Landscape planners of Bauchplan ).( use rectangular cobblestones in 3 colors and sizes
Architects of the refurbished Bahnhofstraße leading to Böblingen’s main train station, fell back on tradition: light and stone are the main elements. Building material would be a free used of the modern parameters: the artificial lighting above the pedestrian zone illuminates the imported granite and brings out the distinguishing array of stone colors.
To nip the notion in the bud: these are not stone types imported from Asia. We are talking about Spanish and Portuguese products. Stuttgarter Zeitung reports that the paving set off a lengthy debate at the end of which the city decided against „cheap imports from countries working with child labor and wage dumping“.
Some 400 m span the path from train station to the historic city center situated at the top of a hill housing the Peasants’ Revolt Museum. The passage was originally dedicated to automobile traffic: the center was reserved for traffic and parking space; pedestrians were forced to walk along the outer edges.
Landscape planners at Bauchplan ).(, which entertains headquarters in Vienna and Munich, reclaimed the entire surface the size of 2 football fields for pedestrians, thus creating space for a special experience. The path is paved in rectangular 36, 45 and 60 cm cobblestones respectively (thickness: 16 and 20 cm). In combination with the color palate ranging from beige over yellow to gray, an interesting pattern ensues.
The pattern was not random. Planners had given stringent instructions distinguishing walking surfaces from window-shopping areas and relaxation or leisure space.
Pedestrians can rest on benches and pause from shopping. Bicycle stands and protection from the rain are also provided, as is a „Free-space-couch“ for youths and extendable seats to name but a few special perks.
The fountain on the Elben Place at the foot of the historic city center demonstrates how the color of stone changes when wet. Gray tones are predominant around the seating.
On top of the high-quality paving, the special lighting above the area far exceeds expectations. From the train station with vertical light elements to rings of light along the rest of the space, the special design is the work of Lumen3.
The effect resembles a string of pearls originating from the spots of light underscored by spotlight islands below. The effect is created thanks to dual light sources within the rings of light.
The effects are visible even in daylight, i.e. in form of shadows on the ground.
But that’s not all that holds the passage together as a unit. The eye-catching paving adds to the effect, especially since the paving spills out to the adjacent street. A total of 15,000 m² of granite were supplied by Steincontor Besco of Berlin.
The aim of the refurbishment was to upgrade the area for shops, a step deemed necessary since a new shopping mall opened in close proximity.
Shopkeepers have expressed their hitherto unsurpassed satisfaction since the inauguration in May 2015. The Stuttgarter Zeitung quoted one shopkeeper: „We now boast one of the most vibrant pedestrian passages far and wide.“
Total costs amounted to 8.5 million €.
Bauchplan ).( a portmanteau containing the German words for tummy (Bauch) and planning (Plan) combined with the brackets and dot symbolizing a tummy belong together as one element
Berliner Steincontor Besco
(25.02.2016, USA: 02.25.2016)