Felixx + De Zwarte Hond win selection for redevelopment of Alpen, Germany

Felixx + De Zwarte Hond have won the selection for the redevelopment of Alpen, a municipality in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. A closed competition was organised and six teams were selected, each having designed a proposal. This took place in a participatory process in which interim proposals were presented to residents and policy makers during several workshops.

Unlike many other villages, Alpen has a lively business community. It is easily accessible and is situated in a splendid rural area. In order to face the challenges of modern, rural depopulation, these qualities should be deployed to attract and motivate young families to settle in Alpen. The strategy proposed by Felixx + De Zwarte Hond endeavours to preserve the existing economic conditions, strengthen the facilities and services, and improve ecological performance. The team shifts the focus of the project from the centre to the entire village: not one compact transformation, but a large collection of “acupuncture” interventions. These are clustered in various projects: a characteristic village street, an amenities zone and a new community centre. The parking lots will be gradually transformed into multi-functional parking plazas. The development toolbox concentrates on Alpen, but can serve as an example and stimulus for other villages facing a declining rural population.

The Felixx – De Zwarte Hond team will develop the proposed strategy further in a participatory process with all the parties involved. This will include defining various sub-projects before moving on to phased realisation.

For more information please contact Matthias Rottmann.

Foto: Ostermann Olaf