Sustainable living in the Lambertz Quarter, Würselen (DE)

The exciting task of the NRW state competition was to find exemplary solutions for developing brownfield sites into sustainable and future-proof residential quarters. Wood as a sustainable building material is a central focus of the task.
What does a sustainable urban district look like? Climate-neutral, sustainable, succinct, dense, diverse, flexible and – very importantly – tying in with the identity of the place. Würselen, shaped by its community and tradition, should continue to grow by consciously taking up existing structures.
In our design, we interpret the Rhenish street village as a principle of order: an eaves-level, closed development lines the urban edges along the existing streets and the new residential street. In order to create a connection between all sub-areas and to link up with the extensive meadows and fields, we insert a “green vein” as a cycle and footpath access. At the intersection with the new street, the neighbourhood square naturally emerges as a new urban meeting point.

Typology and functionality
In order to create a lively, grown atmosphere, we have taken up traditional building typologies: those of the square courtyard, the street house with eaves, the apartment buildings offset to the street and the semi-detached house structures. The result is a tension between the compact street space and the loose development behind it – between urbanity and rurality.
The street house with a gable roof forms the main typology along the closed streets. The most flexible typology is the residential shelf, an innovative living form with a structure in front that can be used as a circulation area or as a freely designable outdoor area. The point house is a free-standing structure in the courtyard ensemble.  The single-family houses represent a modern version of the town house with 2- or 3-stories.
The semi-public interior spaces of the blocks are places to play and stay, places for rainwater management, offer space for community initiatives and are thus a first place of identification for residents and visitors. Special places in the quarter are also the gardens on the neighbourhood square and on Dorfstraße/ Kindergarten.

Timber construction – sustainable, digital and industrial
The natural building material wood forms a temporary buffer for carbon dioxide. In the Lambertz Quarter, we are therefore planning buildings that are adaptable and assembled from individual prefabricated wooden modules. Individual components that can be dismantled and assembled into new, modified objects. The result is buildings that are recyclable – entirely in line with the cradle-to-cradle principle, which is already taken into account in the early planning stages.

Client: Ministerium für Heimat, Kommunales, Bau und Gleichstellung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MHKBG)
Location: D-52146 Würselen
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Competition: 2022, 4. Prize
Area: 4 ha
Capacity: subsidised (30%) and privately financed flats + single-family houses, Lambertz office building, 3-group day-care centre, underground garages

Partner
landscape: Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Ueberlingen /// renderings: Dietrich | Untertrifaller