A new mixed-use district as the western gateway to the town
L, XL architectural and urban design scale
Architect, landscape planner, traffic planner
Recovery – Dynamising Landscapes
Town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Baden-Württemberg, DE
ca. 61,000 inhabitants
ca. 138 ha
ca. 27 ha
Town of Schwäbisch Gmünd
Town of Schwäbisch Gmünd
Town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, private owners, investors
Type of commissioning
Urban studies in cooperation with the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd
Urban City Strategy
The town of Schwäbisch Gmünd plays an important role in the Stuttgart metropolitan region. It is thus ambitiously addressing the future of building, living, and working. Two projects from Schwäbisch Gmünd have been included in the IBA‘27 network of the Stuttgart metropolitan region, including the ‘Unbreak my Hardt’ project, which is based on an entry from the Europan 13 competition held in 2015. New ideas and approaches are being sought here for the area on the Stuttgart-facing side of the town, which has undergone significant changes with the relocation of the B29 federal road into a tunnel and the expansion of the Stadtgarten.
The ‘Western Gateway’ urban development area extends north–south from the railway line to the River Rems and east–west from Hauffstrasse to Vogelhofstrasse.
The parts of the project area south of the railway line, around Lorcher Strasse, have lain fallow for years, despite their importance for urban development. They are adjoined by the green space of Gleispark and the Nepperberg, north of the railway, and the River Rems along their southern edge. The Gleispark area borders the play and sports areas developed for the State Garden Show of 2014. East of these areas are the railway station and central bus station, and the town centre and old town can be reached on foot in ten to fifteen minutes.
The areas have great urban development potential, are conveniently located for all forms of mobility, and would be suitable for a wide variety of uses.
It is important to bring to these potential areas a new development outlook that carries the dynamic urban development of the last ten years forward in spatial terms.
Coordinated development of the project site seems sensible in terms of content and concept and also of function. The urban structures with green spaces that have evolved through urban redevelopment and the State Garden Show could expand westwards here.
How should metabolism and inclusivity be developed and connected?
One urban development goal is a suitably designed town image that presents Schwäbisch Gmünd as a larger medium-sized town and a medium-sized centre with regional sub-functions in the East Württemberg region of the Stuttgart administrative district. The currently underused and partially derelict part of the project site needs transforming into a lively, diverse, and sustainable neighbourhood. An area currently used for large-scale commercial purposes, its design subordinated to car traffic and the automobile trade, needs a future concept with realizable building blocks. The goal is a lively and future-oriented district that becomes part of the town centre and at the same time makes an interesting and inviting entrance to the town.
A plan should also be developed simultaneously for completing the Green Belt ring from the Salvator to the Nepperberg via the Gleispark district, with a ‘green leap’ over the railway to the tunnel site and a southward connection to the other bank of the Rems.
The area needs a long-term urban development process that can be implemented step by step. Its aim should be to develop a mixed district where building groups, housing cooperatives, service providers, and new production facilities all find a place.