During the extensive renovation of the inner city, the city administration initiated a discussion about renovating Lookenstrase and the neighbouring residential streets.

Project details

Reference object

Renovating the pedestrian zone on Lookenstraße, Germany

Architect

r + b landschafts architektur

Developer

Residents of Lookenstrase in collaboration with the City of Lingen

Pavers used

Bockhorner Bunt 04

Paved area

3.080m²

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Pedestrian area Lingen, Germany

Transparency and quality

Peter Kramer, Director of City Planning and Building Construction for the municipal administration stressed the importance of involving the residents and business community in the regeneration. “We wanted to find a solution where everyone was satisfied,” he said. “Since the project is partially financed by tax dollars, the transparency of the decision-making process was paramount. Town hall meetings, informational letters and public discussions take a lot of work, but it was worth it. Our new pedestrian zone is now much more attractive.” From the beginning of 2006, a joint approach was developed with neighbours, and working groups ensured that the different views were taken into consideration. Funded by the state of Lower Saxony, the draft plan was based on an initial project which sought to revise all the main axes of the pedestrian zone. The work was divided into several construction phases, and a total of 7,200 m2 of pavement was renovated with the revamp of Lookenstrase forming part of the overall project.

Typical of the region

In the winter of 2006, following a competition between six urban planning offices, the concept drafted by the office of r + b in Dresden was unanimously selected in April 2007. Landscaping architect Jens Rossa developed his draft entitled “tidy up and rearrange” which used a new paving scheme to convert the individual residential streets of the old city into a uniform pedestrian zone that emphasises the character of Emsland.

Paving with a history

The traditional “Bockhorner Bunt 04” paving brick was specified for the wearing course as a typical regional product, while the underlying layer was also replaced. The contract was awarded to two companies with the first construction phase seeing Nordhorn-based contractors Bernsen Garten- und Landschaftsbau GmbH & Co. KG. lay approximately 1,400 m2 of the Bockhorn pavers. In the second phase, the Lingen-based GaLaBau Emsland laid a further 1,700 m2 of this classic paver. Construction supervisor Christoph Moller is enthusiastic about the varieties of colours and durability of the paving brick, which is fired to be extra hard: “We have been working with Bockhorn paving bricks since the 1970s. Back then, three thoroughfares were moved from the city centre to the edge of the city, and the areas that were freed up were paved. At the time, we learned to appreciate the uniform quality. In Lingen, the 220 x 80 x 55 mm format was laid with 3 to 5 mm between them which prevents the edges from breaking off when they are compressed with the compactor.” Despite the low water absorption characteristics of the product, one of the unique attributes of a paved surface is that it allows approximately 40 per cent of rainwater to seep through, even though the joints make up only 10 per cent of the overall area. Assuming the underlying pavement bed is sufficiently permeable to water, paving bricks are therefore the ideal material to use when you want to keep from sealing the surface. In addition the, scheme used slot gutters with 18 mm wide stainless steel covers to help drain water.

Attractive exterior

An interesting visual interplay was intentionally created with the use of bright red fired clay pavers, and by running them in different directions. For aesthetic reasons, Jens Rossa chose to lay the pavers on their edge giving a more narrow profile without compromising the integrity of the new supportive layer. The newly paved surfaces, combined with a functional strip of large granite panels, are rounded off with modern city furniture such as benches, bike racks, streetlights and litter bins. A water fountain at the former Looken gate is intended to attract attention and serve as a meeting place in the centre of the city, while removable planters within the marketplace are an innovative highlight which can be moved to free up space for events. Overall, residents and visitors can now enjoy the pedestrian zone which Invites you to take a stroll and is already fondly called “the mall” by the locals.

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