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Framework plan for new urban district at Molkenmarkt approved

Stadtquartier am Molkenmarkt

View of the construction site at Molkenmarkt.

Plans for a new urban quarter at Molkenmarkt in the historic center of Berlin have taken a step forward. On Tuesday, the Senate adopted a so-called framework plan outlining the future design and use of the quarter.

Urban Development Senator Christian Gaebler (SPD) explained that 450 apartments are to be built there - most of them by municipal companies. Commercial spaces, open spaces and a cultural trail linking existing and new cultural venues are planned as well.

Appreciating the site's historical significance

The long urban history of the site is to be made visible through archaeological windows presenting the results of ongoing excavations. According to the framework plan, the new quarter will largely be characterized by small-scale development - but not exclusively. The area's historic appearance, which disappeared as a result of the destruction during World War II, is not to be recreated with detailed accuracy. "No historical reconstruction is planned, but rather a current interpretation," Gaebler said in this regard.

Several design competitions planned

According to Gaebler, a "design manual" will be created next year on the basis of the framework plan that has now been adopted. This will be followed from 2025 to 2028 by several competitions for the concrete design of buildings and open spaces. For this purpose, the area has been divided into four blocks. The senator's goal is to start construction of the first buildings in 2026. The first buildings could then be ready within "reasonable time" - Gaebler named the year 2028.

Around 800 years of settlement history

Molkenmarkt is the oldest square in Berlin and looks back on around 800 years of settlement history. For the redesign of the area directly next to the Red Town Hall, a so-called workshop procedure had recently taken place. This procedure resulted in two concepts developed by different architecture and planning offices in 2022, which in the view of politicians both had strengths as well as weaknesses. According to Gaebler, these concepts have now been incorporated into the framework plan, as have the development plan from 2016 and the neighborhood development guidelines from 2020.

Archaeological work at Molkenmarkt

"The rebirth of Molkenmarkt is one of the most important urban development tasks in the center of Berlin," Gaebler said. "With the resolution of the framework plan for the Molkenmarkt charter, we have reached an important milestone for the historically significant neighborhood." Now, he said, the Senate wants to move quickly on to the next steps to begin the realization competitions for the building construction and the open spaces. "Then the previous plans will take on a real face." Meanwhile, construction and excavation have been going on at Molkenmarkt for quite some time. For one thing, archaeologists are digging to preserve important evidence of history in the ground for posterity. According to Gaebler, this work is expected to be completed in 2024. Also, in preparation for the new city quarter, the road layout around the Red Town Hall has been changed. Road construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 23 August 2023
Last updated: 23 August 2023

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