Island Neu Fahrland – Potsdam, Germany

The island Neu Fahrland, located ten minutes north of Potsdam city center shall be developed as a residential quarter.

The future quarter is situated in the cultural landscape context of the River Havel: The island Neu Fahrland emerged with the construction of the Sacrow-Paretz canal and is strongly shaped by the linear section of the waterway. In contrast, the other shores are soft and tree-lined, in particular along the north-western bay opposite the Island of Robinson, which is a gem with boat moorings and jetties. A special landmark of Neu Fahrland is the listed Fährgut building by architect Ludwig Persius. It is part of the “Prussian Arcadia” formulated by Peter Joseph Lenne, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Ludwig Persius and marks the entrance to Potsdam.

Urban Design and open space
The design elaborates the qualities of this unique natural and cultural landscape to create a characteristic future living environment. Three types of open space with specific “addresses” are formulated:

An avenue with a double row of chestnut trees spans between the two bridgeheads (Fährgut and BrĂĽcke des Friedens). Avenues originally served the optical connection of destinations; the new Neu Fahrland chestnut avenue connects Potsdam with its landscape surroundings.

The section of the Sacrow-Paretz canal with its linear wharf is elaborated by a building edge opposite the forest edge at the other side of the canal. Together, the linear elements form a distinctive landscape element within the Havel landscape. The building edge’s rhythm is formulated by a chain of Canal Villas. Due to its location on the canal, these villas have a unique address in Potsdam. The maintenance street of the canal is turned into a promenade that widens at the western tip to an intimate square-like public space between bay and canal. With its small cafĂ© it might into a day trip destination.

The soft tree-lined landscape of the bay is drawn into the center of the new quarters as a neighborhood green area with distinctive solitary trees. This “Bay Garden” has many uses; it forms a playing surface and serves rainwater retention. The buildings in the heart of the quarter have their address at the Bay Garden. In the area of the bay, between tall trees, three “Robinson Bay Villas” stand freely. The park-like design of the private plots allows for visual permeability while boardwalks ensure the public accessibility of the bay with jetties.

Three landmarks – the historic Fährgut complex, the “bridgehead” at the BrĂĽcke des Friedens and the “Light House” at the pier – act each with great spatial visual links into the Havel landscape. They mark the field in which the three types of open spaces interact and anchor the quarters within the lakes and conurbation of Potsdam.


Urban design related call for expert opinions: Recommendation
Client: ROBEX Deutschland in cooperation with the City of Potsdam, Germany
Team SMAQ: Sabine MĂĽller, Andreas Quednau, Irene Frassoldati, Lorenzo Ciccu

projects, urbanism, competitions