Water Oriented Development

uncovering the city’s tributaries to merge water and city

The recent approaches of ‘water-sensitive urban design’ and ‘water for the recovery of climate (new water paradigm)’ call for the creation of more comfortable microclimates via a catalogue of functional water-centred urban spaces. This project explored how these approaches could determine the urban fabric of an entire urban district.

An examination the River Spree watershed highlighted the few streams that carry water from all tributaries into the Spree. One such streams flows into the Rummelsburg Buch to the east of the city centre. Midway along its course, as it hits densely developed urban fabric, this stream piped underground and as such remains invisible for the rest of its course to the Spree.

The proposal uncovered the stream along its entire length, proposing it as a green-blue spine connecting neighbourhoods and diverse urban fabrics.  Pavement and street surfaces are unsealed to give the stream a more organic form and to allow for contained flooding from the collection of surface water runoff. Wastewater is redirected to a plant-based treatment area.  The broad urban design moves for the redevelopment of a post-industrial area along the riverfront are determined by the character and functioning of the stream, where it is proposed as an expressive natural landscape element.