Arkadien Winnenden, Germany

Don’t be put off by the cuteness! Arkadien Winnenden (Germany) is a hardcore industrial regeneration project. A diversity of high performance components make this “the world’s most sustainable neighbourhood” (Green Dot award for 2011) and provides a fresh new vision for people-friendly and resource productive suburbs.

Mixed architectural typologies are kept a cohesive neighbourhood thanks to the appealing Mediterranean colour concept and “garden city” quality of the streetscapes. Water sensitive urban design provides a distinctive urban character. Street corners are mini-plazas and places to chat with your neighbour or for kids to kick a ball. Although the streetscapes are distinctively pedestrian, a shared circulation concept means that the site is fully accessible for vehicles, with parking options in an underground garage, carports, and parking spots neatly tucked away between gardens on the unique load-bearing planting substrate. The unit density is softened through the presence of nature in the form of generous planting, the stunning lake at the heart of the development and the restored adjacent creek with a recreational path and play areas integrated into retention meadows.

Written by Herbert Gruber

Herbert is author of the book "Neues Bauen mit Stroh" (New Building with Straw), head of the austrian strawbale network ASBN and partner in the Leonardo-project "Strawbale Training for European Professionals (STEP). As a collector he documents European straw bale buildings since 1999 on his website (database, german), in lectures, workshops and books.