Cars Are Kept At Bay In New Mannheim, Germany Development

April 27, 2016

Individuality and uniqueness of character are generally not thought of as things associated with the typical American suburb. Instead, suburbs tend to drum up thoughts of never-ending rows of identical houses and aerial views that look like conveyor belts at a model house factory.

While many enjoy their suburban environment and the lifestyle that comes with it, Dutch architecture firm MVRDV and home builder Traumhaus are looking to create a suburban village that retains all the qualities of traditional suburbs while rectifying some of their shortcomings, Curbed reports.

One of the major shortcomings the development is trying to fix is the intrusive nature of automobiles in otherwise quiet and pleasant areas. As Co.Exist reports, one of the MVRDV architects working on the project believes streets act as a barrier between households, and eliminating them will not only free up space for children to play, but will also increase interactions between neighbors and households. Instead of streets, the development, known as Funari, will have sidewalks and paths that connect to a surrounding park, a park that is meant to feel integrated throughout the entire development as opposed to existing separately from it.

If you do own a car, however, don’t worry, as you won’t be required to sell it before moving in. An underground parking garage is located underneath the entire parcel of land. There will also be a tram that runs adjacent to the development for transportation and access for emergency vehicles has been designed into the plans.

Utilizing one of the five districts in a major redevelopment of the Benjamin Franklin barracks in Mannheim, Germany, the development spans 27,000 square meters of housing, gardens, and public space. Looking like a giant quilt, the development would mix and match various garden and dwelling typologies where each one is meant to support a different type of household and demographic.

For example, the more eco-centric family may choose to live in a vegetated house while stilt houses are perfect for those looking for a starter home with room to expand. And a monochrome wooden home may appeal to traditionalists while seniors may prefer a single story tent-house. Overall there will be five main categories for houses and they will be arranged in the neighborhood based on a predefined ratio of living types in order to ensure diversity while avoiding gentrification or community isolation, according to MVRDV’s website.

Read more