Ulsteraue – Geisa, Germany

Geisa is a small town with a historical city center in the Thurungian Rohn uplands. What is termed the city’s artisan suburb is currently highly fragmented and hardly legible, spatially. This design draws on what is still recognizable in the structure of the artisan suburb and formulates, through subtle densification, clearly readable and tangible edges in the North-South oriented roads and open spaces. The permeability in the East-West direction is maintained and strengthened so as to guarantee the identity relationship with the river bank. The extension of an orchard near the former town moat forms the western edge of the suburb.

As an attractive alternative to housing development outside of the city due to its location between the old town and the river Ulster, the areas within the existing grid will be re-densified for up to 18 new residential buildings with designated garden parcels. The homes utilize the existing typology of the freestanding two-storey gable type. The duplex homes, through the interconnection of the two buildings and as an expansion of the existing precedent, form the basis for a diverse user-oriented structure. Along the streets the Pfortengasse and L√∂hrergasse, the alternation in the orientation of the cable ends of ¬†these duplex houses formulates a picturesque streetscape; toward the river, the houses ¬†identify the eastern border and close the gap between the guest-house ‚ÄúZur Linde‚ÄĚ and the kindergarten. With gardens oriented towards the Ulster, the artisan suburb is given a new and friendly face toward the river visible to visitors walking from the parking of the cultural center toward the old town.

The new construction and expansions of existing buildings have living units from approx. 100-120 m2 with 25 m2 of finished space underneath the gabled roof. This corresponds to the size of existing homes in the suburb. Facilitating feasibility and investment incentives, this building typology is well suited to energy efficient development and is eligible for loan and tax benefits.


Limited Competition with Idea Component (2012)
Honourable Mention
Client: City of Geisa
Program: Landscape, Public Program, Leisure, Living
Floor Area: 5000 m² (Idea Component)

Team: Sabine M√ľller, Andreas Quednau, Robert Gorny, Urs Kumberger
In Collaboration With: Anna Viader Landschaft Architektur Städtebau

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