east part of the Südvorstadt, the public space seems to be a little secret, forbidden and forgotten. Attractive for some, a deterrent to others. Grasses, shrubs and small trees sprout between concrete roads and gravel. Besides the paths, there are garbage heaps and broken glass. The expanse of the former railroad area radiates peace and is especially attractive for walkers, dog owners and joggers. Through its partial function as a public park, it is a social meeting place for young people. Furthermore, the graffiti-sprayed ruins and walls serve as a shelter for homeless people. And we were on site for you!
Nature is not what looks well-groomed and landscaped, but what has not been created by humans. It is a part of reality, whose details are often unnoticed because of superficial layering.
Soon, the large construction project will begin on fallow land behind the porticus of the “Bayerischer Bahnhof”. In this article we will show you how diverse a fallow landscape can be, if you take a closer look and which discoveries can be made there. Nature is difficult to describe, you have to experience and explore it.
The open spaces south of Bayerischer Bahnhof seem to be one thing above all: barely noticed. The crossing, serving as an extension of Shakespeare Straße, is well frequented by people, otherwise: all is quiet. Only the passing of the S-Bahn trains inside the new city tunnel broke the silence. Since the closure of the old Bayerischer Bahnhof and the dismantling of the tracks, no one seems to use the area. We have seen little reuse by the adjacent neighborhoods. That it is winter and we are in the middle of a pandemic may not be the only reasons. Could socio-spatially polarized neighborhoods and a lack of networks be the central factors?
In its current state, the area behind the Bayerischer Bahnhof seems just like any other wasteland.
It is a large open space packed with wild vegetation, surrounded by abandoned houses. It appears as an almost unused space. People go there to walk their dog or hang around, drinking and relaxing.
But the wasteland behind the Bayerischer Bahnhof also offers enormous design potential. Imagine: a thriving neighourhood – filled with arts and culture, a strong community bond and many different activities.
So, how is it possible to use the existing cultural structures that have been created over the years?
How does one design a neighbourhood that encourages strong interaction between people?
What activities can contribute to the creation of an active neighbourhood?
We have to answer all these questions when considering how to create a vibrant neighbourhood.
At this very moment you are at the Bayerischer Bahnhof that is one of the most central places in Leipzig. Behind the Portikus emerges one of the most spectacular, new architecture projects. Follow us on our journey through time, the neighbouring districts and its contrasts.
1893, the rattling of the locomotives over the steel of the rails, booms in the ears. Somewhere a foreman shouts instructions into a crowd of people. Steam hisses from the boilers of the huge steam engines. The heat of the coal fires continues to burn in the hearts of the stokers. Stronger, faster, further, the pantheon of an industrialized society. The Bayerische Bahnhof in its heyday.