Solar City Linz

 

In the green belt between Solar City and the new bathing lake, sculpted hills were built from excess excavation material from the housing construction.

 

about demands and intentions: ‘The adjacent Traun-Danube water meadows will become a nature conservation area. Visitor control in the form of landscape – designed experience paths is intended to absorb the anticipated pressure from the population.’

This sets the open-space planners a difficult task. They have to fend off threats to the nature conservation area – and they have to do this without ban­ning access, but by controlling it. The first thing to be controlled is rainwater, using a cleverly devised system of chan­nels, basins, ponds and streams, extend­ing from the area near the buildings to the wooded meadows. Groundwater upgrading, the creation of permanent and temporary wet areas and support­ing the water regime in the river mea­dows are at the top of the priority list.

To protect the existing meadows from excessive visitor numbers, a range of different recreation areas were estab­lished: playgrounds, tenants’ gardens and meeting places are in the immedi­ate vicinity of the housing estate. Next to this is a park-like green corridor with room for a broad range of uses and then come the usual recreational facilities: a bathing lake, existing allotments and a new sports centre. The people who want to move on to the meadows are funnelled into walkways, given information at specially established stations and guided to specific places.

A review of the results has shown that the newly created lakes, wetland areas and biotopes are being extremely well accepted by indigenous flora and fauna, even in areas directly adjacent to buildings. The new swimming lake is much loved by residents. The play­grounds, lawns and niche spaces are used by a whole range of different user groups. In a survey on living quality, the open space and connection to the nature reserve rank among the most appreciated aspects of the develop­ment.

 

Woodland

 

Nature trail

 

Swimming lake

 

:e kiosk

 

Creativity

 

Some of the hills are given particular emphasis as creative outdoor spaces. A water playground has one of these ‘artificial’ hills as its backdrop.

 

The unconventional design of the housing made it easy to incorporate collecting rainwater and conveying it across streets into a swale network.

 

Solar City LinzSolar City LinzSolar City LinzSolar City LinzSolar City LinzSolar City Linz

Solar City Linz

Solar City Linz

 

Where the delta of the Traun feeds into the Danube, a new city has been built, lying close to a belt of sensitive wetland wood. This new city has optimal local public transport connections to Linz.

 

A lot of people would like to live and work in the same place, and this is also an accepted credo in urban develop­ment policy. It should be possible to realize life-plans for the population according to taste, in a graded system of upper, middle and lower centres in which both are possible without a great distance between them. But the queues of cars every morning show the mess that trying to meet these wishes on a regional basis has got us into.

This time-consuming and air-pollu­ting scene is played out in the Upper Austrian town of Linz every day as well. For this reason the city of 200,000 in­habitants and a proud 180,000 jobs looked for somewhere to build new housing estates. But it was difficult to find suitable building land, as Linz is confined between the Danube and the Traun, with numerous protected areas. Finally a site in a typical landscape of water meadows was found, and archi­tects of the calibre of Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and Thomas Herzog were persuaded to work for this project, which was Austria’s largest urban development scheme at the time. The Dreiseitl studio won the competition for designing the landscape architecture.

The project was given the fine – sounding title Solar City Linz, and has raised enormous expectations. In the long term it is intended to provide a total of 25,000 people with homes in five centres. So far the concrete plans include one centre with about 32.5 hec­tares of building space for about 4,500 people, including about 20 hectares of open space. Doubts in terms of nature conservation are understandable. For this reason Linz’s director of building, Franz Xaver Goldner, has assurances

 

Overview plan of Solar City with the new bathing lake and the existing wetland wood

Solar City Linz

Resolving the conflict bet­ween city and nature is a major design theme of the master plan. Excellent and convenient play and relaxing spaces for the inhabitants help reduce pressure on the surrounding sensitive nature landscapes.

 

Solar City LinzSolar City LinzSolar City Linz

Solar City Linz

Solar City Linz