The Mühlbach Bridges
City of Tübingen
Housing, administrative, retail
Competition with pre-qualification, 4th Prize
Hosoya Schaefer Architects
Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH
The Mühlbackäcker will become an urban quarter. Becoming urban means – in addition to a dense mix of uses – especially a high degree of networking, so that new relationships, opportunities and synergies are generated.
From north to south, the quarter is already naturally interconnected via the current development (Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse and Mühlbach) – but otherwise it is highly fragmented. Four new or strengthened main connections in the east-west direction – the Mühlbach bridges – link the quarter with the surrounding area, create new relationships and at the same time new central, urban and frequented places in the quarter. These new or strengthened networking axes are always designed for bicycle and pedestrian traffic; car traffic becomes a subordinate factor in the urban network. The structure of the cross-connections takes up the classic grid structure of Tübingen’s Südstadt – the new quarter thus becomes part of the evolved urban structure.
The landscape space of the Mühlbachäcker area already describes in its name as a natural as well as culturally used open space. Clear zoning and hierarchy of the open spaces thus enable a variety of different qualities for the local neighborhood and the adjacent quarters.
The central Mühlbach Park forms the heart of the area as a natural space – selectively enriched with recreational and leisure uses. Arranged across the Mühlbach, the Mühlbachboulevard forms a central meeting point for the neighborhood – this also connects the bus stop Brühlstrasse to the bicycle route in the west and the Saibenquartier.
The Mühlbachplatz in the south, as a green space, forms the transition to the Saiben neighborhood in the west – it connects directly to the overlapping open space connection along the Steinlach.
The settlement edge, which is open to the landscape today, serves as an important fresh air corridor for the southern city quarters of Tübingen. By orienting the cross streets and roads in the prevailing west/southwest wind direction, the open spaces serve as fresh air corridors for the new neighborhood into the existing adjacent neighborhoods to the east during the hot summer months.
A balanced grain of uses
The goal is to achieve a balance of dispersion and concentration. For example, students are given a block mixed only with government offices so that the courtyard can be used by students and there are no noise conflicts with residential uses. Other student housing is more small-scale and distributed on other blocks, but they can use the large student courtyard as an open space and a meeting place.