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Visions of the future for Lindau

“Biocity Lindau” is the name of the project overseen by Peter Droege, Professor of Architecture and Planning. The main topic was the analysis of the existing urban design problems in the Bavarian town at Lake Constance. In a second step, the students had to create suggestions for sustainable solutions.

Architecture students at the University of Liechtenstein are creating holistic solutions for the town at Lake Constance

“Biocity Lindau” is the name of the project overseen by Peter Droege, Professor of Architecture and Planning. The main topic was the analysis of the existing urban design problems in the Bavarian town at Lake Constance. In a second step, the students had to create suggestions for sustainable solutions. Just how diverse and creative these could look is demonstrated by two examples from students Johannes Peter Steidl and Lucius Frick.

On-site analysis
“To start with, I travelled to Lindau several times to get a picture of the local conditions and to get a feel for the situation.” This is how Johannes Peter Steidl (23) describes his approach. In Lindau he took a lot of photos and followed the regional press on the Internet. One of the main problems and the largest challenges is the wasteland around Lindau main train station and the former freight terminal in the Reutin district. The student sees a need for action here. As goods stopped being loaded from Lindau main train station onto ships decades ago and the area can be put to good use for urban expansion on the island, the student, from Neunburg vorm Wald in Bavaria, decided to move the main train station from the island onto the mainland, at the site of the former freight terminal.

Johannes Peter Steidl: model of Lindau island

Idea for a new train station
The current train station on the island could be reduced in size and converted into a station for local trains (S-Bahn). According to Steidl, a local railway line would be the ideal connection from the island to the main train station. The inhabitants of Lindau would also prefer a new main train station on the mainland, at the current location of the former freight terminal. This is a clear result of the referendum held on 18 March 2012. However, no one wants to completely do without an island train station, which brings tourists to the island. On the other side of the former freight terminal, towards Lake Constance, there is an out-of-the-way nature reserve. Nature lovers and those seeking relaxation seldom find their way there. Around the new train station, Johannes Peter Steidl would like to develop a mixed-use residential and commercial area, which should be symbiotic with the nature reserve. His concept includes dismantling the former freight terminal apart from four tracks. The architecture student now plans office buildings for the areas freed up along the tracks. These could serve as a structural noise barrier for the residential area behind them.

View from Lake Constance over the residential and commercial district of Lindau-Reutin

A pedestrian-friendly district 
There should also be parking spaces at the same height as the tracks laid at ground level. Over this, there should be a pedestrian zone, which is extended to reach today’s Berliner Platz, in front of the Lindau shopping centre. The new residential and commercial district is bordered to the east by an art and trade centre; to the west, by a museum. This project would create affordable housing in Lindau once more, giving young families the option of settling down close to the island. Mixed residential and commercial use takes the principle of sustainability into account, since all shopping in this area can easily be done on foot. In the model of the new blocks of flats, Steidl aligned his design with the architecture and height of the existing blocks of flats on the island. To ensure town and nature intersect, he has opened up the blocks of flats towards the lake, thus permitting an uninterrupted view onto the nature reserve.

Presentation in front of experts and lecturers at the University of Liechtenstein

Different focus points
Lucius Frick (29) from Schaan took a different approach. For him the core question was how he could extend Lindau island, and at the same time stretch the flow of people across the whole island. “Currently the pedestrian zone ends at the train station. The west of the island is effectively completely isolated and is misused as a car park.” With his idea, Frick wants to make the living environment on the island even richer and achieve a greater mix of young and old, as well as residential and commercial areas. 

Lucius Frick: architecture semester presentation

Retain good transport connections
He too sees the need for action regarding the island train station. Since the railway line on the island has had a huge influence on the island over the last 150 years, he only wants to relocate it to the far north, but not do without it completely. Interregional trains with up to eight carriages could then enter and leave without difficulty. The areas freed up could be used for an extension of the Maximilianstrasse, and with it an extension of the pedestrian zone. The car park in the north-east should give way to a mixed-use zone with new residential and commercial areas. 

Extension of Lindau’s old town with a relocated island train station

Centre for niche subjects
At the location of today’s old freight terminal on the mainland, Frick is planning a train station where passengers can change from express trains to get to the island. South of the tracks it would then be possible to realize the vision of a university campus. Niche degree subjects such as Environmental Engineering or Information Sciences are not offered in the immediate region and would certainly be sought after, according to Frick. “Lindau is a city you can fall in love with. I have aligned my concept with the existing architecture and tried to add to the cityscape without generating conflicts,” says the architecture student, who wrote his final-year project on the subject.

New train station site in Lindau-Reutin

Interest expressed
Lindau’s city planners – who had been invited to the University of Liechtenstein for the final review of the projects – also thought the approaches were very interesting. The only obstacle: the land on which the train station site is located is currently still the property of Deutsche Bahn (German Rail). Although this prevents the city council itself from forming plans there, it provides a welcome focus for student projects in Liechtenstein.